Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 10:30 AM

The Role of Vegetation for Reducing Wind Erosion on Military Lands.

Edward L. Skidmore, USDA-ARS-GMPRC-WERU, 1515 College Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502

It is well known that vegetation (kind, amount, position) reduces wind erosion. Control and prediction of wind erosion requires knowledge of the effectiveness of surface vegetation.  Knowing the role of vegetation in reducing wind erosion enhances effective management of military lands. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent that various levels of vegetation reduced wind erosion for four different surface substrates at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, CA. The Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) was used to simulate wind erosion from the four sites at various assumed levels of vegetation and the actual weather from a nearby weather station.  The wind erosion of the highly erodible surfaces was greatly reduced by even small amounts of vegetation, whereas the relative non-erodible surfaces were only minimally influenced. Erosion was highly seasonal as wind speeds exceeded threshold during the “windy” months.  This result gives clues for sites and times of the year when vegetation level is critical for reducing wind erosion.