Sand Dune, Research Paper Example
Words: 2502Research Paper
Investigation of Sand Dune Particles Formation in the Saudi Arabian Regions
Sand dunes are among the most popular attractions in the Middle Eastern Regions of the world. Besides the grand formation of the sand in these areas, it is the sand particles itself that makes the said attraction specifically interesting to travelers from all around the globe. What makes these sand particles different from others; making them conducive for recreation and fun activities? It is aimed to be examined in this study the effect of wind and transport on the particle characteristics of the sand particles found in the sand dunes within Saudi Arabian regions. Practically, this study hopes to surround its attention towards how the refining of sand particles occur and how this matter affects the overall characteristic of sand dunes in the region concerned. However, to make the study more directed towards understanding the effects of external elements to the refinement of the sand particles, the observational experimentation is incurred through gaining samples from the highway of Mecca-Taif. The study then follows the pattern of presentation of facts based on the question what are the factors and processes that contribute to the characteristics of sand dunes along the highway of Mecca-Taif?
This inquiry intends to increase the interest over the observation of emergent differences that are occurring in different sand groups from different regions and how air and wind transport does affect the emergence of such differences in coarseness or refinement of the particles under observation. Noticeably, to create a definite notion that would support the point of experimentation and observation undergone in this study, the following hypotheses have been formed:
- Sand particles will be larger on the windward side of a dune
- The leeward angle of a dune is much greater than the windward angle
- The alignment of dunes is created by the wind direction
In carrying out the concentration of these hypotheses, it could be noted how the statements are aligned towards considering what dune-formation is about and how it is guided by the wind as well as how such activity does create a great impact on the texture of the sand that is being transported from one area to another.
Background of Experimentation
Sand in deserts are most often than not assumed to move at a lesser pace in comparison with that of other sand particles found in other areas of the world. Desert sands are considered to be much more stable due to the vast area that they cover in specific regions where they are found [with a large scale of concentration on middle-eastern regions]. The predictions of such movements basically create an assumption on how the sand particles are refined as well as how they are restructured due to wind activities. The interest over the consideration on the subject of examining sand dunes, their texture, their characteristic and their subjection to natural but random external effects have first been given attention to by R.A. Bagnold in 1979. The study that he has presented is rather old and is considered outdated; nevertheless, it is still considered as one of the most accurate studies that has gone into the details of describing and defining the course of effects that sand dunes get from external factors including wind-induced-transport.
Through research, it has been found out that sand particles generally vary between the sizes of .02mm to 1.0m in diameter. The difference between grain sizes in such particles often create a massive insistence on where the sand particles have been gathered from and how much wind activity is present within the areas where they are believed to have been transported from. Measuring wind-velocity and wind-direction, the travel point of these sand particles could be identified and examined accordingly for the sake of connecting the data that defines how these sand particles are transported as well as to how their attributes are affected by the said factors present during the transport. Most sand particles comprise of the collected particles of quarts and sedimentary powdered rock formations that have also been affected by natural elements surrounding them. While other powdered forms of rock are easily transformed or redefined from their original state due to wind travel, sand and quarts grains are often harder to break down especially that they have better resistance to mechanical and chemical break up in the process; this means that their particles are more intact and are much harder to take down. In this case, it is assumed that the samples collected for this study would hold a strong and more dependable consideration on how wind travel affects the attributes of sand while noticeably acknowledging the stability of the formation of the said particles in relation to how its characteristic of solidity is defined through previous studies on the matter. To further examine this matter, it is important to know the actual methodology used for this particular experimentation that could examine the ways by which wind does affect the overall contour and character-differences that sand particles incur through travel and transfer operations occurring within the area concerned.
The study is designed around an experimental procedure that involves the utilization of particular materials that are designated as particular representation of the actual procedure of wind travel occurring within the sandy area concerned. The measuring tools are used to define the wind-travel velocity as well as the direction it takes which directly affects the dune formation in particular areas compared to other areas within the surroundings of the Mecca-Tarif highway. Among the materials and/or equipment used are as follows:
- Ranging poles
- Taping measure
- Wind vane
- Layered sieve
- Sample bags
Each of these materials play a great role in identifying the travel pattern of the wind that carries the sand particles and is expected to create distinct changes on the attributes that the sand particles are noted for. The data collected from the experimentation is presented in the section that follows so as to note the support that the results are pinned to present towards the created hypotheses stated at the preset of the discussion.
Collected Data and Analysis
The collection of the data needed to support the overall context of the study has been basically gathered basing from observation of particles taken from one area [presumed as the primary source of the sand particles being transferred to another area] in comparison with the particles collected from supposed destination of the sand particles as they are transported by wind-travel. Noticeably, wind-travel, being the eternal factor in focus within thus study, creates a more definite source of intense effect on how data-collection is handled and how it ought to redefine the pattern of concentration that the study has in defining the concentration of such matter on determining the factors that has the capacity to break up particles and increase their point of refinement. Presented in the tables that follow are the data that has been collected during the point of observation handled within the study:
|Station||Slope Angle||Horizontal Distance|
In this table, it is shown how stations have been established to be considered as the point of observation within the area being examined for the wind activity that affects sand dune formations and sand-particle-characteristics accordingly. The data shows how the slope angles could be determined through the distance that they have between points of source to points of destination as the wind carries the sand particles from one point to another. The slopes’ angles are measured in parallel with the supposed distance that the points have between each other to establish the basic foundation of the study which would lead towards carrying out an observation on how much wind travel changes slope formation and sand particle characteristics.
