Table of Contents
Journal of Geological Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 186062, 12 pages
Research Article

Aeolian Sediment Transport Integration in General Stratigraphic Forward Modeling

Group of Predictive Geosciences, Earth Science and Resource Engineering (CSIRO), P.O. Box 1130, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia

Received 2 December 2010; Revised 23 May 2011; Accepted 1 June 2011

Academic Editor: Steven L. Forman

Copyright © 2011 T. Salles et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A large number of numerical models have been developed to simulate the physical processes involved in saltation, and, recently to investigate the interaction between soil vegetation cover and aeolian transport. These models are generally constrained to saltation of monodisperse particles while natural saltation occurs over mixed soils. We present a three-dimensional numerical model of steady-state saltation that can simulate aeolian erosion, transport and deposition for unvegetated mixed soils. Our model simulates the motion of saltating particles using a cellular automata algorithm. A simple set of rules is used and takes into account an erosion formula, a transport model, a wind exposition function, and an avalanching process. The model is coupled to the stratigraphic forward model Sedsim that accounts for a larger number of geological processes. The numerical model predicts a wide range of typical dune shapes, which have qualitative correspondence to real systems. The model reproduces the internal structure and composition of the resulting aeolian deposits. It shows the complex formation of dune systems with cross-bedding strata development, bounding surfaces overlaid by fine sediment and inverse grading deposits. We aim to use it to simulate the complex interactions between different sediment transport processes and their resulting geological morphologies.