Assessment of Wind Erosion in Bare and Lucerne-cultivated Lands in South East Atbara, River Nile State, Sudan

Motasim Hyder Abd Elwahab, Mukhtar Ahmed Mustafa


A field experiment was conducted in Goz Alhalag village,
about 50 km south east Atbara, River Nile State, to produce broad–base
data on wind erosion in two-successive seasons (August 2008 - March
2009, August 2009 - March 2010). The intensity of wind erosion (IWE)
was measured monthly in four directions, namely North East (NE), North
(N), North West (NW), and West (W) using vertical (IWEv) and
horizontal soil traps (IWEh) in a bare and a lucerne-cultivated land. In the
first season, IWEh in the bare land ranged from 99.9 (W) to 109.8 (NE)
with a mean of 104.4 tons/ha/day and a coefficient of variation (CV) of
3.9%. Furthermore, IWEh ranged from 2.1 (Nov.) to 260 tons/ha/day
(Sept.) with a CV of 93.4%. The variation due to direction was much
lower than the monthly; due to the higher monthly variability of wind
erosivity. The overall mean IWEh and IWEV in the first season were 2.25-
and 1.90-fold those in the second season, respectively. This effect was
attributed to the higher wind erosivity in the first season. In bare lands,
the overall mean IWEh was 2.42- and 2.04-fold the corresponding IWEV
values in the first and second seasons, respectively. This was attributed to
the fact that horizontal traps measure cumulative wind erosion by
saltation, surface creep and suspension, whereas vertical traps measure
soil erosion by saltation only. The result may also explain the higher
variation of measurements made by horizontal as compared to vertical
traps. In the cultivated fields the reverse trend was found. The ratio IWEv/
IWEh of the overall mean values was 3.2 and 2.7 in the first and second

seasons, respectively. This is because in addition to reducing wind
erosivity, lucerne obstructed soil particles transport to the traps, more so
by surface creep than saltation. The impact of lucerne cover on soil
erosion was colossal. The IWEh in the bare lands were 522- and 220.5-
fold that of the cultivated fields in the two successive seasons. Growing
summer and winter crops with appropriate crop residue management offer
good land protection against soil erosion. However this does not preclude
the establishment of a shelterbelt.


Intensity of wind erosion; sand traps; crop cover

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