Abstract

Desiccation of saline mud flats produces a mud-cracked surface layer of clay impregnated with saline evaporite crystals and covered with a thin film of algae. The action of the wind against the upturned edges and lower surfaces of the mud-cracked polygons frees pellets or aggregates of clay which are swept across the tidal flat or saline basin to accumulate along the lee shore in long, transverse ridges. Subsequent wetting causes the clay to regain its plasticity, the freshly deposited material becomes stabilized and the clay dune results.

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