Quantitative modeling of facet development in ventifacts by sand abrasion

Péter L. Várkonyi, Julie E. Laity, G. Domokos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We use a quantitative model to examine rock abrasion by direct impacts of sand grains. Two distinct mechanisms are uncovered (unidirectional and isotropic), which contribute to the macro-scale morphological characters (sharp edges and flat facets) of ventifacts. It is found that facet formation under conditions of a unidirectional wind relies on certain mechanical properties of the rock material, and we confirm the dominant role of this mechanism in the formation of large ventifacts. Nevertheless small ventifacts may also be shaped to polyhedral shapes in a different way (isotropic mechanism), which is not sensitive to wind characteristics nor to rock material properties. The latter mechanism leads to several 'mature' shapes, which are surprisingly analogous to the morphologies of typical small ventifacts. Our model is also able to explain certain quantitative laboratory and field observations, including quick decay of facet angles of ventifacts followed by stabilization in the range 20-30°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalAeolian Research
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016

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abrasion
sand
rock
modeling
mechanical property
stabilization
material

Keywords

  • Abrasion
  • Facet
  • Morphology
  • Quantitative modeling
  • Ventifacts
  • Wind abrasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geology

Cite this

Quantitative modeling of facet development in ventifacts by sand abrasion. / Várkonyi, Péter L.; Laity, Julie E.; Domokos, G.

In: Aeolian Research, Vol. 20, 01.03.2016, p. 25-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Várkonyi, Péter L. ; Laity, Julie E. ; Domokos, G. / Quantitative modeling of facet development in ventifacts by sand abrasion. In: Aeolian Research. 2016 ; Vol. 20. pp. 25-33.
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