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Mitigate wind-blown sand problem at three special environments in China

Benli Liu, Jianjun Qu, Weimin Zhang, Qingjie Han
Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, China Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, China

The substantial development of aeolian research in the past decades does not necessarily lead to successful blown-sand control engineering to protect projects in arid and sandy regions from wind-blown sand problem. No universal role could be followed to design a sand control measure that fit to various material source or wind active conditions. The need of effective sand control strategy is more pressing at some special environments like cold, humid, or extremely arid instead of common desert condition. Here we present three wind-blown sand control examples that protect the Mogao Grottoes in an extremely dry environment, a near shore infrastructure in a hot and humid coastal environment, and the Tibetan Railway in a cold and high plateau environment. These measures were proved to be successful because their key hazard-causing factors were studied and verified, and then systematic sand control measure components were accordingly built to meet balance with environment. Wind, tide, or river energy was utilized by engineering design to remove accumulated sands. These works indicate that the environment condition and the dynamic reason of sand problem should be understood before any control measures to be constructed. The universal role to control wind-blown sand problem is to adjust to each special environment with scientific investigation been fully carried out.