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- Created 2012-03-16
, also spelled
, pertain to
activity in the study of
, and specifically to the wind's ability to shape the surface of the
s). Winds may
, transport, and deposit materials, and are effective agents in regions with sparse
and a large supply of unconsolidated
s. Although water is a much more powerful eroding force than wind, aeolian processes are important in arid environments such as
The term is derived from the name of the
, Æolus, the keeper of the winds.
the Earth's surface by deflation (the removal of loose, fine-grained particles), by the
action of the wind and by
(the wearing down of surfaces by the grinding action and
of windborne particles).
Regions which experience intense and sustained erosion are called deflation zones. Most aeolian deflation zones are composed of
, a sheet-like surface of rock fragments that remains after wind and water have removed the fine particles. Almost half of Earth's desert surfaces are stony deflation zones. The rock
s protects the underlying material from deflation.
A dark, shiny stain, called
or rock varnish, is often found on the surfaces of some desert rocks that have been exposed at the surface for a long period of time.
minerals form most varnishes and provide the shine.
Deflation basins, called
s, are hollows formed by the removal of particles by wind. Blowouts are generally small, but may be up to several kilometers in diameter.
Wind-driven grains abrade
s. Grinding by particles carried in the wind creates grooves or small
s are rocks which have been cut, and sometimes polished, by the abrasive action of wind.
Sculpted landforms, called
s, are up to tens of meters high and kilometers long and are forms that have been streamlined by desert winds. The famous
Great Sphinx of Giza
in Egypt may be a modified
from Wikipedia (last updated: 06 December), licensed under
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the International Society for Aeolian Research, ISAR
Aeolian Research (the Journal)
UNT Government Documents Department
''Facts about wind erosion and dust storms on the Great Plains''
The Bibliography of Aeolian Research
Wind Erosion on European Light Soils
The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes
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