The Critical Zone

Wind Processes and Landforms


Wind can be an effective geomorphic agent. Obviously, the presence of regular and/or strong wind is required for a specific landscape to be dominated by wind erosion and deposition, but various physical properties are also important. For example, regions showing a paucity of vegetation or preponderance of unconsolidated sediment are more susceptible to wind erosion.

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Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, southern Utah. The modern eolian dunes in the foreground consist of material eroded from the Navajo Sandstone, rock formed from ancient dunes that existed in the region some 200,000,000 years ago—a natural example of recycling!
Credit: Tim White, n.d.

Reading assignment

Complete the following reading assignments:

  1. The adjective "eolian" is used to describe processes of wind erosion and deposition and the resultant deposits and landscapes. Please visit and study the following hyperlink to learn about eolian processes and landforms. Be sure to leave the site having grasped concepts covering the relationship between velocity, entrainment and transport, and the variety of erosional and depositional eolian landforms.
  2. For more detail and good imagery of dune fields check out Pattern Indicators in: