Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: Investigation of Vegetated Roughness Element Influence on Aeolian Processes in Semi-arid Environments

Currently Active: 
Yes

In semi-arid environments, understanding the relationship between vegetation elements and surface erodibility is important for understanding aeolian sediment transport.

Measuring vegetation and dune surface characteristics at Jornada, New Mexico, USA, April 2010
Measuring dune characteristics

In semi-arid environments, understanding the relationship between vegetation elements and surface erodibility is important for understanding aeolian sediment transport. Under certain conditions, plants and sand interact to form small dunes called nebkhas. The size and shape of the plants and underlying dunes influence the roughness of the surrounding area which in turn will influence the wind pattern moving over the surface. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is enabling us to remotely measure the exact size and shape of the ground surface and vegetation at Jornada Experimental Range, Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA. High resolution measurements match well to more traditional manual measurements and facilitate the qualification of element density and dimensions under varying wind direction. This project is being undertaken in collaboration with Jack Gillies (Desert Research Institute, Reno, USA) and Professor Bill Nickling (University of Guelph).

Funding: Royal Society

Related research groups

Earth Surface Dynamics
Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings