WIND ACTION AND DESERT LANDSCAPES

Sandip Patil LA 9106 Geology Seminar Guide: Prof. Madhukara

Geology & Geomorphology

Wind Action & Desert Landscapes

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Wind Action Circulation of air over the earth surface is due to the differential heating between the equatorial & Polar Regions, and the fact that hot air being lighter rises above the cold air. Hence air heated at the equator would rise & reach the Polar Regions, where the chilled air would descend to the equatorial regions. The simple process of rising of hot air & descending of cool air over the earth’s surface is made complex by the rotation of the earth. Rotation creates a deflecting force on the winds, known as Coriolis force. Global wind systems The Coriolis force creates a complex global wind circulation pattern. Prevailing winds are winds which come about as a consequence of global circulation patterns. These include the Trade Winds, the Westerlies, the Polar Easterlies, and the jet streams. The global wind circulation system is divided into three cells, cell A between the equator and 30° latitude, cell B between 30° and 60° latitude, and cell C between 60° and the pole. Due to heating, air at the equator rises up into the atmosphere, and leaving behind a low pressure area. Coriolis force deflects these winds to the east. When it reaches the 30° latitude, crowding of air due to reduction in surface area of earth is sufficient to create a high pressure zone, and push the air downwards. These are

Coriolis force Any matter moving freely over the earth’s surface from equator to the poles, would pass through areas having varying rotational speeds. At the equator, the rotational speed is maximum (1600km/hr) and stationary at the poles. Hence the matter would tend to travel eastwards faster than the earth’s surface. Similarly the movement from poles to the equator would be deflected westwards. Thus there is a deflection towards the right in the Northern Hemisphere & to the left in the southern Hemisphere.

Sandip Patil

Department of Landscape Architecture, CEPT University

LA - 9106

These meet the westerlies at 60° latitude. The polar front advances to lower latitudes in winter. This wind frequently advances ahead of more intense thunderstorms and may be sufficiently energetic to generate local weather of its own. tornadoes. its range being wider over the oceans. Synoptic winds occupy the lower boundary of "forecastable" winds. They include such phenomena as the cold wind outflow from thunderstorms. and the cyclostrophic wind. Microscale winds Microscale winds take place over very short durations of time . accompanied by strong winds. The turbulence following the passage of an active front is composed of microscale winds. Hurricanes. CEPT University LA . and are responsible for cyclones due to their sinuous courses. and recedes to higher ones in summer. and it is microscale wind which produces convective events such as dust devils.9106 . Mesoscale winds Winds at the next lowest level of magnitude typically arise and fade over time periods too short and over geographic regions too narrow to predict with any long-range accuracy. At the same time. These two forces are opposite but not equal. Wind following this path is known as geostrophic wind. becoming cloudy and a source of rain or snow. Surface winds are already blowing from the poles downwards in cell C due to cooling of air. and is characterized by rapid rotation over a relatively small area. the gradient wind. a situation which is often a good approximation to the large-scale flow away from the tropics. winds in the northern hemisphere always flow clockwise around a high pressure area and counterclockwise around a low pressure area (the reverse occurs in the southern hemisphere). and the path that results when the two forces cancel each other runs parallel to the isobars. Such a wind is said to be cyclostrophic. winds always flow from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. and typhoons are examples of this type of wind. microscale winds can play a major role in human affairs. The colder polar air tends to form a wedge.and spatially over only tens to hundreds of metres. and the disorderly westerlies that spiral towards the poles in cell B. As a result of the Coriolis force. Synoptic winds are associated with largescale events such as warm and cold fronts. In certain circumstances. Though small in scope. Winds are said to be truly geostrophic only when other forces (e.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 2 known as horse latitudes. Seasonal winds only exist during specific seasons.g. deflected westwards. They include the geostrophic wind.seconds to minutes . The descending air divides into Trade winds blowing towards the equator and completing the convection in cell A. the Coriolis force acting on moving air may be almost or entirely overwhelmed by the centripetal force. friction) acting on the air are negligible. forming a disturbed and variable zone known as Polar front.

long since cooled. The opposite effect takes place in the afternoon. Orographic wind refers to air which undergoes orographic lifting due to barriers like mountain ranges. California's infamous Santa Ana wind. and as warm air rises off the slopes. CEPT University LA .9106 . Land is a rapid absorber/radiator of heat. Because katabatic refers specifically to the vertical motion of the wind. making it rise. giving a sea breeze during the afternoon and evening. Among the most well-known of these winds are the chinook of Western Canada and the American Northwest. heat absorbed over the day will be radiated more quickly by the land at night. and desert like landscape on the leeward side. Modern tornadoes and hurricanes might at times be considered to produce such changes. This upslope wind is called a valley breeze. Mountain breezes are one example of what is known more generally as a katabatic wind. Aeolian winds.or offshore winds. and descends on the leeward sides. the mountain slopes take on a greater heat load than the valleys. Mountain and valley breezes are due to a combination of differential heating and geometry. A notable result is high rainfall on windward slopes. and heat as a consequence of compression. described above as valley wind. transport air into the valley in a process that is partly gravitational and partly convective and is called a mountain breeze. and occur on the largest scale in Greenland and Antarctica. This convective motion draws the cool land air in to replace the rising air. the tops of the mountain peaks receive first light. The peaks. Hence. Over the sea. Local winds Differential heating is the motive force behind land breezes and sea breezes. while through the day. or winds producing Aeolian action. heat is still being released into the air at night. this group also includes winds which form on the lee side of mountains. as the valley radiates heat. Such winds may undergo a temperature increase of 20 °C or more. During the day warm air over the land rises. and other geologic and topographic effects influenced by wind are still referred to as Aeolian activity. cooling the air. This results in a temperature inequity between the two. also known as on. Large scale erosion. pulling cool air in from the sea to replace it. are winds which produce geologic changes. and the French Mistral. The opposite of a katabatic wind is an anabatic wind. resulting in a land breeze in the late night and early morning. the Swiss föhn. in locations where sea and land meet. cool air moves up out of the valleys to replace it. These are winds driven by cold air flowing down a slope. When the sun rises. whereas water absorbs and releases heat more slowly. dune formation. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 3 Winds by effect In classical terminology.

