Basic types of stratification in small eolian dunes

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ABSTRACT

The thinnest recognizable strata in modern eolian dune sands can be grouped into six classes. They are herein named planebed laminae, rippleform laminae, ripple-foreset crosslaminae, climbing translatent strata, grainfall laminae, and sandflow cross-strata.

Planebed laminae are formed by tractional deposition on smooth surfaces at high wind velocities. They are very rare in the deposits studied. Grainfall laminae are also formed on smooth surfaces, largely by grainfall deposition in zones of flow separation. They are much more common than planebed laminae, which they closely resemble.

Eolian climbing-ripple structures are composed primarily of climbing trans-latent strata, each of which is the depositional product of a single climbing ripple. Climbing translatent strata that formed at relatively high or supercritical angles of ripple climb are typically accompanied by rippleform laminae, which are wavy layers parallel to the rippled depositional surfaces. Ripple-foreset crosslaminae, which are incomplete rippleform laminae produced when the angle of ripple climb is relatively low or subcritical, are rarely visible in eolian sands.

Sandflow cross-strata are formed by the avalanching of noncohesive sand on dune slipfaces. Their form varies with slipface height and with other factors.

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