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1. chinaXiv:202201.00025 [pdf]

Contribution of underlying terrain to sand dunes: evidence from the Qaidam Basin, Northwest China

LI Jiyan; QU Xin; DONG Zhibao; CAI Yingying; LIU Min; REN Xiaozong; CUI Xujia
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Underlying terrain strongly influences dune formation. However, the impacts of underlying terrain on the dune formation are poorly studied. In the present research, we focused on dunes that formed in the alluvial fans and dry salt flats in the Qaidam Basin, Northwest China. We quantified the dunes' sediment characteristics on different types of underlying terrain and the terrain' effects on the surface quartz grains by analyzing grain-size distribution, soluble salt contents and grain surface micro-textures. Results showed that barchan dunes were dominated by medium sands with a unimodal frequency distribution, whose peak corresponded to the saltation load. Linear dunes were mainly composed of fine sands with a bimodal frequency distribution, whose main peak represented the saltation load, and whose secondary peak represented the modified saltation or suspension load. Sand was transported from source area by running water (inland rivers) over short distances and by wind over relatively longer distances. Thus, quartz grains had poor roundness and were dominated by sub-angular and angular shapes. Surface micro-textures indicated that dune sands were successively transported by exogenic agents (glaciation, fluviation and wind). Soluble salt contents were low in dunes that developed in the alluvial fans, which represented a low-energy chemical environment, so the grain surface micro-textures mainly resulted from mechanical erosion, with weak micro-textures formed by SiO2 solution and precipitation. However, soluble salt contents were much higher in dunes that developed in the dry salt flats, which indicated a high-energy chemical environment. Therefore, in addition to micro-structures caused by mechanical erosion, micro-textures formed by SiO2 solution and precipitation also well developed. Our results improve understanding of the sediment characteristics of dune sands and the effects of underlying terrain on dune development in the Qaidam Basin, China.

submitted time 2021-12-30 Cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3084Downloads239 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201910.00056 [pdf]

Wind regime for long-ridge yardangs in the Qaidam Basin, Northwest China

GAO Xuemin; DONG Zhibao; DUAN Zhenghu; LIU Min; CUI Xujia; LI Jiyan
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Resource Sciences >> Basic Disciplines of Environmental Science and Technology

Yardangs are typical aeolian erosion landforms, which are attracting more and more attention of geomorphologists and geologists for their various morphology and enigmatic formation mechanisms. In order to clarify the aeolian environments that influence the development of long-ridge yardangs in the northwestern Qaidam Basin of China, the present research investigated the winds by installing wind observation tower in the field. We found that the sand-driving winds mainly blow from the north-northwest, northwest and north, and occur the most frequent in summer, because the high temperature increases atmospheric instability and leads to downward momentum transfer and active local convection during these months. The annual drift potential and the ratio of resultant drift potential indicate that the study area pertains to a high-energy wind environment and a narrow unimodal wind regime. The wind energy decreases from northwest to southeast in the Qaidam Basin, with the northerly winds in the northwestern basin changing to more westerly in the southeastern basin. The strong and unidirectional wind regime for the long-ridge yardangs in the northwestern Qaidam Basin results from the combined effects of topographic obstacles such as the Altun Mountains and of the interaction between the air stream and the yardang bodies. Present study suggests that yardang evolution needs such strong and unidirectional winds in high- or intermediate-energy wind environments. This differs from sandy deserts or sandy lands, which usually develop at low- or intermediate-energy wind environments. Present study clarifies the wind regime corresponding to the long-ridge yardangs' development, and lays firm foundation to put forward the formation mechanisms for yardangs in the Qaidam Basin.

submitted time 2019-10-26 Cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3001Downloads1036 Comment 0

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