The weather of windblown sediment: Aeolian processes within the New Zealand landscape
This paper examines meteorological phenomena such as the nor'wester and Southerly Change with regard to the entrainment - transportation - deposition of fine grained sediment within the New Zealand landscape. At present, aeolian processes are confined to geomorphically active areas such as the dry braid channels of proglacial rivers, coastal sand dunes, exposed lake shorelines, and areas where the removal of vegetation has left surface sediments unconsolidated and exposed to the airstream. Windblown sediment that originates from such sources can present a considerable hazard to vehicle traffic, livestock and local residents, while also threatening the viability of local businesses.
Two recent dust storm events are examined by way of case studies to highlight the potential hazard from such phenomena to residents and property of areas affected by dust transporting winds. Contemporary rates of dust deposition within an alpine lake basin are discussed with reference to favourable meteorological conditions for wind erosion. These measurements are the first to be documented for an area within the Southern Alps and reflect dust deposition rates previously measured in desert environments. Finally, avenues for future wind erosion research are suggested.