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The application of terrestrial laser scanning to aeolian saltation cloud measurement and its response to changing surface moisture



Saltation is the dominant form of aeolian transport of sand sized grains, yet its heterogeneous spatial and temporal distribution, and inherent feedback and interaction with the surface over which sand is transported, hinders large scale quantification. In this letter we present preliminary data on saltation cloud characteristics quantified using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). These data, together with surface moisture and surface roughness patterns, elucidate the importance of saltation in the development of protodunes on a drying beach, and indicate the potential usefulness of TLS in examining aeolian processes in both beach and desert environments. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.