Aeolian Sand Deposits

  • Henrik HargitaiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9213-9_3-1

Keywords

Granular Material Sand Dune Aeolian Sand Sand Transport Aeolian Deposit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Definition

Windblown and deposited granular material with particle sizes of 0.0625–2 mm.

Category

A type of aeolian deposit.

Note

This entry discusses sand deposits in general; details on bedforms and other aeolian deposits can be found in the appropriate entries.

Subtypes

Subtypes by organization:
  1. (1)
    Bedforms
    1. (1.1)
       
    2. (1.2)
       
    3. (1.3)
       
     
  2. (2)
     
  3. (3)

    Drift deposits (Greeley et al. 2002)

     

Subtypes by Deposit Hierarchy

Sand systems are self-organized into a hierarchy of superimposed sand patterns (bedforms) (Lancaster 1995). These forms are in a state of quasi equilibrium state; they cannot grow into a form belonging to another hierarchical order (Sharp 1963).

Scales of aeolian sand bedforms:
  1. (1)

    Ripples (from smaller aerodynamic and larger impact ripples to megaripples): They are controlled by reptation flux (Anderson 1987).

     
  2. (2)

    (Simple/elementary/basic) dunes. Their formation is controlled by long-term wind trends.

     
  3. (3)

    Mega-dunes (giant, draa, compound, or complex dunes).

     

Formation

They are produced by the interaction between a fluid (shearing flow at the atmospheric boundary layer) and a granular material (sand) (Lancaster 1995, p. 44). With the exception of impact ripples, whose formation is controlled by grain impacts, all patterns form by aerodynamic instability, controlled by hydrodynamics. Sand grains are deposited where winds weaken below the sand transport threshold or where they are sheltered from the wind by a topographic obstacle. For details, see aeolian deposits, dune, and ripple.

Composition

Prominent Examples

The northern circumpolar sand sea (Erg) on Mars (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1

Frost-covered north polar barchan field, Mars. Scale bar 500 m. HiRISE ESP_016036_2650 (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Distribution

Aeolian sand dune systems are known to occur on Earth, Mars (Figs. 1 and 2), Venus, and Titan in a variety of atmospheric pressures, gravitational accelerations, grain and fluid compositions, and densities. Time and size scales may be largely different, but the dynamic processes are governed by the physics of the flow of liquids and erosion of bedrock which is consistent, scalable, and predictable. For this reason, the resulting landforms (dune morphologies) are similar (Bourke et al. 2010; Radebaugh et al. 2010).
Fig. 2

Transverse ridges (Gardin et al. 2012) west of Hellas Basin, Mars. Scale bar 500 m. HiRISE ESP_016036_1370 (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Regional Variations

Terrestrial Analog

Volcaniclastic aeolian sand deposits in Iceland (Baratoux et al. 2011; Edgett and Lancaster 1993).

History of Investigation

Dunes on Mars were first recognized on Mariner 9 images in the early 1970s; dunes on Venus were identified from Magellan Mapping Mission (1990–1991). Dunes on Titan were mapped by Cassini Mission radar (2005–).

Database

See Also

References

  1. Anderson RS (1987) A theoretical model for aeolian impact ripples. Sed. 34:943–956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  7. Lancaster N (1995) Dune morphology and morphometry. In: Geomorphology of desert dunes. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. Radebaugh J, Lorenz R, Farr T, Paillou P, Savage C, Spencer C (2010) Linear dunes on Titan and Earth: initial remote sensing comparison. Geomorphology 121:122–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planetary Science Research GroupEötvös Loránd University, Institute of Geography and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary