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Kansas State University (2015)

Aerodynamics of wind erosion and particle collection through vegetative controls

Gonzales, Howell B.

Titre : Aerodynamics of wind erosion and particle collection through vegetative controls

Auteur : Gonzales, Howell B.

Université de soutenance  : Kansas State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2015

Wind erosion is an important problem in many locations, including the Great Plains, that needs to be controlled to protect soil and land resources. This research was conducted to assess the effectiveness of vegetation (specifically, standing vegetation and tree barriers) as controls for wind erosion. Specific objectives were to : (1) measure sand transport and abrasion on artificial standing vegetation, (2) determine porosity and drag of a single row of Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) barrier, (3) assess effectiveness of Osage orange barriers in reducing dust, (4) predict airflow through standing vegetation, and (5) predict airflow and particle collection through Osage orange barriers. Wind tunnel tests were conducted to measure wind speed profiles, relative abrasion energies, and sand discharge rates for bare sand and for two vegetation heights (150 and 220 mm) at various densities of vegetation. Results showed that vegetation density was directly related to threshold velocity and inversely related to sand discharge. The coefficient of abrasion was adversely affected by saltation discharge but did not depend on wind speed.
Field tests measured the aerodynamic and optical porosities of Osage orange trees using wind profiles and image analysis, respectively, and an empirical relationship between the two porosities was derived. Vertical wind profiles were also used to estimate drag coefficients. Optical porosity correlated well with the drag coefficient. Field measurements also showed a row of Osage orange barrier resulted in particulate concentration reduction of 15 to 54% for PM2.5 and 23 to 65% for PM10.
A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software (OpenFOAM) was used to predict airflow in a wind tunnel with artificial standing vegetation. Predicted wind speeds differed slightly from the measured values, possibly due to oscillatory motions of the standing vegetation not accounted for in the CFD simulation. OpenFOAM was also used to simulate airflow and particle transport through a row of Osage orange barrier. Predicted and measured wind speeds agreed well. Measured dust concentration reduction at two points (upwind and downwind) were also similar to the predicted results.

Mots Clés : Wind erosion ; Vegetative barrier ; Standing vegetation ; Computational fluid dynamics modeling ; Particle transport ; Abrasion


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Page publiée le 5 janvier 2016, mise à jour le 1er novembre 2018