As soon as the sun sets. Deserts are a part of a wider classification of regions that. The North Slope of Alaska's Brooks Range also receives less than 250 millimeters of precipitation per year. These dry winds dissipate cloud cover. have a moisture deficit (i. Deserts usually have an extreme temperature range. Oregon. however about 2500 mm of water could evaporate over the course of a year. The difference lies in "potential evapotranspiration. a desert cannot be accurately described through lack of rainfall. Generally deserts are defined as areas that receive an average annual precipitation of less than 250 mm (10 inches). and its subdivisions of hyper arid. High desert in Eastern India United States Deserts About one-fifth of Earth's land surface is desert. The world's largest desert. 'True deserts' where vegetation cover is exceedingly sparse and rainfall is exceedingly rare and infrequent. is a trade wind desert. the desert cools quickly. Arizona receives less than 250 millimeters (10 inches) of precipitation per year. Most of the major deserts of the world lie in areas crossed by the trade winds. the Sahara of North Africa. about 8 times more water than actually falls. Tucson. semiarid and dry-sub humid. wherein P is precipitation. it is designated as specifically different from the definition of a desert: a place where evaporation exceeds precipitation. Cloudless skies increase the release of heat at night. coupled with the evaporative loss of water through the life processes of plants. PE is potential evapotranspiration rates and S is amount of surface storage of water. allowing more sunlight to heat the land. is the amount of water that could evaporate in any given region. These areas are collectively called 'dry lands' and extent over almost half of the earth's land surface. Potential evapotranspiration. arid. CEPT University LA . Arizona receives about 300 mm of rain per year.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 4 The Thar Desert near Jaisalmer.500 millimeters (steppes) However.e. For example. Deserts often have high biodiversity. correspond to the 'hyper arid’ regions of the earth. which has experienced temperatures as high as 57° C. The most widely accepted system of classification is based on the amount of precipitation an area receives: • Extremely arid lands: at least 12 consecutive months without rainfall (deserts) • Arid lands: have less than 250 millimeters of annual rainfall (deserts) • Semiarid lands: mean annual precipitation 250 ." Geographical Classification of Deserts Trade Wind Deserts: The trade winds in two belts on the equatorial sides of the Horse Latitudes heat up as they move toward the Equator. The water budget of an area can be calculated using the formula: “P-PE+/-S”. on an average annual basis. Phoenix. creates a rain shadow region Evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration is the combination of water loss through atmospheric evaporation. Most deserts have a low temperature at night because the air is contains little moisture and therefore holds little heat. including animals that remain hidden during daylight hours to control body temperature or to limit moisture needs. are to be preferred (as approved by the United Nations). but is not generally recognized as a desert region. Rates of evapotranspiration in Alaska are much lower. so while it receives minimal precipitation. the use of 'dry land'. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. The Agasthiyamalai hills. A desert is a geological region that receives little precipitation. and is immediately recognized as being located in a desert.9106 . Because desert is a vague term. they can potentially lose more than is received).

or protected side. but snow dunes occur commonly in areas where precipitation is locally more abundant. as much as 5 meters in diameter. frequently blanket coastal deserts and block solar radiation.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 5 Mid-Latitude Deserts: Midlatitude deserts occur between 30° and 50° latitudes. As the monsoon crosses India. Deserts typically have a plant cover that is sparse but enormously diverse. The giant saguaro Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. roots. of the range. for example.Mexico desert vegetation on Earth.or salt-tolerant. Cataviña . Some store water in their leaves." refers to a wind system with pronounced seasonal reversal." derived from an Arabic word for "season. it loses moisture on the eastern slopes of the Aravalli Range. oceanic. These places owe their high aridity (the average annual precipitation is often less than 40mm) to being very far from the nearest available sources of moisture. Vegetation Most desert plants are drought. pole ward of the subtropical high pressure zones. The stems and leaves of some plants lower the surface velocity of sand-carrying winds and protect the ground from erosion. Polar Deserts: Polar deserts are areas with annual precipitation less than 250 millimeters and a mean temperature during the warmest month of less than 10° C. Air masses lose much of their moisture as they move over a mountain range. In the Atacama. Temperature changes in polar deserts frequently cross the freezing point of water. Coastal deserts are relatively complex because they are at the juncture of terrestrial. Monsoon Deserts: "Monsoon. The Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest has the most complex Flora of Baja California Desert. is the Earth's driest desert. The southeast trade winds of the Indian Ocean. and atmospheric systems. Monsoons develop in response to temperature variations between continents and oceans. The Rajasthan Desert of India and the Thar Desert of Pakistan are parts of a monsoon desert region west of the range. This "freeze-thaw" alternation forms patterned textures on the ground. in parts of the Kunlun Mountains and the Tibetan Plateau. A coastal desert. They are affected by cold ocean currents that parallel the coast. such as xerophytes. Rain-shadow Deserts: Rain shadow deserts are formed because tall mountain ranges prevent moisture-rich clouds from reaching areas on the lee.9106 . provide heavy summer rains in India as they move onshore. Montane deserts: Montane deserts are arid places with a very high altitude. produced by upwelling cold currents. Sand dunes are not prominent features in these deserts. CEPT University LA . measurable rainfall--1 millimeter or more of rain--may occur as infrequently as once every 5-20 years. Coastal Deserts: Coastal deserts generally are found on the edges of continents near the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. the most prominent example is found north of the Himalaya. These deserts are in interior drainage basins far from oceans and have a wide range of annual temperatures. Many locations within this category have elevations exceeding 3. and stems. the Atacama of South America. Polar deserts on the Earth cover nearly 5 million square kilometers and are mostly bedrock or gravel plains. Other desert plants have long tap roots that penetrate to the water table if present. Winter fogs. Even small fungi and microscopic plant organisms found on the soil surface can be a vital link in preventing erosion and providing support for other living organisms. Because local wind systems dominate the trade winds. A desert is formed in the leeside "shadow" of the range. these deserts are less stable than other deserts.000 meters. The Sonoran Desert of southwestern North America is a typical midlatitude desert.

