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Wind erosion

What is it?

Wind erosion is the movement and removal of soil in windy conditions.

Small particles (less than 0.1mm diameter) move suspended in the air (as dust). Particle between 0.1 and 0.5 mm diameter bounce along the surface, while particles greater than 0.5 mm diameter can only move by rolling.

Further information on Wind erosion is available in the soil health section of the VRO website.

Land degradation - An example of wind erosion
Dust arising and transported as a cropping paddock is being prepared for sowing


Wind erosion removes valuable soil components including organic matter and nutrients. Dust storms affect the environment, aircraft operations, human health, and general comfort and amenity.

Sand movement across the landscape damages fences, transport routes, and other items of infrastructure.
3D models of farm buildings located at Demo Dairy, Terang
The dramatic dust-storm of February 8, 1983 over the Melbourne Arts Centre


The first consideration for the prevention of wind erosion is to reduce the velocity of wind at the soil surface through the use of vegetation, vegetative residues and surface roughness. The second consideration is to raise the aggregation and cohesion of the soil itself to increase resistance to detachment.

Related Links

The Bureau of Meteorology website provides further information on the Melbourne dust-storm of February 1983 (external link).
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