Aeolian landform

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Aeolian landforms are features of the Earth's surface produced by either the erosive or constructive action of the wind. This process is not unique to the Earth, and it has been observed and studied on other planets, including Mars.[1]


The word derives from Æolus, the Greek god of the winds, and the son of Hellen and the nymph Orseis, and a brother of Dorus, Xuthus and Amphictyon.[2]


Sand blowing off a crest in the Kelso Dunes of the Mojave Desert, California.

In aeolian processes, wind transports and deposits particles of sediment. Aeolian features form in areas where wind is the primary source of erosion. The particles deposited are of sand, silt and clay size. The particles are entrained in by one of four processes. Creep occurs when a particle rolls or slides across the surface. Lift occurs when a particle rises off the surface due to the Bernoulli effect. If the airflow is turbulent, larger particles are transported by a process known as saltation. Finally, impact transport occurs which one particle strikes another causing the second particle to move.[2]

Erosional landforms[edit]

Wind eroded landforms are rarely preserved on the surface of the Earth except in arid regions. Elsewhere, moving water erases the aeolian landforms. There are several types of landforms associated with erosion: lag deposits, ventifacts, yardangs and pans. Large basins are complex and there is often one or more non-aeolian process at work, including tectonics, glacial and alluvial forces.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ L. Archie, Ms. Deithra. "Aeolian Processes and Landforms" (PDF). New Mexico State University. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Aeolian landform". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2008-08-06.