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Aeolian Processes 1

In the wind dominated environments, denudation is a dominant process in all geomorphic systems. Increasing aridity in these environments can lead to desertification. Within these arid lands, the wind action produces dust storms.which can be exacerbated by changing wind systems related to climate change. Although wind is the dominant process, surface runoff is likely to occur within ten minutes of the start of a rain storm. This may initially be in the form of a sheet flood where the water flows evenly over the land and is not confined to channels. Much of the sand, gravel and pebbles covering the deserts are believed to have been deposited by this process yet, as the event has rarely been witnessed, it is though that deposition by sheet floods, occurred mainly during earlier wetter periods called pluvial.

Sandstorms can occur during periods of high wind energy, when the sand is blown to high distances, decreasing visibility. This can cause a public health problem.

Click here to listen to a podcast of a sandstorm.


   Stop and Think!

Look at the flash below and explain how the process of a sandstorm. List the problems caused by sandstorms.

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The pictures show a developing sandstorm in Gansu Province, China, Photo by M.Jin, 2005.