Deserts may also have underground springs. rivers. streams fed considerable quantities of sediment for a day or two. Water Rain does fall occasionally in deserts. or reservoirs that lay close to the surface. Because these lakes are shallow and have a low bottom gradient. other types of plants have adapted well to the arid environment. Deserts sometimes contain valuable mineral deposits that were formed in the arid environment or that were exposed by erosion. The minerals formed in these evaporite deposits depend on the composition and temperature of the saline waters at the time of deposition. and the Yellow River are exotic rivers that flow through deserts to deliver their sediments to the sea. Although most deserts are in basins with closed or interior drainage. it erodes the desert rocks quickly and powerfully. improved. Lakes form where rainfall in interior drainage basins is sufficient. and desert storms are often violent. sulfate. and borates. lithium. Recent climate change has placed these reservoirs in an arid environment. lithium. or deep underground. A record 44 millimeters of rain once fell within 3 hours in the Sahara. salts (including sodium nitrate and sodium chloride). and scoria occur in arid regions. They include the pea and sunflower families.9106 . or preserved by geologic processes that occur in arid lands as a consequence of climate.they are constant yet slow. Water evaporating in closed basins precipitates minerals such as gypsum. deserts receive runoff from ephemeral. are presumed to be Aeolian in origin and are presently found in humid environments. Although cacti are often thought of as characteristic desert plants. Sodium carbonate. This leaching process concentrates these minerals as ore that can be mined. borate. or short-lived. and strontium compounds come from sediments and near-surface brines formed by evaporation of inland bodies of water. Aeolian processes are major factors in shaping desert landscapes. saguaro is 15 meters tall and weighs as much as 10 tons. Evaporation in arid lands enriches mineral accumulation in their lakes. CEPT University LA . mica. wind stress may cause the lake waters to move over many square kilometers. calcium. Bottom lands may be saltcovered flats. although the oil fields were originally formed in shallow marine environments. Other oil reservoirs. Mineral resources Some mineral deposits are formed. they leave a salt crust or hardpan. Nonmetallic mineral resources and rocks such as beryllium. The Nile River. and salty. nitrate. iodine. silt. The Atacama Desert of South America is unique among the deserts of the world in its great abundance of saline minerals. Such rivers infiltrate soils and evaporate large amounts of water on their journeys through the deserts. Cold deserts have similar features but the main form of precipitation is snow rather than rain. clays. and reflect minimal soil development and sparseness of vegetation. but their volumes are such that they maintain their continuity. Desert lakes are generally shallow. temporary. or sand encrusted with salt that forms is known as a playa. Being dry. Playas may be sources of mineral deposits formed by evaporation. Ground water leaches ore minerals and redeposits them in zones near the water table. often during geologically recent times. pumice. When the occasional precipitation does occur. Though little rain falls in deserts. bromine. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Plants that have not completely adapted to sporadic rainfalls in a desert environment may tap into underground water sources that do not exceed the reach of their root systems.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 6 cacti provide nests for desert birds and serve as "trees" of the desert. When fully grown. Desert Landscapes Deserts are often composed of sand and rocky surfaces. Exposures of rocky terrain are typical. a few deserts are crossed by 'exotic' rivers that derive their water from outside the desert. The flat area of clay. Saguaro grows slowly but may live 200 years. Sand dunes called ergs and stony surfaces called Reg or hamada surfaces compose a minority of desert surfaces. Some of the more productive petroleum areas on Earth are found in arid and semiarid regions of Africa and the Mideast. Sodium nitrate has been mined for explosives and fertilizer in the Atacama since the middle of the 19th century. When small lakes dry up. Winds are the other factor that erodes deserts . Cold deserts have grasses and shrubs as dominant vegetation. deserts are ideal places for human artifacts and fossils to be preserved. however. the Colorado River.

a process known as abrasion.9106 . transport.06-0. and are effective agents in regions with sparse vegetation and a large supply of unconsolidated sediments. Winds may erode. Although water is much more powerful than wind. Wind-driven grains abrade landforms. This depression may be a few metres to as much as a kilometer across. The remaining surfaces of arid lands are composed of exposed bedrock outcrops. wind can only remove dry deposits. and oases. CEPT University LA .Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 7 Sand covers only about 20 percent of Earth's deserts.2mm in diameter. and fluvial deposits including alluvial fans. In such a way. • Hamada deserts. Aeolian processes are important in arid environments such as deserts. as a result of which the land surface is lowered. Most of the sand is in sand sheets and sand seas. up to tens of meters high and kilometers long are streamlined by desert winds. the entire bed is lowered. The sand and rock of China's Turpan Depression Blow Outs Deflation basins. Nearly all desert surfaces are plains where Aeolian deflation has exposed loose gravels consisting predominantly of pebbles but with occasional cobbles. called yardangs. which comprise of plateau landforms. are usually angular. and • Badlands located at the margins of arid lands comprising of clay-rich soil. resulting in shallow depressions called blowouts. • Regs which consist of rock pavements. desert soils. Sand grains are rolled or skipped along the surface and comprise the bed load. Winnowing action of wind sorts these particles according to their sizes. and deposit materials. Sculpted landforms. playas. Almost half of Earth's desert surfaces are stony deflation zones and have desert pavement landscape. The famous sphinx at Giza in Egypt is believed to be a modified yardang. desert lakes. but the finer particles. Aeolian erosion By itself. in some cases up to one metre. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Larger particles are rounded. about 0. This process is known as deflation. Wind thus erodes the Earth's surface by deflation and abrasion. There are 6 forms of deserts: • Mountain and basin deserts. The rock mantle in desert pavements protects the underlying material. Aeolian Processes Aeolian processes pertain to the activity of the winds and are commonly referred to as wind erosion. called blowouts. become powerful agents of erosion. as a result of the turbulent eddy action of the wind. Bedrock outcrops commonly occur as small mountains surrounded by extensive erosional plains. Deflation is the lifting and removal of loose. The sand grains thus acquired by wind near the ground surface. are hollows formed by the removal of particles by wind. fine-grained particles. • Intermontane Basins. Grinding by particles carried in the wind creates grooves or small depressions and creates ventifacts. Abrasion is the wearing down of surfaces by the grinding action and sand blasting of windborne particles. Blowouts are also found on rock surfaces subjected to disintegration by weathering. • Ergs which are formed by sand seas.

but creep forward as they are pushed forward. Garden of Gods. Typical winds near Earth's surface suspend particles less than 0.9106 Department of Landscape Architecture.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 8 Undercutting is a marked feature of wind abrasion. Cathedral Spire. and creep.2 millimeters in diameter and scatter them aloft as dust or haze. left isolated near receding walls of escarpment. Rocks formed by undercutting are known as Pedestal Rock. Saltating grains hit larger grains that are too heavy to hop. Upward currents of air support the weight of suspended particles and hold them indefinitely in the surrounding air. Small particles may be held in the atmosphere in Suspension. and are transported at one-half to one-third the speed of the wind. Saltation moves small particles in the direction of the wind in a series of short hops or skips. A saltating grain may hit other grains that jump up to continue the saltation. Alcoves and caverns may be hollowed along the base of escarpments. Sand-size particles are lifted no more than one centimeter above the ground. Transportation generally follows the following pattern: Dust smaller particles Sand medium particles Pebbles larger particles Sandip Patil suspension saltation creep LA . USA Aeolian transportation Particles are transported by winds through suspension. Joints are attacked and opened up. forming outlines of Rock Towers or pinnacles. Surface creep accounts for as much as 25 percent of grain movement in a desert. USA Undercutting. Arches National Park. being most effective within 30-60 cms of the surface where saltating sand is abundant. CEPT University . saltation.

