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Geography   >   Desert Landscapes and Processes

Deserts and Wind

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Desert Landscapes and Processes

In this course, Dr Jo Nield (University of Southampton) explores desert landscapes and processes. In the first module, we consider the global distribution and characteristics of deserts, as well as the aeolian (wind-blown) transport processes which shape desert environments. The second module looks at dust, one of the smallest sediments found in deserts, in terms of how it is transported and its impacts on climate change, transport and human health. In the third and fourth modules, we examine landforms created by sediment deposition, focusing on different types of dunes and how they change over time, particularly in response to alterations in climate. In the final module, we think about the morphology of dunes on other planets and how this relates to our understanding of desert transport and depositional processes on Earth, looking to Mars, Titan, and Pluto.

Deserts and Wind

In this module, we think about the distribution and characteristics of deserts, as well as the important aeolian (wind-blown) processes which influence their formation. We focus on: (i) the distribution of deserts, notably in relation to global patterns of aridity; (ii) some of the key landforms on desert surfaces, such as dunes and mountains, and their relative prevalence; (iii) the concept of sediment budget and its importance in understanding desert landscapes; (iv) the roles of sediment size and wind strength in sediment transport processes, and the two main types of transport – suspension and saltation; (v) the influence of desert surface characteristics, such as amount of vegetation, on transport processes.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Nield, J. (2023, March 06). Desert Landscapes and Processes - Deserts and Wind [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Nield, J. "Desert Landscapes and Processes – Deserts and Wind." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 Mar 2023,

Image Credits


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Dr Jo Nield

Southampton University