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The rate of grain release by pore-ice sublimation in cold-aeolian environments

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Pore-ice sublimation is a prerequisite for aeolian activity in cold environments where surface sediments hold significant amounts of frozen water. Few quantitative studies have defined the rate of grain release from cemented surfaces by pore-ice sublimation. In 1996–1997, controlled field experiments at Presqu'ile Beach, Ontario, were implemented to measure sediment release from frozen surfaces. The release rates were compared to the local wind regime, ambient temperature and humidity. In additional field experiments, the effect of sediment water content on grain release by sublimation was examined. From the experimental results, an equation which predicts grain release based on local wind speed, ground temperature, humidity, and surface water content is proposed. Predicted release rates show reasonable agreement with natural deflation measured on the beach at Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

Keywords: aeolian processes; cold environments; deflation; grain release rates; pore-ice sublimation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 2: University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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