Aeolian creep transport: A review

Pei Zhang, Douglas J. Sherman, Bailiang Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the literature on the nature of aeolian creep, the field and wind tunnel methods used to measure creep transport, the relative contribution of creep transport to total transport, and creep models. We discuss the dynamics of fluid- and impact-driven creep, potential sources of error in creep measurement or estimation, and the variability of the relative contribution of creep to total transport. We compare and discuss creep transport studies conducted in wind tunnels and in the field and demonstrate the disparity of results between different studies. Regression analysis of creep data indicates no significant relationship between the proportion of sand flux moved as creep and the magnitude of wind forcing. Individual studies are shown to produce contradictory results for the relationship between the proportion of total transport moved as creep and wind forcing. These findings point to the importance of better empiricism, especially, to elucidate the role of creep in wind-blown sand systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100711
JournalAeolian Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Initiation of motion
  • Ripple migration
  • Saltation
  • Sand transport modes
  • Sand traps

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