In the Thar Desert. Vegetation will start appearing. Some dust storms are intercontinental. the depth of these depressions is restricted by presence of underground water. Crops. and possibly even climates are affected by dust storms. while smaller ones saltate. They are expanses of horizontally laid Aeolian sand devoid of dunes. and occasionally they may engulf entire planets. ripples.000 square kilometers in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. gently undulating sandy plots of sand surfaced by grains that may be too large for saltation. the dune moves downwind. are common in arid lands and are thought to be related to very intense local heating of the air that result in instabilities of the air mass. where the coarsest materials are generally in the troughs. people. called dust devils. Aeolian Deposition Wind-deposited materials hold clues to past as well as to present wind directions and intensities. the air is deflected forward and sweeps up surface debris in its turbulence as a dust storm. Accumulations of sediment blown by the wind into a mound or ridge. This distinguishes small ripples from dunes. continued trampling of fine textured soils produces a blanket of dusty hot air that hangs over the region for a long period. Sand sheets are formed on borders of deserts having scanty vegetation. Dust from a single storm may be traced as much as four thousand kilometers away.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 9 Dust Storm Aeolian turbidity currents are better known as dust storms. Wind-blown sand moves up the gentle upwind side of the dune by saltation or creep. a few may circle the globe. The minimum height of a slipface is about 30 centimeters. Movement of sand may be suppressed by desert pavements. dunes have gentle upwind slopes on the wind-facing side. These features help us understand the present climate and the forces that molded it. As much as a thousand metric tones of dust may be suspended in a cubic kilometer of air. Dust devils may be as much as one kilometer high. However. When the buildup of sand accumulating at the top of the slipface at the brink exceeds the angle of repose. Sand sheets form approximately 40 percent of Aeolian depositional surfaces. creating the rare landscape of oasis. the particles of sand will bind together. Dunes may have more than one slipface. Oasis As sand is blown across flat desert plains. The average length of jumps during saltation corresponds to the wavelength. Air over deserts is cooled significantly when rain passes through it. which occupies 60. a small avalanche of grains slides down the slipface. Dust storms blowing over desert surfaces lift great quantity of fine dust into the air. The Selima Sand Sheet. the coarsest materials collect at the crests. In ripples. or distance between adjacent crests. is one of the Earth's largest sand sheets. and dunes. Pits generally display layers of two distinct grain sizes. Sand Sheets Sand sheets are flat. active dunes move over its surface. vegetation.9106 . They will be too heavy to be carried or picked up by wind. Wind-deposited sand bodies occur as sand sheets. the lee slope. villages. If a water soaked layer is reached. etc. Small whirlwinds. The downwind portion of the dune. Ripples Wind blowing on a sand surface ripples the surface into crests and troughs whose long axes are perpendicular to the wind direction. This cooler and denser air sinks toward the desert surface. The surface is usually rippled. and if the winds are sand-laden. and may extend upto nine kilometers into the atmosphere. Grain by grain. When it reaches the ground. even ripple formation is suppressed. is commonly a steep avalanche slope referred to as a slipface. This is due to the fact that larger grains are transported by creep. in others. Dunes are absent due to presence of strong winds. it may scour out hollows where the rocks are softer. of the ripples. The Selima is absolutely flat in some places. Oases are Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. CEPT University LA .

Oases are often the only places in deserts that support crops and permanent habitation.) Desert varnish often obscures the identity of the underlying rock. typically do not have varnish because they are too water soluble and therefore do not provide a stable surface for varnish to form. dust and other fine grained material by the wind and intermittent rain.05 mm. Varnish can be a prominent feature in many landscapes. Desert varnish forms only on physically stable rock surfaces that are no longer subject to frequent precipitation. Loess Loess is an accumulation of winnowed dust transported by wind. Wetting by dew is also important in the process. accumulations of loess are generally from 20 to 30 meters thick. The clay minerals represent the clays found locally in the region where the varnish develops. for example. 335 meters. Many are artificial. eg. Particles in loess vary between 0. Clay acts as a substrate to catch additional substances that chemically react together when the rock reaches high temperatures in the desert sun.9106 . fine quartzites and metamorphosed shales due to these rocks' relatively high resistance to weathering. composed dominantly of fine-grained clay minerals containing black manganese oxide and red iron oxide.01-0. or by irrigation. New Mexico. Loess Deposits Desert Varnish Desert varnish is a dark coating on rocks found in arid regions. dense and black varnishes form on basalt. Microscopic and observations show that a major part of varnish is clay which could only arrive by wind. This enrichment is thought to be caused by biochemical processes (many species of bacteria use manganese). It often coats canyon walls.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 10 vegetated areas moistened by springs. formed by the gradual removal of the sand. Desert Varnish Pteroglyphs have been created by chipping away varnish to expose lighter rock & thus draw. USA. interlocking angular or rounded rock fragments of pebble and cobble size. and different rocks have varying abilities to accept and retain varnish. Limestones. fracturing or sandblasting. Most of the dust carried by dust storms is in the form of silt-size particles. The thickest known deposit of loess. Some loess may be washed down by rain. wells. In Europe and in the Americas. 50 to 60 times more abundant than elsewhere. Black manganese oxide (birnesite) and red iron oxide (hematite) add color. CEPT University LA . Desert Pavement A desert pavement is a desert surface that is covered with closely packed. Frequently the stones are polished by the Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Wind over mountains entering plains. Desert varnish has a high concentration of manganese. although they are most common where wind loses velocity. (Photo: Indian Pteroglyph Park. is on the Loess Plateau in China. Earlier it was believed varnish was made from substances drawn out of the rocks it coats. Shiny.

becoming ventifacts. and on alluvial fans. and windward side until a smooth surface is upward migration of coarse particles by freezing/thawing cut. in dry wadis and Isolated pebbles or rock fragments lying terraces. on plateaus. or debris weathered from bedrock.9106 . Coarse fragments are alluvial pebbles. Diagram representing the various landscapes created in the deserts. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. more than one face is cut in.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 11 abrasion of wind-borne dust and may even be shaped by the wind. In young pavement areas. such as desert plains Dreikanter (Ventifacts) near bedrock outcrops. outer reaches of large fans and outwash flats. Desert pavements are only one or two fragments thick that form a mosaic in a matrix of fine sediment. means. low. many of the larger fragments are cobbles and boulders about 15 to 30 cm across or larger. CEPT University LA . Desert pavement surfaces are often coated with desert varnish. Evolution of the surface is on the desert surfaces are beveled on due to accretion And deflation due to wind action. seasonally. terraces and flood plains along drainage courses. arched fans. gravel. Desert pavements cover areas ranging from a few square meters to hundreds of square kilometers. water sorting. which protrude significantly above the surrounding terrain. and cobbles. and each pair meets in a sharp edge. Little vegetation is present except where soils have developed beneath the pavement. Such areas are commonly found on smaller fans. Exposed surfaces of the coarse fragments are commonly coated with desert varnish. They occur mostly in sand-poor regions. If the direction of wind changes or by wetting/drying cycles. or pebble is shifted by some Some older pavement areas are remarkably smooth and flat with no large fragments protruding above the surface.

or underground by flow or diffusion through rock or permeable material. Many playas contain shallow lakes in the winter. it sits on the surface until it evaporates. the lake will eventually disappear and leave a salt flat or playa. When the water evaporates. High salinity will also lead to a unique flora and fauna in the lake in question. If the layer of water is thin and is moved around the playa by the wind. generally the shore of. an endorheic lake. or remnant of. they are commonly ringed by salt-tolerant plants that provide critical winter fodder for herbivores. the minerals accumulate until the surface is white with it. Playa Playa is a dry lake-bed. where water pools when it rains. hard and smooth in the summer months. leaving the system only by evaporation. The Qattara Depression in the eastern Sahara desert contains many such traps. usually shining white under the sun. The crust of salt can conceal a quagmire of mud that can engulf a truck. but wet and very soft in the winter months.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 12 Desert Pavement Salt lake and evaporite basins in Qaidam Depression. either on the surface as rivers. Thicker layers of water can result in a "cracked-mud" surface. Playa consists of fine-grained sediments infused with alkali salts. an exceedingly hard and smooth surface can develop. CEPT University LA . Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. especially during wet years. Their surface is generally very dry. If the water is unable to drain into the ground.9106 . Over thousands of years. Salt pans can be dangerous. China (highest desert in the world) Salt pan Salt pan is a flat expanse of ground covered with salt and other minerals. While the playa itself will be devoid of vegetation. Any precipitation that falls in such a basin remains there permanently. it leaves behind whatever minerals were dissolved in it. A salt pan would be a lake or a pond if it was in a location in a climate where the rate of water evaporation wasn't faster than the rate of water precipitation. An endorheic basin is a watershed from which there is no outflow of water. If the amount of water flowing into a lake is less than the amount evaporated.

