Landforms Created by Wind
The wind is a powerful natural force that can create a range of landforms. Wind can cause erosion and deposition, leading to the formation of various landforms. Landforms created by wind are also known as Aeolian landforms. Such landforms are most commonly found in semi-arid and arid areas where wind blows strongly.
Knowledge of landforms created by wind is essential for environmental studies, as these landforms play a key role in shaping ecosystems and influencing the distribution of plant and animal species.
Wind Erosional Landforms
Wind erosional landforms are created by the erosion of rock and other materials by the action of wind. These landforms can include rock pedestals, mushroom rocks, and yardangs, and are often found in desert regions with a high amount of wind activity.
The erosional action of wind can create unique and fascinating geological features that are a testament to the power of natural forces. Wind erosional landforms are an important topic in the study of geography and geology and are often included in exams and tests.
Rock Pedestal: Rock pedestals are column-like structures that are formed due to the erosion of surrounding rocks by windblown sand. The softer rocks are eroded faster than the harder rocks, resulting in the formation of column-like structures.
Mushroom Rocks: Mushroom rocks are rocks that are wider at the top than at the base. They are formed due to differential weathering and erosion, with the upper layers of the rocks being more resistant to erosion than the lower layers.
Yardangs: Yardangs are elongated ridges that are formed due to the erosion of rocks by the wind. They are formed parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind and are commonly found in deserts.
Erosional Landforms Created by Wind
Erosional landforms are created by the erosion of rock and other materials by natural forces such as wind and water. In the case of wind, erosion can lead to the formation of various landforms such as deflation hollows, desert pavements, and ventifacts. These landforms are often found in desert regions with a high amount of wind activity and low amounts of vegetation. The erosional action of wind can create unique and fascinating geological features that are a testament to the power of natural forces.
Deflation Hollows: Deflation hollows are shallow depressions that are formed due to the removal of loose soil and rock particles by the wind. They are commonly found in deserts and can range in size from a few centimeters to several meters.
Desert Pavements: Desert pavements are surfaces that are covered by closely packed rocks and pebbles. They are formed due to the removal of fine-grained particles by the wind.
Ventifacts: Ventifacts are rocks that are shaped and polished by the wind. They are commonly found in desert regions and can have a range of shapes, including spherical, cylindrical, and faceted.
Depositional Landforms Formed by Wind
Depositional landforms are those that are created by the deposition of material by natural forces such as wind and water. In the case of wind, the deposition of sand and other fine-grained materials can lead to the formation of various landforms.
Some examples of depositional landforms due to wind include sand dunes, loess deposits, Barchan or Barkhan, and desert varnish. These landforms are often found in arid regions with a low amount of vegetation and high wind activity.
Sand Dunes: Sand dunes are hills of sand that are formed due to the deposition of sand by the wind. They are formed in areas with a low amount of vegetation and can range in size from a few centimeters to several hundred meters.
Loess Deposits: Loess deposits are deposits of fine-grained particles that are formed due to the deposition of windblown dust. They are commonly found in areas with a high amount of wind activity, such as deserts and steppes.
Desert Varnish: Desert varnish is a dark coating that forms on rocks in desert regions due to the deposition of windblown dust and other particles.
- Barchan or Barkhan: Dune with a crescent form and a long axis that runs counter to the direction of the predominant wind. Barchans typically develop in areas with a finite sand supply, relatively flat terrain, and a generally even breeze from one direction.
Action of Waves
The action of waves is another natural force that can create a range of landforms. Waves can cause erosion and deposition, leading to the formation of various landforms. The following are some of the essential landforms created by the action of waves.
Cliffs: Cliffs are steep rock faces that are formed due to the erosion of rock by waves. They are commonly found along coastlines and can range in height from a few meters to several hundred meters.
Sea Caves: Sea caves are caves that are formed due to the erosion of rock by waves. They are commonly found along coastlines and can have a range of shapes and sizes.
Sea Arches: Sea arches are natural geological features that are formed by the erosion of coastal rock formations by the action of waves. They are formed when waves erode the softer rock layers that are present underneath the more resistant layers, creating a hole or tunnel through the rock.
Landform Created by the Water
Landforms created by water vary a lot in many ways. Water is an essential resource on the Earth and is present in various forms. Landforms are mostly created by groundwater, sea waves, or rivers. The characteristics of Landforms created by river are vastly different from that of groundwater. We have discussed in detail the various ways in which landforms are created by water.
Landforms Created by Groundwater
The Earth's surface receives rainwater, some of which seeps through the soil. Groundwater is the term for water that collects in this way under the surface of the earth. Here are some examples of groundwater-produced landforms:
Water on the ground surface seeps through limestone and some portion of limestone gets dissolved in that water. If this process continues over many years, these holes get enlarged and these holes are known as sinkholes. Sinkholes formed due to the erosion caused by the water.
Working slowly over many years, groundwater travels along small cracks. The water dissolves and carries away the solid rock and gradually enlarges the cracks, eventually, a cave may form.
Stalactites and Stalagmites
Groundwater carries dissolved minerals in solution. These minerals are then deposited in the form of stalactites and stalagmites. These formations are formed inside the cave. As the seeping water evaporates, calcium carbonate is deposited on the ceiling or roof of the cave, this deposition continues to grow slowly and a structure from ceiling to roof from which is called Stalactites.
- The water drops on the floor of the cave also evaporate leaving behind calcium carbonate which accumulates over a period of time.
- This deposition from the ground to the roof is known as a stalagmite.
- When stalagmites and stalactites meet, it is known as a column.
- Stalactites and stalagmites are observed in the Parner Taluk of Ahmadnagar District, in Bastar District in Chhatisgarh and also in the Karst region of the former Yugoslavia now Serbia and Montenegro.
Landforms Created by Sea Waves
The action of sea waves can create a range of landforms along coastlines. These landforms are created by the erosional and depositional action of waves on coastal rock formations. Examples of landforms created by the action of sea waves include cliffs, sea caves, sea arches, and sea stacks.
Landforms created by water in the form of waves are often found in areas with high wave energy and can provide insights into the power of natural forces in shaping the earth's surface. The study of landforms created by the action of sea waves is an important topic in the field of coastal geography and is essential for understanding the dynamics of coastal ecosystems.
The most widespread landforms of erosional coasts are sea cliffs. The base of the rocks on the coast gets eroded because of the impact of the sea waves and notches develop in these rocks.
- The crest of the rock overhangs the notch.
- These notches in the rocks gradually extend landwards over a period of time, then the crest falls and a steep cliff which has receded away from the sea is formed.
Rocks on the coast have many cracks. These cracks become wider and wider with the impact of the waves, creating small caves. These types of caves are common in coastal areas.
The fine sand and other material that flows along with the sea waves get deposited in a direction parallel to the sea coast. The deposition of sand and other material is called beach.
A deposition of sand which results in a long, narrow embankment in the sea near the coast is called a sand bar.
A shallow lake is formed between the sand and the sea coast. It is called a lagoon. Such types of Lagoons lakes are called Kayal in Kerala.
We hope this post informed aspirants of important facts about landforms created by wind and water. For more such notes and information refer to BYJU'S Exam Prep SSC online coaching which will help you prepare in an efficient manner.