Relation of vertical flux of particles smaller than 10 μm to total aeolian horizontal mass flux at Owens Lake


  • Dale A. Gillette,

  • D. W. Fryrear,

  • Thomas E. Gill,

  • Trevor Ley,

  • Thomas A. Cahill,

  • Elizabeth A. Gearhart


The vertical flux of particles smaller than 10 μm for a saline playa surface, the particle size composition of which was classified as loam-textured, was estimated for a highly wind-erodible site on the playa of Owens (dry) Lake in California. The ratio of this vertical flux to the horizontal flux of total airborne material through a surface perpendicular to the soil and to the wind, Fa/qtot, is 2.75×10−4 m−1. This is consistent with that ratio for sand-textured soils and suggests that the binding energy and size of saltating particles for the tested surface material at Owens Lake is of the same order as that for sandier soils. The horizontal mass flux of saltating grains, q, in the reported wind erosion event is 51.3% of the total horizontal mass flux qtot. Therefore the ratio of Fa/q is 5.4×10−4 m−1.