AUSLEM (AUStralian Land Erodibility Model): A tool for identifying wind erosion hazard in Australia

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Webb, Nicholas P
McGowan, Hamish A
Phinn, Stuart R
McTainsh, Grant H
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2006
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Abstract

We present AUSLEM (AUStralian Land Erodibility Model), a land erodibility modelling system that utilizes a rule-set of surficial and climatic thresholds applied through a Geographic Information System (GIS) modelling framework to predict landscape susceptibility to wind erosion. AUSLEM is distinctive in that it quantitatively assesses landscape susceptibility to wind erosion at a 5 נ5 km spatial resolution on a monthly time-step across Australia. The system was implemented for representative wet (1984), dry (1994), and average rainfall (1997) years with corresponding low, high and moderate dust storm day frequencies. Results demonstrate that AUSLEM can identify landscape erodibility, and provide an interpretation of the physical nature and distribution of erodible landscapes in Australia. Further, results offer an assessment of the dynamic tendencies of erodibility in space and time in response to the El NiᯠSouthern Oscillation (ENSO) and seasonal synoptic scale climate variability. A comparative analysis of AUSLEM output with independent national and international wind erosion, atmospheric aerosol and dust event records indicates a high level of model competency.

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Geomorphology

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78

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3-Apr

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Geology

Physical geography and environmental geoscience

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