week 7 - week 7 - Assignment: Deserts, Glaciers, and...

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week 7 - Assignment: Deserts, Glaciers, and Climate Deserts are classified by the amount of annual precipitation, less than 250 millimeters per year. The word desert literally means a deserted region that is nearly void of vegetation. The geological landscape of the desert are formed through a series of processes, windblown sediment makes up a majority of erosion through surface creep, sand grains rolling along the ground, some of the larger grains bump smaller ones into the air called saltation. Through saltation the smaller pieces become lifted higher and become suspended and can be carried across great distances, such as over the ocean. Windblown grains of sand also have another quality, the grains come into contact with rock faces and slowly abrade them, the impact of these grains with the rock face give them a curved appearance and a slight polishing of their surface. The abraded rocks tell geologists what the prevailing winds are of the times. Desert landscaped created by these prevailing winds are steep sloped but flat topped buttes, the material is removed through the wind erosion. Wind erosion can also be deflation in which the smaller particles are removed from the surface and create an area that is void of vegetation that holds the soil together and leaves behind only the larger fragments. Dunes are created by an irregularity or obstruction that distorts the wind flow and sand starts to collect forming larger mounds. The wind causes sand creep along the
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2010 for the course GLG 101 GLG/101 GE taught by Professor Jebainbarasu during the Spring '10 term at University of Phoenix.

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week 7 - week 7 - Assignment: Deserts, Glaciers, and...

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