Evaluation of aeolian sand transport equations using intertidal zone measurements, Saunton Sands, England



Sand transport rates were measured using a vertical sand trap along the intertidal zone of a beach in North Devon, England, together with simultaneous monitoring of the wind speed on the beach and moisture levels in the surface layers of sand. The results of 88 sand trap samples in a wide range of wind speeds showed that moisture levels up to 14%, in the top 1–2 mm of the beach sand, have no discernible effect on the transport rates. Transport rates measured from areas of the beach where the moisture was below this level are compared with the rates predicted by seven expressions based on theoretical and wind tunnel research together with the empirical results of other published research. Measured transport rates range from 0.0001 to 0.22 kg m-1 s-1. The results indicate that expressions based on a power relation between the wind speed and the transport rate, and which include a threshold velocity term, provide the best estimates of the observed transport rates.