Field data are reported for the horizontal and vertical flux of wind-eroded sediment on an agricultural field in northern Germany. Measurements were made during a windstorm that hit the region on 18 May 1999. The magnitude of both fluxes was significantly affected by the presence of a surface crust covering the test field. Measuring the physical crust strength at 45 locations with a torvane, the relationships between crust strength (tau) and the horizontal (F-h) and vertical (F-v) sediment fluxes were investigated. Both fluxes decreased as the surface crust became stronger. The decay behaved as an exponential function for both types of flux. The horizontal sediment flux over a crusted surface can be accurately predicted by completing Marticorena and Bergametti's [Journal of Geophysical Research 100 (1995) 16415] erosion model with a crust function. The vertical particle flux over crusted soil can be calculated by adding a similar function to Alfaro and Gomes's [Journal of Geophysical Research 106D (2001) 18075] dust production model. The study also suggests that the gradual bombardment of a surface crust by impacting particles does not immediately result in a decay of the crust's protective effect, provided that the crust has a minimum thickness. However, once the crust becomes perforated, its protective effect disappears very quickly, leading to much higher horizontal and vertical sediment fluxes than predicted for undamaged crusted soil. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.