India. They are more common.9106 . Yardangs are classified on basis of size as: • Mega-yardangs can be several kilometers long and hundreds of meters high. Yardangs are elongate. As this reduces the capacity of the channel. Rajasthan. the channel will change Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. mildly cemented "cores" of sediment form the basis for the structure. In desert environments. Yardang A yardang is a rock ridge feature caused by wind and water erosion found in deserts and may form very unusual shapes. in yardangs the blunt. • Meso-yardangs are generally a few meters high and 10 to 15 meters long. with their long axis parallel to the Yardangs of Lut desert. steeper side is the windward side while the shallower slope is on the leeward side. • Micro-yardangs are only a few centimeters high. and can be found throughout the Sahara. or compound alluvial fan. leaving the core behind. Alluvial Fan An alluvial fan is a fan-shaped deposit formed where a fast flowing stream flattens. similar to the shape of a dune. However. One side is almost always steeper than the other. CEPT University LA . Owing to the slowing of flow any solid material carried by the water is dropped.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 13 A playa lake in the Thar Desert. A large concentration of mega-yardangs is found near the Tibesti Mountains in the central Sahara. Yardangs form as the result of preferential erosion of surrounding media. and spreads onto a flatter plain. (Largest on the earth) prevailing wind direction. Iran. Loose sediment surrounding the cemented section erodes faster. slows. A convergence of neighboring alluvial fans into a single apron of deposits against a slope is called a bajada.

gradually building up a slightly mounded or shallow conical fan shape. The deposits are in general poorly-sorted. are most conspicuous in basin-and-range-type desert areas throughout the world. There is frequently a sharp break of slope between the pediment and the steeper hillside above it. but if this is disturbed. Pediments. Its form is slightly concave. The angle of a pediment's slope is generally from 0. The water at this level is derived from water that has seeped through the fan and hit an impermeable layer that funneled the water to the base of the fan where it is concentrated and sometimes forms springs and seeps if the water is close enough to the surface. Pediment Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. CEPT University LA .9106 . the flow becomes turbulent and gullies develop.5° to 7°. The long-rooted plants are called phreatophytes. Water passes across the pediment by laminar sheet flow. sometimes mistaken for groups of merged alluvial fans. and it is typically found at the base of hills in arid regions where rainfall is irregular and intense for brief periods of time. Plants are often concentrated at the base of alluvial fans and many have long tap roots (30-50 feet) to reach water. Pediment Any relatively flat surface of bedrock (exposed or veneered with alluvial soil or gravel) that occurs at the base of a mountain or as a plain having no associated mountain is known as a pediment.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 14 direction over time.

it maintains the top. Ayer’s Rock. leaving behind plateaus capped by hard rock layers. and seen prominently in Monument Valley in USA. erosion strips away successive rock layers. known as an inselberg. Mesas and buttes are erosional landforms created by water. the rock in the upper cliff face breaks away along vertical joint fractures. This retained landform is butte. producing mesas. Australia Mesa In arid regions. and may collapse over a period of time. Mountains are reduced to a few large bedrock knobs projecting above surrounding pediment and sediment filled basin.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 15 Inselberg Weathering and dissection consumes almost all the mountains over a period of time. CEPT University LA . A mesa can also be described as a table topped plateau bordered on all sides by cliffs. When weakened. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Cliffs retreat near perpendicular surfaces since weak shale formations exposed at cliff base are rapidly washed away by storm runoff. Butte A mesa reduced in area by retreat of cliffs forming the rim.9106 .

gravel. The wing will continue to grow under both wind conditions.angle windward slope rising to a crest. a hill. there is an avalanche wherein the coarsest and roundest grains surface and travel farthest. The new wind direction will lead to the development of a new wing and the overdevelopment of one of the original wings. The long axes of these dunes extend in the resultant direction of sand movement. Dunes are classified on the basis of shape as: Transverse Dunes These dunes have a long. transverse and longitudinal Sand sheets in interdune and extradune areas Sand Dunes A dune is a mound or ridge of wind-blown sand rising to a definite summit or crest. This factor also dictates the shape of the dune. Ripple is a low angle climbing deposition seen over sand sheets and transverse dunes. They are thought to develop from barchans if a change of wind direction occurs. while the slope. low. They range up to 300 m in height and 300 km in length. is reduced to 30°. If the prevailing wind then becomes dominant for a lengthy period of time the dune will revert to its barchan form. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Should the strong wind then return the exaggerated wing will further extend so that eventually it will be supplied with sand when the prevailing wind returns. Many form in bidirectional wind regimes. protruding rocks or vegetation Dunes. The word 'dune' derives from a medieval Germanic word . Dunes also form under the action of water flow (alluvial processes). thus producing a seif dune. or rocky interdune corridors. Cross winds may form large ripples across slip-face. The largest crescentic dunes on Earth. known as slip-face. duration and direction of wind Texture of transportation and deposition surfaces Three main forms of sand deposition are: Sand Drifts in form of cliff shadow regions. A "dune field" is an area covered by extensive sand dunes. Some linear dunes merge to form Y-shaped compound dunes. with one exaggerated wing. caused by a larger dune having its smaller sides blown away. Dunes have a remarkable capability to collect sand from nearby areas. They may be more than 160 kilometers long. Longitudinal Dunes Longitudinal dunes elongate parallel to the prevailing wind. On a seif dune the slip face develops on the side facing away from the strong wind. Linear Dunes Straight or slightly sinuous sand ridges typically much longer than they are wide are known as linear dunes. extent and rate of erosion of sediment source Sizes of sand grains and associated fragments Strength. Linear dunes may occur as isolated ridges. Sand is transported over relatively hard and smooth interdune areas more readily than over dunes where wind experiences drag. CEPT University LA . on sand or gravel beds of rivers. They are sharp-crested and common in the Sahara. The "valley" or trough between dunes is called a slack."dun".Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 16 Sand Deposition Factors controlling the form of sand accumulations are: Nature. Some types of crescentic dunes move faster over desert surfaces than any other type of dune. but they generally form sets of parallel ridges separated by miles of sand. A group of dunes moved more than 100 meters per year in China's Ningxia Province. A much steeper leeward slope is formed by sand coming to rest at its natural angle of repose of about 34° in the wind shadow part. These dunes form under winds that blow from one direction. Thus saltating sand is blown obliquely towards existing dunes and intervening surface is swept bare. are in China's Taklamakan Desert. Mounds generally are wider than long. a series of smaller cresent shaped dunes known as barchans are formed. with mean crest-to-crest widths of more than 3 kilometers. When sand accumulates further. Bare dunes are subject to shifting location and size based on their interaction with the wind. They may migrate through continuous transport of sand. towards the leeward directions. estuaries and the sea-bed. If the sand is short in supply. The slipface is on the dune's concave side. variance. Crescentic Dunes The most common dune form on Earth is the crescentic.9106 .

Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 17 Star Dunes Radially symmetrical. Sometimes these dunes are called U-shaped.9106 . They dominate the Grand Erg Oriental of the Sahara. CEPT University LA . or hairpin dunes. They tend to accumulate in areas with multidirectional wind regimes. while the bulk of the sand in the dune migrates forward. star dunes are pyramidal sand mounds with slipfaces on three or more arms that radiate from the high center of the mound. particularly near topographic barriers. In the southeast Badain Jaran Desert of China. Barchans Longitudinal Dunes Parabolic Dunes Linear Dunes Transverse Dunes Star Dunes Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. they occur around the margins of the sand seas. The elongated arms of parabolic dunes follow rather than lead because they have been fixed by vegetation. Unlike crescentic dunes. Star dunes grow upward rather than laterally. the star dunes are up to 500 meters tall and may be the tallest dunes on Earth. Dome Dunes Oval or circular mounds generally lacking a slipface. blowout. their crests point upwind. dome dunes are rare and occur at the far upwind margins of sand seas. and they are well known in coastal deserts. In other deserts. Parabolic Dunes U-shaped mounds of sand with convex noses trailed by elongated arms are parabolic dunes.

Over millions of Delicate Arch. and eroded monoliths in the area. Lithified dunes A lithified (consolidated) sand dune is a type of sandstone that is formed when a marine or eolian sand dune becomes compacted and hardened. A crescentic dune with a star dune superimposed on its crest is the most common complex dune. Cross-bedded layers of stacks of lithified dunes can produce the cross-hatching patterns. These dunes typically have major and minor slipfaces oriented in opposite directions. this salt bed was deposited over the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when a sea flowed into the region and eventually evaporated. Some coastal areas have one or more sets of dunes running parallel to the shoreline directly inland from the beach. which is basically responsible for the arches and spires. and dune formation proceeds in the direction towards which the predominant wind direction is blowing. balanced rocks. Dunes provide privacy and shelter from the wind. while compound and complex dunes suggest that the intensity and direction of the wind has changed. their presence and growth playing a major part in river flooding. which can alter the hue of the rock. All these dune shapes may occur in three forms: simple. can lose sand to the wind. Sand Dune Arch Arches are a kind of desert formation found in the Arches National Park in USA. Dunes on the bed of a channel significantly increase flow resistance. Deposition may start when sand is trapped behind surface irregularities or vegetation. showing remarkable similarity in wavelength and height. Simple dunes are basic forms with a minimum number of slipfaces that define the geometric type. Once in this form. In most such cases the dunes are important in protecting the land against potential ravages by storm waves from the sea. These dunes most often form as a continuous 'train' of dunes. Dune types Sub-aqueous dunes Sub-aqueous (underwater) dunes form on a bed of sand or gravel under the actions of water flow. especially if the sand is fine. and also form in engineered canals and pipelines. Dunes move downstream as the upstream slope is eroded and the sediment deposited on the downstream or lee slope. Arches National Park. The national park lies atop an underground salt bed. USA Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Coastal dunes Dunes form on coasts where the backshore can support and onshore winds encourage the accumulation of sand blown inland from off a beach. Compound dunes are large dunes on which smaller dunes of similar type and slipface orientation are superimposed. and complex. Any part of the upper beach. sandstone fins. the largest complexes of dunes are found inland in dry regions and associated with ancient lake or sea beds. water passing through the rock can carry and deposit minerals.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 18 Reversing Dunes Occurring wherever winds periodically reverse direction. Simple dunes represent a wind regime that has not changed in intensity or direction since the formation of the dune. Thousands of feet thick in places. compound. Although the most widely distributed dunes are those associated with coastal regions.9106 . once dry. reversing dunes are varieties of any of the above shapes. and complex dunes are combinations of two or more dune types. CEPT University LA . They are commonly found in natural channels such as rivers and estuaries.

and repositioned itself. survived despite their missing sections. dunes may move tens of meters through such sheet flows. the cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. surface erosion stripped away the younger rock layers. It shifted. the salt bed was covered with residue from floods and winds and the oceans that came in intervals. and the salt bed below was no match for the weight of this thick cover of rock. falling down the steep slopes of the dunes that face away from the winds. Sand dunes move through a few different means. including numerous rare and endangered species. Conservation Dune habitats provide niches for highly specialized plants and animals. Some countries. With slightly stronger winds. Wind and water attacked these fins until. and folds of these layers. notably the USA and Great Britain have developed extensive programs of dune protection. forming arches.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 19 years.9106 . Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Desertification One of the biggest problems posed by sand dunes is their encroachment on human habitats. Winds later cleaned out the loose particles. much of which was compressed into rock. as well as alteration to prevent encroachment on inhabited areas. As this subsurface movement of salt shaped the earth. In a major dust storm. Salt under pressure is unstable. liquefied. One way that dunes can move is through saltation. Due to human population expansion dunes face destruction through recreation and land development. where sand particles skip along the ground like a rock thrown across a pond might skip across the water's surface. in some. causing sheet flows. sand avalanches. A series of free-standing fins remained. Over time water seeped into the superficial cracks. while others. Ice formed in the fissures. also moving the dunes forward. with the right degree of hardness and balance. thrusting the earth layers upward into domes. they may knock into other particles and cause them to skip as well. all of them helped along by wind. breaking off bits and pieces. When these skipping particles land. joints. particles collide in mid-air. buckled. expanding and putting pressure on surrounding rock. And like snow. Many damaged fins collapsed. CEPT University LA .

