Wind In The Desert | Characteristics, Types, Wind Erosion, Features

WIND ACTION IN THE DESERT Wind plays a dominant role in shaping the landscapes of deserts and semi-arid regions globally. Deserts, characterized by minimal vegetation, result from factors such as low rainfall, high temperatures, cold currents, and a heightened rate of evaporation. Notable desert examples include the Sahara in West Africa, the Kalahari and Namib […]

WIND ACTION IN THE DESERT

Wind plays a dominant role in shaping the landscapes of deserts and semi-arid regions globally. Deserts, characterized by minimal vegetation, result from factors such as low rainfall, high temperatures, cold currents, and a heightened rate of evaporation. Notable desert examples include the Sahara in West Africa, the Kalahari and Namib in South Africa, the Arabian, Iranian, and Thar in the Middle East, the Australian desert, and the Atacama in South America, as well as the Mohave in the U.S.A.

 

DESERT CHARACTERISTICS

Deserts exhibit distinct features, including extreme temperature ranges, low precipitation, a lack of vegetation cover, high evaporation rates, dominance of wind action, and the presence of cold currents.

 

TYPES OF DESERTS

Deserts can be categorized into five distinct types:

  1. Erg or Sandy desert
  2. Hamada or Rocky deserts
  3. Reg or Stony deserts
  4. Badlands
  5. Mountain deserts

 

WIND EROSION PROCESSES

Wind erosion manifests through three main processes:

  1. Deflation: The lifting and blowing of loose sand and pebbles by the wind, leading to the formation of large depressions known as Deflation hollows.
  2. Abrasion: The wearing away of rock surfaces by sand particles carried by the wind.
  3. Attrition: Materials carried by the wind collide with each other, resulting in mutual wearing away.

 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DEFLATION AND ABRASION

  1. Deflation involves blowing, while abrasion involves hauling rocks against rock surfaces by the wind.
  2. Deflation rolls loose materials along the ground, while abrasion polishes, scratches, and wears away rock surfaces.
  3. Deflation lowers land surfaces, whereas abrasion is most effective at the base of rocks.
  4. Deflation is associated with wind, while abrasion can be caused by wind, water, and waves.

 

FEATURES OF WIND EROSION IN THE DESERT

  1. Rock Pedestals: Irregular mushroom-shaped structures formed by wind abrasion on alternating layers of hard and soft rocks.
  2. Zeugen: Tabular masses with a layer of soft rocks beneath a surface layer of hard rock, shaped by wind abrasion.
  3. Yardang: Vertical bands of hard and soft rocks, forming ridges and furrows through wind abrasion.
  4. Mesas and Buttes: Flat, table-like landmasses with resistant horizontal top layers and softer layers below, shaped by denudation.
  5. Inselberg: Isolated rocky outcrops with steep sides, round tops, and composed of granite, formed through weathering and removal of materials.
  6. Ventifacts and Dreikanters: Pebbles sharpened or faceted by wind abrasion.
  7. Deflation Hollows or Depressions: Large depressions formed by wind deflation, sometimes leading to oasis formation.

 

FEATURES OF WIND DEPOSITION IN DESERTS

  1. Dunes: Hills or ridges of sand formed by wind piling up sand against obstacles. Two main types are Barchan (crescent-shaped) and Seifs (sword-shaped).
  2. Loess: Fine soil particles carried by wind and deposited outside the desert, forming fertile and porous soil.

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