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find more resources at oneclass.com Lecture 9: Desert Features and Landforms Wind and Pressure Systems -

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Lecture 9: Desert Features and Landforms

Wind and Pressure Systems

  • - The Earth’s wind system is driven by pressure difference from place to place

  • - Low pressure system are much more buoyant and forces air to rise which leads to rainfall

  • - High pressure system has no or little rainfall

  • - Global pressure belts

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Equatorial low pressure (0-20 degrees latitude)

  • Hot or warm air that is forced to rise

  • Condenses to form rain and so they are characterized by

dense vegetation and heavy rainfall

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Subtropical high pressure (25-35 degrees latitude)

  • Characterized by cold air mass or cooler air mass, which is denser and forced to the surface of the Earth, results in low rainfall

  • By doing so, it compresses the air on the surface of the Earth making it hot or warm

  • Many deserts are formed along the latitude of 30 degrees north and south of the equator, a zone formed by high pressure systems which forces air to descend and create complications in the upper atmosphere

  • Resulting in lower rainfall

  • Where there is a cold current, the nearby land will be a

desert

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  • Warm air mass brings a lot of rainfall, cold air is dry conditions Sub-arctic low pressure (45-65 degrees latitude)

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Polar high (beyond 70 degrees latitude)

Why do Deserts Exist? Latitudinal location

  • - Many deserts are formed along the latitude of 30 degrees north and south of the equator

  • - Forces air to descend and create complication in the upper atmosphere

  • - High pressure systems bring no or little rainfall

  • - Many of the deserts are formed on this latitude Rain shadow desert

    • - Formed on the leeward side of the mountain

    • - Moisture bearing wind systems that blow from the Indian Ocean and often intercepted by the Himalayas

    • - Rains heavily on the windward side of the Himalayas, whereas the leeward side has no or little rainfall

    • - Often characterized by the low rainfall, dry conditions and grass vegetation

find more resources at oneclass.com Lecture 9: Desert Features and Landforms Wind and Pressure Systems -

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Interior deserts - Influenced by cold ocean currents - Brings low rainfall Desert Landforms Desert lake

Interior deserts

  • - Influenced by cold ocean currents

  • - Brings low rainfall

Desert Landforms Desert lake or playa lake

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  • - If too much rainfall occurs in the lakes, it becomes devoid of water

  • - May cover a wide area but it is never deep

  • - Most water evaporates leaving behind a layer of salt or the dry depression

  • - If water is found in a depression, it is called a desert lake Flash floods

    • - Found in deserts after intense or heavy precipitation

    • - Rainfall is sudden, intense or run over compacted soil

Pediments

  • - Veneer size layer of rocks and stones

  • - Overlying features are pushing beneath, the underlying rocks

  • - Desert pavement: all stones that are left behind and the rest are blown by the wind

  • - Small stones are left behind forming a broad gently sloping surface

  • - There are particles too big to be airborne and form a sheet or veneer layer Bajadas

    • - Loose sediments eroded from the valley horse and deposited in the low lying area

    • - Gently sloping depositional feature which extends outward from the base of mountains

    • - Different “alluvia fan” (loose particle of sand) will converge into a broad lane, gently smoothening Alluvia fan is different from pediment

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Desert Features Mesa

  • - Flat land “table tops”

  • - Smaller flat land that is detached from a mainland due to a lateral erosion of rivers

  • - A flat top mountains shaped like a table Plateau

    • - Flat land “table tops”

    • - Broad and elevated

    • - Has a continuous area coverage

Butte

  • - Flat land “table tops”

  • - The smallest steep, flat top hill which is separated from the mainland Pinnacle

    • - Spire, sharp pointed hill, looks like the tip of the soil

    • - The Pinnacle Desert, one of Australia’s best known landscapes

    • - One of the features that is found in the Australian desert

    • - Series of hard and resistant rock which is left behind after wind erosion

Interior deserts - Influenced by cold ocean currents - Brings low rainfall Desert Landforms Desert lake

