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Depositional Wind Landform

Find about the various landforms created by wind erosion in this article. Learn about aeolian landforms in detail.

In hot deserts, one of the most important geomorphic factors is wind. Several erosion as well as sand depositional activities occur in deserts due to the wind velocity. Aeolian Landforms are those landforms that are generated as a result of this wind action. Observations and research have been conducted on other worlds, including Mars, to demonstrate that this process is not unique to the Earth.

Ergs are large, flat areas of desert covered with wind-swept sand that have little or no vegetation cover. Sand dunes are defined as areas of the desert that contain more than 125 square kilometers of aeolian (wind-blown) sand. Many ergs may be found in the Sahara Desert, which is the largest hot desert on the planet.

Action of wind

In the arid environment, the wind is the most important geomorphic force. The wind blows faster in arid regions, causing erosional and depositional activities in the desert environment. Those landforms that are formed as a result of the wind’s erosional and depositional actions are referred to as Aeolian Landforms.

Following are the various methods in which the wind’s action is carried:

Deflation: Deflation is the erosion of sand particles from the ground due to the action of wind. It causes depressions to appear in the desert. Water filled in these depositional cavities leads to the formation of Oasis

Abrasion: Sand, due to the action of the wind striking again the rock, leads to a phenomenon on the rocks and this is called as abrasion

Attrition: A front-on-front collision of sand particles eventually leads to the process of attrition

Erosional Landforms as a Result of the Wind


Pediplains form when the wind flattens out the elevated structures of deserts into low, featureless plains.

Deflated Hollows

It is called deflation, when the wind removes loose debris from the ground. As a result of constant wind motions, deflation hollows are developed, creating a shallow depression.

Mushrooms tables 

  • Hard rocks with fine grains like quartz, chert, and obsidian are used to create ventifacts. A rock outcropping works as a windbreaker when the wind is blowing sand grains towards it.

  • In arid areas, where there is minimal vegetation to interfere with aeolian particle movement, where strong winds are common, and where there is a consistent but not overwhelming supply of sand, these geomorphic features are most commonly observed.

  • Mushroom tables and mushroom rocks are Ventifacts that have been shaped into the shape of mushrooms or rocks.

  • This causes increased bottom erosion in the overlying rocks, which is more severe in deserts than in other environments, due to the wind bringing sand and rock particles closer to the ground.

  • Because of this, rock pillars in the shape of mushrooms are formed, with thin pillars with large top surfaces on the top.


Yardangs are ridges or reliefs of rock that are heavily grooved, fluted, pitted, and uneven in shape, ranging in height from one to ten meters and running parallel to the pre-existing winds. Differential erosion is the cause of these occurrences. When a sand-laden storm corrades areas of softer or weaker rock between tougher vertical ridges formed by old lake sediment, soft, cemented rock and bedrock surfaces are worn into alternate ridges and furrows, this is referred to as a ridge and furrow formation. Yardangs on a grand scale can be seen in Egypt (near Kom Ombo, north of Lake Aswan).

Wind-created depositional landforms

Sand dunes

Deserts that are dry and hot are ideal for the creation of sand dunes. Dunes are classified into several shapes, including Barchans, Seif dune, and others, according to how they are shaped and positioned on the landscape. The barchan is a characteristic desert landform that can be seen all over the world. 

Dune in the shape of a crescent, extending in the leeward direction from the base of the crescent’s horns. The height of the Barchan dunes can reach more than 27 meters. Seif dunes are sand ridges that stretch for miles. Their orientation is generally towards the direction of the prevailing wind. Eddies are responsible for the formation of the slip face of the dunes. When the winds blow, the sand is blown out of the depressions between the seif dune ridges. 

Deserts that are dry and hot are ideal for the creation of sand dunes. Dunes can be classified into many types according to their shapes, such as Barchans, Seifs, and other similar types of dune.


Wind-transported silt that has settled out from dust storms over many thousands of years has covered huge regions of the earth’s surface in numerous parts of the world, including the United States. Loess is the name given to these types of depositions.


Weathering and erosion are caused by the wind. When the wind blows particles of material against cliffs and huge rocks, this is called weathering. Sand and dust are also eroded by the wind. Natural structures are formed by the wind weathering rock. In windy climates, natural arch and other structures can be formed by the wind.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

Winds in deserts have what kind of effect on the environment?

Ans. Wind abrasion sculpts the rocks and boulders in deserts. Wind abrasion can damage rocks and boulders in windy areas where sa...Read full

What is weathering?

Ans. The blowing of material against cliffs and large rocks is how weathering is caused by the win...Read full

How is Loess formed?

Ans. These deposits are known as loess when they are formed by the wind depositing fine particles ...Read full

What are the effects of wind erosion on the landscape?

Ans. Wind erosion creates a variety of features, including rock pedestals, yardang, deflation holl...Read full