2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM

Protocols for Characterizing Aeolian Mass-Flux Profiles

ELLIS, Jean, SHERMAN, Douglas, FARRELL, Eugene and LI, Bailiang, Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, Eller O&M Building, Room 810, College Station, TX 77843-3147, jean@geog.tamu.edu

We will present a protocol for characterizing aeolian mass-flux profiles with a focus on those obtained in natural aeolian environments. Three main areas of methodological inconsistencies are explored, using two field-based data sets to demonstrate the variability of the different methodological choices: 1) inconsistent representation of sediment trap elevations; 2) erroneous or sub-optimal regression analysis; and 3) inadequate or ambiguous bed elevation measurements. The protocol devised in this paper will permit results from different field- and laboratory-based studies to be comparable, is physically based, and seems to produce results that most closely represent the measured data. The recommended protocol suggests the following: 1) Measure vertical flux profiles with maximum number traps as feasible with bottom trap heights not exceeding 20 mm; 2) Repeat measurements of bed elevation before, during, and after data collection; 3) Use the geometric mean to represent trap centers; 4) When a trap is deployed at the bed (0 mm), approximate the bottom using aerodynamic roughness length; 5) Fit vertical mass-flux curves using a non-linear exponential fit; and 6) Plot vertical mass-flux so that height above the bed is independent (abscissa) of normalized mass-flux percentage (ordinate).