The role of desert shrub size and spacing on wind profile parameters

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Wind flow above desert surfaces is modified by shrubs, which slow the wind by friction. This study examines the effect of shrub size and spacing on the shape of wind profiles measured above shrubs at sites in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. The profile data were reduced to determine the values of the profile parameters, which are the zero plane displacement, d, and aerodynamic roughness parameter, z 0 . The results show that d is above the tops of the shrubs and z 0 is small, indicating that the wind is effectively skimming over the shrubs and encountering little friction from the ground surface and the shrubs. No discernible pattern in the variation of d with shrub spacing is found, though z 0 decreases with shrub spacing in a manner consistent with previous studies. © 1991 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-89
JournalPhysical Geography
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


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