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SCI 245 Deserts, Glaciers, and Climate

SCI 245 Deserts, Glaciers, and Climate - Deserts Glaciers...

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Deserts, Glaciers, and Climate Desert landforms such as plateaus, buttes, and mesas are the product of weathering and erosion but are a function of rock structure. Rocks of different hardnesses and strengths weather at different rates producing some of the fantastic structures seen in deserts. These rock features tend to have angular features due to the lack of rain and therefore, minimal chemical weathering. Though regular rainfall is not a feature of the desert, flash floods carve scarps and gullies out of the landscape. Sand dunes are a very distinctive feature of desert landscapes. These large features possess a structure that can be interpreted to indicate predominant wind direction. Silt and sand deposited by the wind is termed loess. The depositional environment can be described by the process of abrasion and deflation. This is the process by which sediments carried by the wind, abrade and erode other rock and sediment structures, producing more sediment. The wind is able to carry a certain load, constrained by sediment size and volume, to either be deposited or to continue to erode other landforms.
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