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I-Spy in the Desert

 
Geography Starter

Starter

 
I-Spy on the Pavement was published in 1961. Have a look at the style of the writing and images. There is always a description, a question and a points value. How many 'chair menders' have you seen on the pavement in your town/city?
 
I-Spy on the Pavement
 
I-Spy on the Pavement
 
Geography Activities

Activities > Desert Landform images for discussion > I-Spy in the Desert Task

Aim: to be able to identify and describe characteristic landforms of hot desert environments and understand the key physical processes at work.
 
Geography Activities

Dunes

oleaje
Image: oleaje, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from bachmont's photostream
 
Sand dunes are the commonest wind (aeolian) deposited landform. Their location, shape, size and permanence depend upon the relationships between wind, the supply of sand and the conditions needed for continued sand accumulation. Because they are made of unconsolidated particles they are susceptible to movement and change.
 
Key Terms
aeolian | unconsolidated
 
Geography Activities

Wadis

Jordânia - Deserto de Wadi Rum
Image: Jord�nia - Deserto de Wadi Rum, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from anapaulahrm's photostream
 
Wadis are formed by water, but are distinguished from river valleys or gullies in that surface water is intermittent. Wadis, cut by a stream in a desert environment, generally are dry year round except after a rain. The desert environment is characterized by a sudden but infrequent heavy rainfall often resulting in flash floods. | Source
 
Key Terms
valley | intermittent
 
Geography Activities

Yardangs

Yardang
 
A yardang is a wind-abraded ridge. They are elongate features typically three or more times longer than they are wide, and when viewed from above, resemble the hull of a boat. Facing the wind is a steep, blunt face that gradually gets lower and narrower toward the lee end. A yardang is formed in cohesive material. Depending upon the winds and the composition of the weakly hardened deposits of silt and sand from which they are carved, yardangs may form very unusual shapes — some resemble various objects or even people. Yardangs form in environments where water is scarce and the prevailing winds are strong, unidirectional and carry an abrasive sediment load. | Source
 
Key Terms
cohesive | elongate
 
Geography Activities

Mushroom Rocks

White desert
Image: White desert, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from tronics's photostream
 
Mushroom rocks, also called rock pedestals, are one of the most striking manifestations of the processes of erosion and weathering. Usually found in desert areas, they are formed over thousands of years when erosion of an isolated rocky outcrop progresses at a different rate at its bottom to that at its top. Abrasion by wind-borne grains of sand is most prevalent within the first metre from the ground, causing the bases of outcrops to erode more rapidly than their tops. Running water can have the same effect. | Source
 
Key Terms
erosion | abrasion
 
Geography Activities

Mesas, Buttes and Spires

Monument Valley
Image: Monument Valley, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from sebastian_bergmann's photostream
 
A steep-sided isolated hill, mountain or ridge, rising abruptly from an adjoining monotonously flat plain. Caused by differential erosion where the isolated mass consists of particularly resistant rock. Surrounding weaker material retreats as a slope working backwards until the mesa, butte or spire is isolated.
 
Key Terms
differential | resistant
 
Geography Activities

Oasis

Oasis
Image: Oasis, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from zoomzoom's photostream
 
An isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source. The location of oases has been of critical importance for trade and transportation routes in desert areas. Oases are formed from underground rivers or aquifers, where water can reach the surface naturally by pressure or by man made wells. | Source
 
Key Terms
spring | aquifer
 
Geography Activities

I-Spy in the Desert Task

I-Spy in the Desert
 

Produce your own version of 'I-Spy in the Desert - Landforms Chapter'. Your booklet should include descriptions, a question and an image of each of the landforms.

You will find key termsKey Terms listed to help you include as much geography as possible. Don't forget to give everything a points value!

 
Geography Review

Review

 
Which desert landforms can you see in these videos?
 

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