Wind speed and direction:
*Wind speed and direction: South 10-34 m/s
With an average wind-travel speed of 10-34 m/s, the table herein shows the difference between the windward and the leeward directions as well as to how they are able to affect the slope-formation based on speed and velocity thus making a definite impact on how wind itself creates a massive difference on the makeup of the sand particles observed for the completion of this research.
As point of analysis for the data presented in these tables, it could be taken into account how the three dunes present a distinct sense of direction on how the slopes are formed accordingly. The particles of the sand being transferred from one point to another are defined based on the concentration of the particles or the solidity of their formation. It has been found that such concentration could be accounted for especially for the sake of mandating the point of observation that basically draws the line between considering distance and wind travel as two parallel factors that affect sand-particle formation and degeneration.
In this case, it could be observed the more solid the particles are, the more established and stable the slopes are. However, the finer the sand particles are, the less stable the slopes are; which has been basically observed through the study. Hence, based from distance, the connection between two slopes is determined to make an assured point of creation of slopes that would be more conducive of conducting sand-transfer operations accordingly. To further explain the process, the discussion section shall provide distinct descriptions that could improve the manner of understanding that would pertain to the interpretation of the results gathered from the experimental observation completed in this study.
There are two particular forms of wind effects that directly give insistent concentration on how sand-movement is empowered by wind directions. One way is through saltation; which is the process by which the wind movement affects the transfer of sand particles from one destination towards another. The forward push of the wind towards these particles specifically create a definite insistence on how the granules are to be pushed to travel from one point towards another; thus recreating different forms of sand dunes with particularly exchanging points of slopes [usually interchanging within points of wind-exchange].
Another movement of the sand particles is that of the surface creep. This sand movement is characterized by the bouncing-off of particles from solid ground towards the higher surface therefore creating new slopes as the wind carries on the particles that are bounced off to the air. These particles, however, travels at a much slower speed than those that are transferred through saltation process; accordingly, their point of transfer is also noted to be at a slower or lesser possibility compared to those that are transferred through the contention of direct movement from the wind pushing the particles forward through saltation; which basically implicates a stronger pressure that pushes the particles farther.
These particular movements create a massive impact on how sand dunes are formed at a much solidified state or a rather weaker stance based on how the sand particles are established accordingly. It is noted that at least 75% of all sand movements are prompted by saltation. Considerably, this accounts for the determination by which sand dunes are formed mostly in areas where wind-activity is prevalent; thus imposing a much faster form of transfer of sand particles from one point towards another. It is also understood that through saltation, the concentration on how the exchange of particles within sand dunes in particular slopes occur. Most likely, the effect prevalently involves the exchange of sand particles striking the slopes from the upper area of the dune and the underlying particles being bounced out off from the slope and are carried on by the wind further to another nearby slope with a much slower speed.
Noticeably, the change in the makeup of each particle would depend on the speed of the wind that carries it and the force of bouncing off from the ground that is implied to it as it hits the new foreground as its point of destination. What makes these changes prevalent is the fact that the particles travel from one point to another and are affected by the surfaces from where they come from as well as the surrounding areas of the destination points they are carried into by the wind. The particles they are mixed with immediately make a definite form of difference on how the whole sand-particles are to be transformed. This is the basic reason why a particular group of sand particles transferred from one place to another by wind is often recognizable based on its makeup and the concentration of different elements found to be present within the said elements of natural transformation and movement.
Nature in itself works wonders especially in making massive changes in elements that make it up. Sand particles are only among the smallest and most basic natural elements that shows the prevalence of such matter. The emergence of natural movement between elements create a huge distinction on how developmental procedures in natural transformation create a definite turn on how natural landscapes are formed and how factors affecting natural sceneries that humans basically appreciate today.
In conducting the study, the researchers found out how improved science on observatory-geology actually provides a more established foundation on how developments are handled especially in experimenting on how small particles such as sand create massive changes on the current forms of environmental transformations occurring at present. What constitutes such effectiveness of operation basically boils down to the desire of understanding how natural elements work together to form a more defined pattern of environmental development to set a pattern of uniformity which further increases natural capacity of survival based on transformation.
After observation and the cross-referencing of existing research-materials on the topic, it is further understood that the study presented herein could be well-accounted for and is valid enough to present a supported data showing how wind affects the establishment of sand particles found in a specific area in difference to that of those found in another. The prevalent consideration on wind movement and how they affect sand dunes and the formation of slopes within the said natural creations define a more conductive manner by which a definite form of distinct insistence on how environmental factors directly affect each other in cross-reference to how each element makes a definite sense of transformation on the characteristic that one element has depending on the stages of transformation it has undergone. What makes these transformations prevalent is what makes each stage insistent on how modern procedures of scientific observance are carried into account to take note of how change are to be established as the basic foundation of what is seen as the basis of basic understanding with regards these factors in the environment.
Mangmeli, J. Geology of Sand Dunes. http://www.nps.gov/whsa/learn/nature/upload/Geology%20of%20Sand%20Dunes.pdf. (Retrieved on June 10, 2015).
Lancaster, N. Particle size and sorting characteristics of sand in transport on the stoss slope of a small reversing dune. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nicholas_Lancaster/publication/223498689_Particle_size_and_sorting_characteristics_of_sand_in_transport_on_the_stoss_slope_of_a_small_reversing_dune/links/00b4952d42aef24e2a000000.pdf. (Retrieved on June 10, 2015).
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