they brave the threat from predators and the harsh drought conditions.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 20 Annexure 1: Kalahari Desert Located in southern Africa. CEPT University LA . Some plants have even adapted to the drought conditions by germinating and producing seeds within four weeks of a rain shower.and is happy to share its home with up to a hundred other pairs of weavers. many head south at the beginning of the rainy season in October to avoid the flooding and search for the leaves and grasses that will provide them with essential moisture. In April. The rains of the northern Kalahari ensure the growth of African ebony. lowgrowing grasses typify the desert landscape of the southern Kalahari. In the central area. its high altitude at 500l. the tsamma is a vital creeping plant for animals seeking moisture. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Massive rippled sand dunes and vast. The white-browed sparrow weaver resourcefully makes grass stem nests over the prickly spikes of one species of acacia .9106 . carpeting the land with vegetation. In the hottest. providing food for the toughest or most adaptable desert animals. The Kalahari is the world's second largest protected area. Herds of wildebeest. and hence hunters such as wild dogs. The lush north also attracts herds of grazing animals. Although some herds may stay around the fringes of flood water.500m (l. while South Africa's Orange River is a southern boundary.the winter-thorn tree . most inhospitable regions. The sun bakes the Kalahari region for most of the year. With its melon-like fruit. hyenas and lions. thornbushes and acacia trees grow more abundantly. only plants with deeper or tuber-like roots manage to survive.000sq km (270. and begin their journey north again. featureless dry lakes make up much of the landscape. the Kalahari covers an area of over 700.600^4900ft) means that the coldest nights can be extreme. springbok. when food is more plentiful for their offspring. The breeding of many species coincides with the wet season. The whole area is essentially semi-desert and supports a surprising range of wildlife. South Africa and much of Botswana. eland and zebra travel vast distances through the Kalahari Desert.300sq miles). gemsbok. Plant Food and Shelter The scrubby terrain and clumps of tough. The highlands of Angola and the Okavango river valley form a border to the north. Stretching over parts of Namibia. Summer rains in the north bring life-giving water to the Okavango River which forms a swampy network of lakes and lagoons.

up to 46°C. for example of elephants for ivory. south much sparser than north Low rainfall. CEPT University LA . Heavier rains in the northern regions change local habitats. Now one of the two great African desert areas. Foragers find food. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. trees. lying deep in the mound away from danger. elephants. where the rest of the desert's softer soil and sand has eroded during the rainy months. giraffes and antelopes. Some of the older hunting traditions have Wildebeest are hunted by the San. Illegal hunting. Women and children gather fruit and nuts.9106 . The termites' muItichambered nests house several million members. hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari. These woodlands with their lush vegetation attract wonderfully varied wildlife. Global warming is a possible future danger for plant and animal species. grasses. At the heart of this empire lies the immense single queen. as well as roots and tubers from desert plants. and have airconditioned towers and an elaborate system of interconnecting underground tunnels. extensive sandy plains. fig and the ancient baobab tree with its many trunks. Huge termite mounds a few metres high break up the sparse southern landscape of the Kalahari. termites organize a division of labour with strictly defined duties. HABITAT CLIMATE BIODIVERSITY HABITAT Semi-arid. They survived by gathering food and hunting game on foot with simple hunting tools. hottest period December-March. If the floodplains of the Okavango delta north of the Kalahari are inundated. especially in the north Stable The lack of regular rain has always posed a challenge to the San or Bushmen of the Kalahari. such as lions. dunes and salt pans. who have replaced the traditional poison-tipped arrow with the shotgun. In their highly structured societies. soldiers protect the colony from attack and nurses tend the young. is a problem even the Danger of Flooding. many species will be seriously affected. scrub. In some areas they form island towers of baked earth.-14°C at coldest Great range of adaptable wildlife. construction workers help build and repair the nest.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 21 sycamore. the delicate balance of the region and its wildlife will be upset. such as bows and arrows with poisoned tips. the Kalahari was fertile in prehistoric times.

night temperatures plummet. it reaches north into Angola and south into South Africa. it eats the bag and embarks on a frenzy of feeding and mating. As soon as enough rain falls. CEPT University LA . Special pores open to receive condensed fog water which is then routed quickly to the stem for storage. Living in the dunes. an antelope adapted to survive in drought conditions. the Namib Desert is a land of contrasts. The golden wheel spider escapes its predators by tucking itself into a ball and rolling down a dune away from trouble.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes Annexure 2: Namib Desert 22 The Namib is a long. The sun beats down by day but without the cover of cloud to trap the day's heat. Washed by the Atlantic Ocean. sometimes for years. the lion. But perhaps the most specialized of all is Grant's golden mole which is found nowhere else. But it is the reptiles that predominate here. they bend their heads to the sand and wait for the fog's moisture to condense into droplets on their bodies and roll down to their mouths. the gerbi! and the springbok.000 years and grows nowhere else. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Few amphibians can tolerate the dry desert but the African bullfrog copes by burying itself in the mud of a drying river bed and sleeping. It is one of the most arid places on earth but not the hottest. The antlion larva digs pits in the sort sand and waits for ants to drop in to supply it with lunch. Facing the sea. Many desert plants' seeds have a special coating that keeps them viable underground. Among the most ingenious of the Namib's invertebrates are the dune beetles. wrapped in a bag thai it excretes from its skin. If an ant tries to escape it is blasted with sand. Dotted ail over the desert is the welwitschia.300km long and 30-140km wide on the southwestern coast of Africa. They leave their hideyholes on cold. The Kuiseb River divides the rocky plains of the north from the sands of the south which contain some of the world's tallest dunes. which is thought to live for up to 2. foggy mornings to climb to the top of a dune. narrow coastal desert 1. moves into the Namib to prey on the newborn pups of the Cape fur seal. only a really good soaking will wash the coating off and allow them to sprout. The secret of their success is the ability to wait for rain or to store enough moisture to keep them going. It is often years before they come alive but when they do the desert is briefly turned into a blaze of colour. closely followed by brown hyenas and jackals who squabble over the leftovers. Covering the entire coastline of Namibia.9106 . A surprising number of plants grow in the Namib. such as the shovel-nosed lizard which has fringed feel to help it move easily across the sand. Few mammals are year-round residents of the Namib but those that tough it out include the short-tailed rock hare. this insecl eater is an expert burrower which seems to swim through the sand. the cold ocean currents and sea fogs acting as cooling agents. During November and December Africa's largest carnivore.

000 sq km. sending down a root in just one day and growing rapidly. Until its independence in 1990. Namibia was controlled by South Africa which resettled some of its black population along the northeastern fringes of the Namib Desert. it extends from the Angolan border in a narrow strip along the length of the Skeleton Coast to an area around Walvis Bay. like Gray's lark. The Skeleton Coast was so named because bones of shipwrecked sailors once scattered its shores. South of Walvis Bay the park extends inland to encompass some of the semiarid regions and as far south as Luderitz. Much of the Namib Desert is now a national park known as the Namib-Naukluft. But the real master of disguise is the bustard. annual average 16-18°C{61-64°n. which has several other features that equip it for life in the Namib. In the south along the Diamond Coast problems still exist for the dune animals as mining for precious gems and uranium continues to put pressure on them. CEPT University LA . But probably its biggest asset is the ability to see through the camouflage of prey and predators. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. It is equally at home in the heat and cold and. the park is home to a research institute to study the wildlife.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 23 The plumage of most birds living in such an open habitat has to act as camouflage against predators like chanting goshawks and other raptors. by which time overexploitation of the land by the new settlers resulted in much of it becoming useless. Due to the persuasive powers of an entomologist studying Namib beetles. At nearly 50. Difficult to see until it moves is the dune-dwelling Gray's lark. it may then not grow again for years. The elephant's foot plant germinates during storms. One of its effects was the decline of some of the desert's wildlife including Ruppell's bustard.9106 . This policy continued until the end of the 1970s. eats almost anything without the need to drink. Nights much cooler Many endemic species of flora and fauna specially adapted to cope with arid conditions. HABITAT CLIMATE BIODIVERSITY Sandy and gravelly coastal desert Maximum temperature 35°C (95°F) in high summer.

