Towards a phoenix phase in aeolian research: shifting geophysical perspectives from fluvial dominance

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Aeolian processes are a fundamental driver of earth surface dynamics, yet the importance of aeolian processes in a broader geosciences context may be overshadowed by an unbalanced emphasis on fluvial processes. Here we wish to highlight that aeolian and fluvial processes need to be considered in concert relative to total erosion and to potential interactions, that relative dominance and sensitivity to disturbance vary with mean annual precipitation, and that there are important scale-dependencies associated with aeolian-fluvial interactions. We build on previous literature to present relevant conceptual syntheses highlighting these issues. We then highlight the relative investments that have been made ... continued below

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Whicker, Jeffrey J; Field, Jason P & Breshears, David D January 1, 2008.

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Aeolian processes are a fundamental driver of earth surface dynamics, yet the importance of aeolian processes in a broader geosciences context may be overshadowed by an unbalanced emphasis on fluvial processes. Here we wish to highlight that aeolian and fluvial processes need to be considered in concert relative to total erosion and to potential interactions, that relative dominance and sensitivity to disturbance vary with mean annual precipitation, and that there are important scale-dependencies associated with aeolian-fluvial interactions. We build on previous literature to present relevant conceptual syntheses highlighting these issues. We then highlight the relative investments that have been made in aeolian research on dust emission and management relative to that in fluvial research on sediment production. Literature searches highlight that aeolian processes are greatly understudied relative to fluvial processes when considering total erosion in different environmental settings. Notably, within the USA, aeolian research was triggered by the Dust Bowl catastrophe of the 1930s, but the resultant research agencies have shifted to almost completely focusing on fluvial processes, based on number of remaining research stations and on monetary investments in control measures. However, numerous research issues associated with intensification of land use and climate change impacts require a rapid ramping up in aeolian research that improves information about aeolian processes relative to fluvial processes, which could herald a post-Dust Bowl Phoenix phase in which aeolian processes are recognized as broadly critical to geo- and environmental sciences.

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  • Journal Name: Aeolian Research

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-08-08094
  • Report No.: LA-UR-08-8094
  • Grant Number: AC52-06NA25396
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 956692
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930748

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  • January 1, 2008

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 5:10 p.m.

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Whicker, Jeffrey J; Field, Jason P & Breshears, David D. Towards a phoenix phase in aeolian research: shifting geophysical perspectives from fluvial dominance, article, January 1, 2008; [New Mexico]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930748/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.