Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Aeolian Ripple

  • Sharon A. WilsonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_462


Small (centimeter to meter wavelength) aeolian bedforms, commonly occurring in trains, created by the mobilization and accumulation of sand-sized grains into roughly parallel ridges that are typically oriented transverse to the direction of the wind.


A type of  ripple; A type of  aeolian deposit; A type of  bedform


Ripples are small, regularly repeated depositional bedforms consisting of sand-sized grains that develop almost anywhere that sand and wind occur together (Greeley and Iversen 1985). Ripples generally form transverse to the wind direction and their straight to slightly sinuous crests generally end or bifurcate within a few meters (Greeley and Iversen 1985, p. 149). Aeolian ripples have wavelengths from 0.01 to 20 m, heights from a few mm to 1 m, and indices between 12 and 50 (Leeder 1982). Unlike dunes, ripples lack slip faces (Thomas 1989; Greeley and Iversen 1985). The coarsest and finest grains are concentrated at the crests and troughs,...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Earth and Planetary StudiesSmithsonian Institution, National Air and Space MuseumWashingtonUSA