Work of Winds

  • Wind is capable of picking up loose debris, and transporting it to another location. This process is known as wind erosion.
  • The action of wind is most prevalent in the deserts.
  • On the basis of their surface and the type of soil covering it, deserts may be of three types. These are Sandy deserts, Stony deserts, and Rocky deserts.
  • Sandy deserts are covered with sand and are characterised by extensive sand dunes.
  • Stony deserts are covered with boulders, small stones and gravel. The fine sand has been blown away.
  • Rocky deserts are characterised by a surface of bare rock. All stones and sand have been removed by the wind.
  • Wind erosion occurs by two processes deflation, and abrasion.
  • Deflation is the process when wind picks up and blows away particles of sand and dust. The surface of coarse material is left as a result of removal of fine material.
  • Abrasion takes place when wind carries sand particles and drives them against objects in its path. The friction with sand particles causes erosion in those objects.
  • Features formed by the erosional work of wind are rock pedestal, zeugens, and yardangs.
  • Rock pedestal are developed when rock masses are attacked by wind abrasion and take various shapes. Rock is eroded more at the base. These are also known as mushroom rock as it resembles a mushroom.
  • Zeugens are found in the areas having surface layer of hard rock underlain by a layer of soft rock. Wind abrasion in these areas converts the desert into a “ridge and furrow” landscape.
  • Yardangs are formed in the deserts due to wind abrasion. Yardangs are formed when bands of hard and soft rocks lie parallel to the prevailing winds.
  • The soil transported by wind to the different regions of the earth’s surface is known as loess.
  • Sand dunes are formed as a result of deposition by wind. Dunes are common in all sandy regions, deserts and beaches. Sand dunes move gradually in the direction of prevailing winds.
  • Types of sand dunes are barchan dunes, and seif dunes.
  • Barchan dune is the most common type of sand dune. It has a crescent shape.
  • Seif dunes are long ridges of sand generally parallel to the prevailing wind. They are also called longitudinal dunes.
  • Thus, the work of wind shapes the topography of the deserts to a large scale.

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