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find more resources at oneclass.com - The ones that remain are hard and resistant to erosion,

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  • - The ones that remain are hard and resistant to erosion, the others are soft and resistant Yardangs

    • - Win abraded ridge found in a desert environment

    • - Converse/gently sloping

    • - Left behind after erosion

    • - Known as the hull-shaped where the steep face in the windward direction and the gentle face is the leeward side

    • - Leeward side is gently sloping

    • - With constant wind motion, the loose materials are carried by the wind

    • - It is possible to have a series of yardangs in the desert area

    • - If you have two yardangs, the land in between will be soft and easily erodible, erode vertically, mixed between hard eroded rock and soft rock

    • - Rock pedestal: rocks formed by win “eddies” (mushroom shaped rock) – a wind system closer to the ground and once it strikes into the bases, it diverts outward and creates an erosion

    • - Hard resistant rocks and soft rocks are arranged horizontally

Loess

  • - A sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt, equal parts of sand and silt that are loosely cemented by calcium carbonate

Wind Erosion and Transportation Deflation

  • - Loose sediments are lifted and carried by wind and transported from one location to another

  • - Very light sediments are easily eroded

  • - Wind uses its sheer force or velocity to life, loosen unconsolidated particles from the surface and transports them to a new location

  • - Water creates a bond between two particles

  • - A bit of water and vegetation can impede deflation

Abrasion

  • - Sediments that are transported by wind, held against rock surfaces as particles collide with rocks chip and peel loose sediments

  • - This results in the formation of ventifact (a rock with small holes) which has small depressions, constant bombardment of particles Wind transportation

    • - Loose sediments can be lifted and transported by wind systems

  • - Suspension, very find particle can be airborne Dust storm

    • - Dust bow

    • - What do you do if you have lots of dust coming at 75km/hr

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Cover your face and eyes

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Can hide under a overhanging rock or cave

  • - Chatter mark: chipping of a bedrock surface by rock fragments carried in the base of a glacier

find more resources at oneclass.com - The ones that remain are hard and resistant to erosion,

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Depositional Landforms Sand dunes find more resources at oneclass.com - Barchan dunes Crescent shaped dunes o

Depositional Landforms Sand dunes

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  • - Barchan dunes Crescent shaped dunes

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Has two edges in direction of prevailing wind that are formed by 1

  • Once they’re airborne, it will be airborne for a short distance

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single obstacle which occurs in the path of the prevailing wind Has a gently sloping surface which rises to the crust and a slip face

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which is steep Suspension is a major transportation in the desert

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Saltim: a kind of movement of sediment that is slightly heavier than

powdery sediment

  • Based on the strength of the wind

  • As it moves upward, it begins to curve down

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  • Move from higher point to lower point before being deposited on the surface Traction: stones and rocks that are too heavy to be airborne that

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are pushed and tossed over the surface Dunes: mount or ridges of sediment deposits

  • - Transverse dunes Large fields of dunes that resemble sand ripples on a large scale

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Regions of sediment deposits which are arranged perpendicular to

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the direction of the prevailing wind Ripples are at face of the prevailing wind

  • - Parabolic dunes Also called blowout U shaped dunes Often occurs when two obstacles intersect sediment which are transported by wind, can be the dead carcass of a desert animal, tree stump Bearing is the opposite to the direction of the prevailing wind

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  • - Longitudinal dunes Also known as linear dunes Long straight dunes Mounts or ridges of sediments that runs parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind Ex. Longest one is Rub Al Khali (Arabic word for empty quarters)

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and it is approximately 560,000 square km

  • - Star dunes Dunes with several arms and variable slip faces Mounts of sediments deposited which are formed by changes in direction of wind and seasonal pattern of wind

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  • - Dome

Depositional Landforms Sand dunes find more resources at oneclass.com - Barchan dunes Crescent shaped dunes o

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