Spain • Bledowska Desert – Lesser Poland Voivodeship. • Taklamakan – Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. • Namib – desert in southern Africa.9106 . Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. • Great Basin desert. • Kara Kum – deserts in Central Asia. • Dasht-e Lut – southeastern Iran. • Chihuahuan desert.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 24 Annexure 3: A list of major deserts of the world Africa: • Sahara – in northern Africa. The world's largest desert after Antarctica. Asia: • Gobi – desert of Mongolia. North America: • Mojave desert. • Ordos – desert of China. Middle East: • Al-Dahna Desert – west of the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia • Dasht-e Kavir – central Iran. Antarctica: • Antarctica The interior of the continent is the world's largest desert. CEPT University LA . South Australia Europe: • Tabernas Desert – Almería. • Empty Quarter. Georgia Latin America: • La Guajira Desert – in northern Colombia and some of northwestern Venezuela. • Thar-Cholistan desert in India and Pakistan. • Nefud Desert – northern Saudi Arabia • Negev – southern Israel • Desert of Sin / Zin Desert (Bible usage) – Sinai Peninsula. • Sonoran desert. • Taklamakan – desert in China. • Atacama – desert in Chile. The driest desert on Earth. • Kalahari – desert in southern Africa. Arabian Peninsula – the world's largest sand desert • Judean Desert – eastern Israel and West Bank. • Patagonian Desert. • Kyzyl Kum – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Australia: • Gibson Desert – central Australia • Great Sandy Desert – northwestern Australia • Great Victoria Desert – central Australia • Simpson Desert – central Australia • Tanami Desert – northern Australia • Little Sahara – Kangaroo Island. Poland • Pooma Desert Holland • Davit Gareji – Kakheti.

9106 . or indirectly. wind profile is computed from drift rate and the theoretical speed of ascent) Weather vane (used to indicate wind direction) Windsock (primarily used to indicate wind direction. with rotating cups. These included Boreas. Euros. Palestine. Notos. either directly. In modern usage.g. may also be used to estimate wind speed by its angle) Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. fresh northerly wind across west central Africa) (northeasterly wind across the Philippines) (a violent wind on Cuba's southern coast) (northeasterly from eastern Europe to Italy) (warm dry westerly off the Rocky Mountains) (northerly across Greece and Turkey) (warm dry southerly off the northern side of the Alps and the North Italy) (afternoon sea breeze from the Indian Ocean which cools Perth during summer) (south wind in the Absheron Peninsula) (northeasterly from Greece) (southwesterly wind across the Philippines) (dry northerly wind across central Africa) (in northern Carpathians) (southeasterly from north Africa to the eastern Mediterranean) (cold north wind in the Absheron Peninsula) (strong and cold southeasterly season wind in Serbia) (easterly through Strait of Gibraltar) (southwesterly towards Italy) (south-easterly from Mediterranean to France) (cold northerly from central France and the Alps to Mediterranean) (eastern United States) (Brings rain to the West New Zealand. the four winds were personified as gods. Jordan.g. many local wind systems have their own names. For example: Alizé Alizé Maritime Amihan Bayamo Bora Chinook Etesian/Meltemi Föhn Fremantle Doctor Gilavar Gregale Habagat Harmattan Halny Khamsin Khazri Kosava Levanter Libeccio Marin Mistral Nor'easter Nor'wester Santa Ana winds Simoom Sirocco Southerly Buster Tramontane Vendavel Zonda wind (northeasterly across central Africa and the Caribbean) (a wet. and Arabia) (southerly from north Africa to southern Europe) (rapidly arriving low pressure cell that dramatically cools Sydney during summer) (cold northwesterly from Pyrenees or northeasterly from Alps to the Mediterranean) (westerly through Strait of Gibraltar) (on the eastern slope of the Andes in Argentina) Annexure 5: Meteorological instruments to measure wind speed and/or direction Anemometer (measures wind speed. called the Anemoi. CEPT University LA . desert wind that blows in the Sahara. dry. and Zephyros. Syria. as evidenced by the Tower of the Winds in Athens. e. e. balloon position is tracked from the ground visually or via radar. The Ancient Greeks also observed the seasonal change of the winds.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 25 Annexure 4: Names for specific winds in certain regions In ancient Greek mythology. and warm dry winds to the East New Zealand) (southern California) (strong. via pressure differences or the propagation speed of ultrasound signals) Rawinsonde (GPS-based wind measurement is performed by the probe) Weather balloon (passive measurement.

Alashan Plain.9106 . Namib Desert.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 26 Annexure 6: World’s Highest Dunes Height from Base (meters) 465 383 230 105 280 500 2. Colorado. China Notes Highest in Africa Highest in North America Highest in Europe Highest in Australia World's Tallest Dunes? Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture.020 Dune Highest Dune Big Daddy/ Dune 7 Star Dune Dune of Pilat Mount Tempest Badain Jaran Dunes Height from Sea Level (meters) ~1.730 130 280 2.980 Location Isaouane-n-Tifernine Sand Sea. Algerian Sahara Sossuvlei Dunes. Brisbane. USA Bay of Arcachon. France Moreton Bay. Aquitaine. Inner Mongolia. Namibia Great Sand Dunes National Park. CEPT University LA . Gobi Desert. Australia Badain Jaran Desert.

CEPT University LA .org • www. and contain references from internet. American Association of Adavancement of Science Caltech Desert processes working group. (unpublished) • Prabhu M. United States Geological Service..aaas.Geology & Geomorphology Wind Action & Desert Landscapes 27 Bibliography Book References: • Tarbuck J. movie based on animal studies in the Kalahari Desert CEPT University Seminar Reports: • Verma Praveen K.edu • www. Deserts: Changing Landscapes sandblasted by winds.gov • www. Wind Action & Desert Landscape.com Atlas of Population and Environment.usgs.caltech.. Earth Science. Funny People.army.tec. (unpublished) • Bade Kanchan. Knowledge Sciences Inc. (unpublished) • Gulawani Ameeta.wikipedia.. • Strange Worlds.atlas. (unpublished) Internet References: • www. (unpublished) • Puri. • Wonders of the World. Reader’s Digest • Duff. Holmes’ Principles of Geology. Sandip Patil Department of Landscape Architecture. Wind Erosion & Desert Landscapes. Acknowledgement is made for the same. and others. publications Free online encyclopaedia Articles on Wikipedia are contributed by various users. Anuradha. Deserts: Geology & Resources.9106 . Wind Actions & Related Forms.mil • www. published and unpublished sources. Amazing Places • Wildlife Cards • Gaia Atlas of Planet Management Media References: • Director.