Evaluating material properties to optimize wood-strands for wind erosion control
Copeland, N.; Sharratt, B.; Wu, J.Q.; Foltz, R.B.; Dooley, J.H. 2006.
Evaluating material properties to optimize wood-strands for wind erosion control.
Written for presentation at the 2006 ASABE Annual International Meeting.
Sponsored by ASABE, Portland Convention Center, Portland, OR. 9 - 12 July 2006.
ASABE Paper No. 062199.
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
Keywords: Wind erosion, Erosion control, Wind tunnel, Wood strands, PM10 emissions, Air quality
Available to purchase: PDF [ASABE subscription]
Wind erosion is a widespread problem in much of the western United States due to arid
conditions and persistent winds. Fugitive dust from eroding land poses a risk to both environmental
quality and human health. Since the advent of the Clean Air Act in 1971, ambient air quality
standards have been set regulating particulate matter in the atmosphere. Agricultural straw has
been widely used for erosion control, but there are numerous drawbacks to its use. In addition to the
fact that it is a lightweight material and lacks stability during high wind events, there is growing
concern over the introduction of noxious weeds to wildlands, chemical residues from pesticides, and
risks associated with dust particles liberated from the shattering of straw elements during the
application process. The efficacy of a wood strand material, a wood analog to straw, for wind
erosion mitigation was investigated during this study. A series of wind tunnel tests were conducted
to evaluate material properties of wood strands in terms of reducing total sediment loss and
maintaining air quality. Results indicate that wood strands are stable at wind speeds of up to 18 m/s,
while wheat straw is only stable at wind speeds of up to 6.5 m/s. At a wind velocity of 18 m/s, the
straw, due to its instability, did not reduce soil loss; however, wood strands reduced total sediment
loss and peak dust emissions by over 90% when compared to a bare soil.
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