Field test of the accuracy of laser particle counters to measure aeolian sediment flux

Leonardo Duarte-Campos*, Kathelijne M. Wijnberg, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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In this study we tested to what extent grain count data from a laser particle counter, when enriched with granulometric data, can lead to accurate measurements of aeolian sediment fluxes in the field. Field experiments were conducted at Koksijde beach (Belgium) with a vertical array of five Wenglor fork sensors and co-located vertically stacked mesh sand traps. Sand collected in the traps was used to both obtain the reference values for sediment flux as well as to obtain granulometric data at the five Wenglor sensor elevations. Grain counts were transformed to sediment fluxes by combining the granulometric data with the grain size dependent, effective detection width concept. It was found that the limitation of the Wenglor sensor to have a minimum detectable grain size, well within the diameter range of sand grains in transport, could easily be corrected for through a linear relation of Wenglor detectable sediment flux with total sediment flux. However, we found that the Wenglor derived fluxes deviated from the sand trap derived fluxes in an inconsistent manner, both in the vertical and over time, which made us conclude that there is no uniform calibration possible to match the Wenglor data with the trap data. This suggests that further studies using optical aeolian transport sensors should focus on analysing the raw photoelectric signal rather than on internally processed count data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100676
JournalAeolian research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Aeolian sand transport
  • Wenglor
  • Sand trap
  • Grain size
  • Transport measurement


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