Short-term soil loss by eolian erosion in response to different rain-fed agricultural practices

Smadar Tanner, Itzhak Katra, Abraham Haim, Eli Zaady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eolian (wind) erosion is a widespread process and a major form of soil degradation in arid and semi-arid regions. The present study examined eolian soil loss and changes in soil properties at a field scale, in response to different soil treatments in two rain-fed agricultural practices by short-term field experiments using a boundary-layer wind tunnel and soil properties analysis. Two practices with different soil treatments of mechanical tillage and stubble grazing intensities were applied in the fallow phase of the rotation (dry season). Mechanical tillage operations and stubble grazing intensities had immediate and direct effects on soil aggregation but not on the soil texture, and the contents of soil water, organic matter, and CaCO3. Higher erosion rates, measured as fluxes of total eolian sediment (TAS) and particulate matter <10μm (PM10), were recorded under mechanical tillage and grazing intensities compared with the undisturbed topsoil of the control plots. The erosion rates were higher in grazing plots than in tillage plots. The calculated soil fluxes in this study indicate potentially rapid soil degradation due to loss of fine particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalSoil and Tillage Research
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation ( 1100/11 ). We thank Uzi Naftaliyahu and Idan Richker for their help with the tillage operations in the CTP field, Dani Barkai and Yaakov Knoll for their help with herd experiments in the SGP site, Avraham Edri for his support with the eolian experiments, and Nitzan Swet for her assistance with the laboratory soil analyses. We thank also two reviews for the useful comments on the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Eolian processes
  • Mean weight diameter (MWD)
  • PM
  • Soil loss
  • Stubble grazing
  • Tillage
  • Wind erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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