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Aeolian process HTML5


This animation presents a desert landscape, made up of rocks and sand, which, under the action of the wind, is shaped into a rock desert (reg) and a dune desert (erg).

In deserts, the principal agent of erosion and transport of material is the wind. If the wind can act so effectively to erode and to transport particles, this is because there is neither humidity nor vegetation  to retain  and stabilize materials. The wind that sweeps the surface of the ground thus easily carries particles of the size of sand grains, but does not have the energy  needed to lift or displace larger particles. Thus, the larger particles become progressively more concentrated as sand is removed, resulting in a sort of pavement that covers the sand and so stabilizes it.


Learning goals

  • T o understand the formation of two Moroccan landscapes:  the reg  (a rocky desert landscape) and  the erg (a sand dune field)
  • To understand  that the wind sculpts the landscape by displacing fine particles (aeolian transport) then depositing them in a different location (sedimentary deposition).
  • To understand that the displacement of sedimentary particles depends on their size.