Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2005 Edition
| Editors: Maurice L. Schwartz

Eolian Processes

  • Patrick A. Hesp
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3880-1_137

Eolian processes are those processes relating to, or caused by the wind. The term eolian comes from the Greek Aeolus, the God of Wind. Eolian (aeolian—non-US equivalent) processes include the transportation and movement of sediments (particularly sand, clay, and silt), erosion of sediments, rocks and landforms, and the creation of dunes, sheets, and landforms. Eolian processes are most common on coasts and in arid environments, particularly hot and cold deserts.

Eolian sand transport is initiated when the wind velocity exceeds a critical threshold velocity. The threshold velocity required to initiate clay and silt transport is far greater than that of sand due to their platy nature and cohesive forces, but once motion is initiated, fine grained material (particularly silt) may stay in suspension for a considerable time period. Three main forms of grain transport take place, creep, saltation, and suspension. Creep refers to the movement of grains by rolling over the surface. Saltation...

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  1. 1.
    Coastal Hoodoos (see Beach Processes)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Coastal ProcessesGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Desert CoastsGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dune Calcarenite (See Eolianite)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dune RidgesGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ripple MarksGoogle Scholar

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© Springer 2005

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  • Patrick A. Hesp

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