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Wind Erosion Lesson for Kids

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Instructor: Dacia Upkins

Dacia has taught all core elementary subjects for 14 years with a Master's degree in Urban Teacher Leadership.

Learn about wind erosion, its effects, and the different types of wind erosion. Explore the difference between creep, saltation, and suspension forms of wind erosion. Finally, discover landforms created by wind erosion. Updated: 12/06/2021

What Is Wind Erosion?

Have you ever heard of Invisible Woman? This Fantastic Four superhero can make herself unseen to others while she saves people or destroys supervillains. Did you know that nature has an invisible superhero of its own, called wind?

Wind affects the land through a process called wind erosion, where wind breaks up land and then carries the debris (like dirt and bits of rock) to other places. Wind erosion can create and destroy landforms.

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  • 0:04 What Is Wind Erosion?
  • 0:30 Types of Wind Erosion
  • 1:14 Wind Erosion Landforms
  • 2:12 Lesson Summary
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Types of Wind Erosion

There are different types of wind erosion, each based on how the particles of rock, dirt, or debris are moved from one place to another. Let's take a look at the three main types:

  1. Creep involves larger particles of soil rolling or sliding along the ground's surface. (Think of dirt 'creeping' along the ground.)
  2. Saltation is when the wind causes particles (usually dirt) to bounce along the surface of the ground. Most soil is moved by wind through this method.
  3. Suspension occurs when the smallest particles are lifted up and sit suspended in the air, like when dust floats in the air. The wind comes and carries these particles long distances--we're talking up to hundreds of miles!

Wind Erosion Landforms

When wind erodes the Earth's surface, all kinds of cool landforms can be created. Landforms created by wind erosion are called aeolian landforms.

Sand dunes are the most commonly known aeolian landform. Since they're made of such small granules of sand, they change form frequently due to wind.

Many people don't know this, but not all deserts are filled with sand (for example, some are made of gravel). The ones that are made of sand have a special name: erg. An erg is a very large area that is filled with wind-blown sand.

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