Identify erosional processes and features created by wind

Note: Please refer to the GETTING STARTED module to learn how to maneuver through, and how to answer the lab questions, in the Google Earth () component.


You should know and understand the following terms:

AbrasionLoessRain shadow
Barchan duneLongitudinal duneReversing dune
Barchanoid Ridge duneMesaStar dune
ButteParabolic duneSub-tropical high
CanyonPinnacleTransverse dune
Dome dunePlaya


After successfully completing this module, you should be able to do the following tasks:

·         Identify erosional processes and features created by wind

·         Identify depositional processes and features created by wind

·         Describe the processes that create eolian landforms

·         Distinguish different sand dune types

·         Calculate slope

·         Interpret the topographic profile of a landscape


This module examines the eolian processes and arid environments. Topics include dune classification, eolian processes and features, and arid landforms. While these topics may appear to be disparate, you will learn how they are inherently related. The module starts with four opening topics, or vignettes, which are found in the accompanying Google Earth file. These vignettes introduce basic concepts of the eolian and arid landscapes. Some of the vignettes have animations, videos, or short articles that will provide another perspective or visual explanation for the topic at hand.  After reading the vignette and associated links, answer the following questions. Please note that some links might take a while to download based on your Internet speed.

Expandthe INTRODUCTION folder and then check Topic 1: Introduction.

 Read Topic 1: Introduction.

Question 1: Which of the following was not provided in the Introduction as a characteristic of an arid environment?

A.   Little precipitation

B.   Drought resistant vegetation

C.   Sparse vegetation

D.   Hot temperatures

 Read Topic 2: Arid Land and Water

Question 2: What is not listed as a source of water for human use in arid environments in Topic 2?

A.   Wells

B.   Salt water

C.   Oases

D.   Rainfall