Aeolian Sand Deposits
KeywordsGranular Material Sand Dune Aeolian Sand Sand Transport Aeolian Deposit
Windblown and deposited granular material with particle sizes of 0.0625–2 mm.
A type of aeolian deposit.
This entry discusses sand deposits in general; details on bedforms and other aeolian deposits can be found in the appropriate entries.
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).
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.
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–).
- Greeley R, Bridges NT, Kuzmin RO, Laity JE (2002) Terrestrial analogs to wind-related features at the viking and pathfinder landing sites on Mars. J Geophys Res 107:E1. doi:10.1029/2000JE001481Google Scholar
- Lancaster N (1995) Dune morphology and morphometry. In: Geomorphology of desert dunes. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar