Environmental controls on blowing dust direction at lubbock, Texas, U.S.A.

Jeffrey A. Lee, K. Evan Moffett, B. L. Allen, Richard E. Peterson, James M. Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Blowing dust is a common phenomenon at Lubbock, Texas, on the Southern High Plains. The directional variability of blowing dust estimated with the ‘sand rose’ technique, using wind speed and direction data, suggest that dust transport occurs from all directions. An empirical method of determining directional variability using meteorological data on visibility reductions due to blowing dust, however, indicates that most dust comes from the west and south‐west. In addition to wind speed and direction, other environmental factors must be considered in explaining the spatial pattern of dust transport. Soil erodibility is variable in the region, with the most extensive area of highly erodible soils to the west and south‐west of Lubbock. Rangeland dominates land use to the east, while agriculture is extensive to the north, west and south. Local farming techniques leave bare soil during the winter and spring, when most airborne dust is produced and also when strong winds are common from the west and south‐west. Soil moisture is lowest to the southwest of Lubbock, which leads to a decrease in soil structure and an increase in the potential for wind erosion in that direction. Relative humidities affect threshold wind speeds and are lowest during March and April, when winds are common from the west and south‐west. The spatial and seasonal variability and interactions between many factors, both natural and human‐controlled, must therefore considered in explaining the directional variability of aeolian sediment transport at Lubbock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-449
Number of pages13
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1994

Keywords

  • Blowing dust
  • Sand roses
  • Soil erosion
  • Southern High Plains
  • Wind erosion

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