Aeolian abrasion and modes of fine particle production from natural red dune sands: an experimental study

Bullard, Joanna E. and McTainsh, Grant H. and Pudmenzky, Christa (2004) Aeolian abrasion and modes of fine particle production from natural red dune sands: an experimental study. Sedimentology, 51 (5). pp. 1103-1125. ISSN 0037-0746


A series of experiments was conducted to determine the potential for aeolian abrasion of natural dune sands to produce fine particles (< 125 µm) by (1) the release of resident fines; (2) spalling, chipping and breakage of particles; and (3) the removal of grain surface coatings. Parent samples were obtained from the surfaces of four active continental dunes and abraded using a glass 'test
tube' chamber for up to 120h. The fine particles produced by this abrasion process were trapped at varying time intervals and subject to detailed particle-size analyses using a Coulter Multisizer. The abrasion of untreated parent
samples produced fine particles in one of two main size classes, <10 µm and >50 µm, but when the parent sample was sieved to exclude particles <250 µm, relatively more material in the range 10–50 µm was produced. For unsieved
parent samples, the size range associated with the dominant mode varied according to the length of the abrasion time. The coarsest mode (>63 µm) was dominant during the first 16 h of abrasion, then became less significant and is
thought to be associated with the release of resident fines into suspension. The finest mode (<10 µm) was absent or very weak during the first 16h of abrasion, then became more significant and, in some instances, dominated the
distribution as abrasion continued. Removal of grain surface coatings is the main source of fine material <10 µm, and this may be a significant source of fine material in areas where sands are dominated by subrounded and rounded
particles. By comparison with previous studies of aeolian particle abrasion, these natural dune sands produced very low quantities of fine material (by weight), but their spatial extent makes them potentially a significant source of dust-sized particles at the global scale.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2004 International Association of Sedimentologists. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 05:41
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 02:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: aeolian abrasion; dune sands; fine particle production; grain characteristics
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040601 Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050305 Soil Physics
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961406 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2004.00662.x

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