The production and recognition of aeolian features on sand grains by silt abrasion



Several size fractions of natural loess from Long Island, New York including sand and ventifacts were studied with the scanning electron microscope to determine if distinguishing surface features could be found. Long Island loess compares very closely to descriptions of a number of European loess deposits except for the inclusion of carbonate not found on Long Island. Ventifact and sand grain surfaces were experimentally prepared using natural loess as an abrasive agent, and compared well with those surfaces found in the natural materials. Given favourable circumstances, it is possible via scanning electron microscopy to distinguish surface features created by aeolian action in loess deposits and associated materials.