About This Chapter
Deserts and Wind - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
In this chapter, geology instructors will lead you through lessons on how deserts are distributed throughout the earth and discuss some characteristics of deserts. You'll also be introduced to deserts of the Southwest U.S., and you'll get details on how wind helps to shape deserts. These online lessons describe various types of sand dunes and provide insight into how human activity can cause desertification. After watching the videos in this chapter, you'll be familiar with:
- Definition of a desert
- Geological settings for deserts
- Wind abrasion and deflation
- Types and structure of sand dunes
|Deserts: Definition and Distribution||Defines and provides characteristics of a desert. Discusses the distribution of the earth's deserts and identifies five different geologic settings where deserts can be found. Provides an overview of how the location of deserts relates to the atmosphere.|
|Deserts of the Southwestern United States||Identifies the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range province. Describes characteristics of this region and how these formations emerged.|
|Wind Action & Effects on the Desert Landscape||Depicts the formation of desert landforms through wind activity. Describes the processes of wind abrasion and deflation.|
|Sand Dunes: Structure and Types||Explains the structure of a sand dune and identifies the five types of sand dunes.|
|Desertification Caused by Human Activity||Describes how certain human activities can cause desertification. Offers some ideas on how to prevent desertification.|
1. Earth's Deserts: Definition, Distribution & Location
Imagine a place where rain rarely falls and plants and animals are specially adapted to survive. In this lesson, we'll learn why deserts form and how their location is determined by the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and geology.
2. Characteristics of the Deserts of the Southwestern United States
In this lesson, we'll discuss two very different types of deserts located in the Southwestern United States. The Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range Province each have special characteristics and features that make them unique.
3. Wind Action & Effects on the Desert Landscape
Wind is a powerful force that has the ability to shape a landscape. In deserts, wind action changes the landscape through wind erosion in the form of abrasion and deflation.
4. Sand Dunes: Structure and Types
Although most people think of sand dunes simply as piles of sand, they actually come in many different shapes and sizes. In this lesson, we'll discuss the unique features of barchan, transverse, parabolic, longitudinal and star sand dunes.
5. Desertification Caused by Human Activity
The earth is constantly changing, and one very dramatic and important change is from fertile land to deserts. This process of desertification can occur naturally, but is often caused or accelerated by human actions. Humans can accelerate this process by overgrazing, poor irrigation techniques, diverting rivers, and deforestation. This large issue is a global problem that must be combated.
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Other chapters within the Geology 101: Physical Geology course
- Introduction to Geology
- Earth Materials
- Mineral Types, Properties and Uses
- Earth and Celestial Rocks
- Igneous Rocks
- Sedimentary Rocks: A Deeper Look
- Metamorphic Rocks: A Deeper Look
- Rock Deformation and Mountain Building
- Weathering and Erosion
- Running Water
- Ground Water
- Water Balance on Earth
- Geologic Time
- Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure
- Plate Tectonics
- Economic Geology & Mineral Resources
- Studying for Geology 101