The process of wind erosion
Wind erosion is simply the removal of soil particles from the surface of the land and transporting them
to another location. When the force of wind is exerted on a land surface, the soil moves. The extent of
movement depends on the amount of soil moved depends on the size of the soil particles, the cloddiness
of the soil particles and the velocity of the wind (wind velocity).
Wind erosion occurs in three processes known as creeping, saltation and suspension.
Creeping (or surface creep) is when soil particles larger then 0.5mm in diameter are dragged over the
surface of the land because they are too heavy for the wind to lift up. As the particles roll and move
along the surface, they bump into each other.
In a saltation process, the particles involved are between 0.1mm to 0.5mm. The wind is able to lift them
up briefly but drops them in very short intervals. This results in a hop and bounce motion over the surface.
Sometimes as the particles fall, they bounce back up and continue the routine. Particles can also bounce
into others and set them into motion too. Saltating particles cause Attrition. Attrition is when the bouncing
and jumping particles knock against each other in flight and break themselves up. This wear and tear can
go on until the particles become fine or dust particles.
This process involves particles (fine dirt and dust) that are less than 0.1mm in diameter. Wind is able to
carry these particles over very long distances. It is probably the most common form of wind action and
also the easiest to recognize. Suspension causes abrasion or sandblasting - when particles in suspension
polishes surfaces that get in their way. Abrasion is more powerful close to the land surface and less
effective with 0objects higher up the ground.