Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Eolian landforms are the natural result of the action of strong winds on an exposed land surface. Certain characteristics of the wind can be interpreted from these landforms. The spacing of sand dunes and draas (dune groups) is one parameter that can be used to estimate wind velocity and available wind power.

LANDSAT imagery or aerial photography may be used to identify the eolian landforms, and measurements of spacings can be made directly from these datum. Fourier analysis of these measurements reveals the predominant spacings. Assuming that shear velocity is the dominant factor determining the wave length of bedforms, the spacing (λ) can be used to compute the threshold shear velocity (V*T) using mathematical relationships derived by Wilson (1972):
V * T = 2.06 λ 1 / 3 cm / sec ( dunes )
V * T = 0.59 λ 1 / 3 cm / sec ( draas )

These values may then be used to estimate wind velocity at any other height above the surface or to estimate available wind power.

The Killpecker and Seminoe Dune Fields in south-central Wyoming were used as test areas in which to demonstrate this technique.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.

Figures & Tables




Citing Books via

Related Book Content
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal