EROSION CONTROL ON EXTREMELY SANDY SOILS

MATERIALS AND METHODS OF CONTROLLING BOTH WIND AND WATER EROSION ON EXTREMELY SANDY SOILS (OF THE TYPES KNOWN BY VARIOUS LOCAL DESCRIPTIVE NAMES SUCH AS DUNE SAND, BLOW SAND, SUGAR SAND, DEAD SAND), ENCOUNTERED PARTICULARLY IN COASTAL AND LAKESHORE AREAS, ARID REGIONS, AND HYDRAULIC EMBANKMENTS, ARE SURVEYED. PHYSICAL CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED INCLUDE HIGH WINDS, LACK OF RAINFALL, HIGH SURFACE TEMPERATURES, RAPID EVAPORATION, AND AN EXTREME LACK OF FERTILITY. ACCORDING TO AVAILABLE INFORMATION, WIND IS A MORE IMPORTANT EROSION FACTOR THAN WATER. THE ANGLE OF REPOSE OF SAND REPUTEDLY VARIES FROM 30 TO 40 DEG., YET IT WILL BLOW ON A FLAT SURFACE. CONSEQUENTLY IT MAY BE DEDUCED THAT IT CAN BE STABILIZED ON ANY DEGREE OF SLOPE BETWEEN THOSE EXTREMES, BUT THAT A FLAT SLOPE PERMITTING MACHINE METHODS OF STABILIZATION AND GREATER EASE IN PLANT ESTABLISHMENT IS THE MOST DESIRABLE. THE EVIDENCE POINTS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT MINIMUM 4L1 SLOPES, WHERE PRACTICABLE, ARE DESIRABLE FROM BOTH CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS. SOIL AMENDMENTS, SUCH AS TOPSOIL, CLAY, MUCK, AND PEAT INCORPORATED INTO THE SAND, PLUS SEEDING; OR MULCHING COMBINED WITH SEEDING; OR SPRIGGING HAVE BEEN USED SUCCESSFULLY BY SEVERAL STATES TO STABILIZE SAND EMBANKMENTS. THERE IS A PREPONDERANCE OF OPINION THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SUITABLE VEGETATIVE COVER THAT WILL BIND AND HOLD THE SAND FROM EITHER WIND OR WATER ACTION IS THE SOLUTION OF CONTROLLING EROSION. IN SOME CASES CLIMATIC CONDITIONS PRECLUDE THIS MEANS. A GRAVEL COVERING HAS PROVED SATISFACTORY IN OREGON IN SUCH CASES AND IS NOW BEING USED IN A HIGHWAY RELOCATION PROJECT EAST OF THE DALLES UNDER CONSTRUCTION BY THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS. THERE ARE NUMEROUS INSTANCES OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF AN ASPHALT MULCH OR COVER, USUALLY IN CONJUNCTION WITH SEEDING, BY BOTH RAILROADS AND HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS. IT IS VALUABLE DURING CONSTRUCTION IN HOLDING HIGHLY ERODIBLE SOILS UNDER CRITICAL WIND CONDITIONS. CONVERSELY, IT IS TEMPORARY IN ITS EFFECTIVENESS AND, UNLESS VEGETATION CAN BE ESTABLISHED, IT IS NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION. THE LITERATURE ON SAND-DUNE CONTROL IS UNANIMOUS IN RECOMMENDING FIXATION BY VEGETATIVE MEANS. TWO METHODS HAVE BEEN EVOLVED THAT ARE APPLICABLE TO HIGHWAYS: (1) TRANSPLANTING SAND-BINDING PLANTS SUFFICIENTLY THICK TO FORM A LIVING COVER, AND (2) COVERING THE ENTIRE SURFACE WITH A MULCH OF INERT MATERIAL TO PREVENT THE WIND FROM BREAKING THE SAND. AMENDMENTS SUCH AS ASPHALT HAVE BEEN USED TO ANCHOR MULCH SUCCESSFULLY IN NUMEROUS STATES, AND CONNECTICUT REPORTED INITIAL SUCCESS WITH APPLICATIONS OF SYNTHETIC SOIL CONDITIONERS. THE NECESSITY OF ANCHORING MULCH IS DEPENDENT ON LOCAL CONDITIONS AND MATERIALS, AND THE PRACTICE VARIES EVEN IN CONTIGUOUS STATES. APPARENTLY THERE IS NO WINDESPREAD USE OF SAND FENCES IN HIGHWAY EROSION-CONTROL WORK. PLANTS INDIGENOUS TO SAND GROWING CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN USED TO STABILIZE SAND SLOPES. THE INITIAL COST OF PLANTING WOODY SPECIES AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE HIGHER THAN GRASS. THEREFORE, THE PRESENT TREND IS TO RESTRICT THE USE OF WOODY PLANTS AND PERENNIALS TO SPECIAL SITUATIONS AND URBAN LOCATIONS OR TO SECONDARY PLANTINGS AFTER INITIAL STABILIZATION HAS BEEN ACHIEVED.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • No 356, pp 3-13, 5 PHOT, 23 REF
  • Authors:
    • Astrup, M H
  • Publication Date: 1955

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  • Accession Number: 00205061
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 22 1971 12:00AM