SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

The origins and sedimentary features of grainfall-, avalanche-, and ripple-produced strata have been studied experimentally in a wind sedimentation tunnel. Rate of deposition, wind velocity and wind duration have been shown to control specific sedimentary features of these types of strata.

Grainfall-produced strata were deposited on a horizontal surface, and surfaces sloping up to the angle of initial yield for dry sand (about 34°). Thickness of a grainfall-produced stratum depended upon rate of deposition and duration of a specific wind event. Grainfall-produced strata were both non-graded and graded. Graded strata were produced by changes in wind velocity which controlled size of sand in transport and flying distances of individual grains. Distinctive features of grainfall-produced strata are: (a) gradual thinning, or tapering downwind (e.g. down the simulated slipface and across the simulated interdune; (b) extreme variability of thickness from less than 1 mm (wind gusts of a few seconds) to 10 cm or more (sustained gusts).

Aeolian avalanche-produced strata were formed when grainfall-produced strata steepened above the angle of initial yield and sheared downslope. A rapid transition in sedimentary features from top to bottom of the slipface characterized avalanche-produced strata of the slump degeneration type in dry sand derived from grainfall deposition. Fadeout laminae formed near the top of the simulated slipface and about 1 m farther down the slipface were flame structures and drag folds. Near the base of the slipface, the avalanche truncated and then overrode grainfall-produced deposits. Distinctive features of avalanche-produced strata for a 2.5 m long slipface are the deformation structures, a thickness of 1 or 2 cm, sandflow toes, and steep dip (34°). Each avalanche-produced stratum was roughly tabular in cross-section parallel to wind direction, with gradual pinchout upslope.

Aeolian ripple-produced strata were deposited on horizontal surfaces, and surfaces sloping to as much as 28°. Thickness of a ripple-produced stratum depended upon rate of deposition, morphology of the ripple, and rate of ripple migration. A maximum thickness of several centimetres was observed for a single ripple-produced stratum. Shape and attitude of ripple foresets was controlled by ripple morphology. Distinctive features of aeolian ripple-produced strata are: (a) presence of ripple foresets; (b) abrupt changes in thickness of a stratum or pinchout over downwind distances of a few centimetres; (c) low average foreset-to-diastem angle (10–15°); (d) low ripple-climb angle (<10°).