380-381 TRANSPORTATION BY THE WIND

Quanity of material transported. The effectives of the wind as atransporting medium depends not only upon its velocity but to a large extent upin the strength of the upward-rising currents of air and the height ti which dust is carried. A current of air rising upward 1 meter per second will keep suspended a grain of quartz about 0,1mm in diameter. The diameter of the grain is roughly proportional to the velocity. An upward current moving 40 feet per second. (about 30 milean hour) will support grains over 1mm. This is about the size of sand. Observes declare that is unlikely that dust larger than this is held suspended for any length of time. Much larger pieces, however are moved along the ground and even for a time blown to considerable heights. Gravel the size of peas is readily drifted by the wind and there are many reliable accounts of rains of pebbles, linches, and even fish, and other animals. The actual amount of dust thus held suspended in the air may amount to thousands of of tons over a square mile of wind blown country. A cube of air 10 feet on a side may readily support suport 1 ounce of dust. This amounts to 4,000 tons per cubic mile. A thousands tons being carried over each square mile of country would not be unusual. Some dust storms are hundreds of miles in extent. A storm 300 to 400 miles in diameter would thus hold suspended over 100,000,000 tons of dust. This would represent, however, only the volume of material in a hill about 100 feet high and 2 miles across the base. If this dust were completely removed from the placewhere it originated and not replaced, it is easy to realize the rapidity with which desert tracts might be worn away by the wind. The quantity of material transported during dust storms is readily determined if the dust falls upon clean snow. The snow is collected from a measured area, melted, filtered, and the residue weighed. In one of the dust storms which originated in the colorado-wyoming region extended eastward to the atlantic seabord, it was found that in wisconsin and iowa the amount of dust in a square meter ranged from 5 to 10 grams. This is equivalent to a range of 15 to 30 tons per square mile. Even as far east as pennsylvania there was an accumulation of 12 to 15 tons per squar mile. This represent a total fall of at least 2,000,000 tons, and probably several times that amount. In other storm which reached as far east as a new hampshire, the amount of hall per unit of area was less than one-tenth as great as this amount. The smaller quantity was due largely to the remoteness from the place of origin of the dust. The size of the dust particles appears also to the bear a definite relation to the velocity of the wind during the storms, being much finer in the less violent storms. For any given storm the sizes of the dust particles vary over a wide range with a great preponderance of those of given size. Analysis of old loess deposits indicates that the size of their constituent in many cases closely resembles that of recnt dust storms, but not always.

Distance. Observers have suggested that every square mile of the earth’s surface contains pieces of the dust from every other square mile. It is true that dust is transported for great distances. Recently falls of dust in the eastern cities of the United States have been identified as having their

origin in the arid sections of the west. Volcanic dust from iceland has several times been recorded in scandinavia. The amount of material thus brought out of the valley and deposited on the top of the bluff is often as much as 1/100 inch in a day and averages ¼ inch during the year. Would be deposited every century which would be enough to cover the earth several feet deep since the glacial period. The dust formed by the eruption of krakatoa in 1883 in the dutch east indies was projected so high in the air that is carried around the world repeatedly before settling. Dust from sahara occasionally falls in england 2. If this much fell every 5 years. and on other occasion 2.000 miles away. One of the chief factors in removing the dust from the air is the rain of humid regions. The north and east sides of the river suffer more than the south and west sides. the total accumulation of dust from the air is the rain of humid regions over extended periode of time is considerable and doubtless much of the top soil of such localities in windblown. great dust storms prevail on the missouri and missipi rivers. Outdoors all is yellow with an impalpably fine powder. Krakatoa ashes fell inches deep at fell even in holland.000. In such a simoom the atmosphere is filled with a driving mass of dust and sand. For the european area the fall averafed a layer ¼ mm thick. During periods of high winds. It is therefore apparent that much dust will not be transported far into humid localities before it is washed out of the air.500 miles. which hides the country under he mantle of impenetrable darkness and filters through every fabric. much of it having been transported 2. covering everything within.000 tons fell in england.000 miles distant. It sifts through the closed windows and the doors of the houses. No one can realize the capacity of wind as a transporter of fine material who has not lived through at least one great storm on a dessert. 2. Dust from colima volcano in mexico 1903 fell at points 200 miles north of the volcano and in the guatemala the eruption of santa maria produced a deposit of ash 8 to 10 inches thick 40 miles distant. Dust is everywhere. This is because the prevailing winds come from the southwest in the spring and summer when the silt bars are bare and dry. . It has been estimated that during one storm 10. Nevertheless. it often destroys life by suffocation and leaves in places deposit several feet deep.000 tons fell in europe and as much more in northern africa. about 5 mm.

In the landes region of sourthwestern france the island march of the extensive coast dunes is a constant menace Oases in dessert occurs in regions of extensive dunes or ergs.000 years That rich chernozem or black earth soils of southern russia and simillar soils of the argentine pampa and the great plains oh the united states are largely of loess origin. The constant renewal and enrichment of the surfaces soil by wind and wash accounts for the cultivication of the grain regions of northern china form 4. unusually when slightly moist. Its roof is of wood. The great dunes at cape henry. sources of water suplly : fertility of the soil : its removal from agricurtural land. have some of the characteritic of loess. used for making bricks. grass. are constantly advancing upon an adjacent forest. collapse is common at times of earthquakes. and in the ujnited states to a much lesser degree. as are the wheat-raising palouse soils of the washington.in europe. Water drawn to the fresh surfaces by capilarity evaporates and leaves a thin protective coating of lime. Where loess is dissected. hair. The dwelling is made of the plastics loess bound by straw. Wind blown region of the western and southwestern united states have suffered severely from the removal oh the soil at times of unusual dhrought. habitations. the loess serves directly as the means for cinstructing dwellings. a form an unusual sight in the tilled field above. In china. rooms are carved out of the solid loess. that arround mexico city being old lake clays. where cliffs abound. including houses constructed of loess mud as well as those carved out of the cliffs : roads and trails. the scanty rainfall of the region being quickly absorbed by the sand to reappear in the basins between dunes. virginia. and where timber is lacking. and other useful areas.397 SOME ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF WIND-BLOWN DEPOSITS The geographer studying the loess-coveredand dune-bedeeked regions of the world will find himself giving attention to such topies as the character of the dwelling places. Owing to the fragility of the loess. The adobe soils of the southwestern united states and of mexico. and its deposition and encroachment upon forests. it is buildt on top of the loess plateaus and plains. . and sticks. The encroachment of the sand upon cultivated tracts has been equally destructive. They are largely water deposited. The sand hill section of nebraska gives the impression of being uninhabited but almost every hollow or depresions among the hills contains the homested of a ranch surrounded by several acres of green fields and trees. The fine impalable character of loess and its calcareous nature render it an unsually fertile soil. while the rest of the country for miles about is fit only for grazing. especially where water is available for irrigation.