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Definition: yardang from The Macquarie Dictionary

a sharp rib of rock up to 6 metres high formed in a desert by the action of sand-laden winds on rocks of varying hardness.

(plural yardangs)


modern Turkish, ablative of yar cliff

Summary Article: yardangs from Encyclopedia of Environmental Change

Streamlined and parallel hills, knobs or ridges of rock (or other consolidated material), often with steep or undercut sides. Some remarkable examples exhibit parallelism for many tens of kilometres. They are landforms of wind erosion in deserts where strong unidirectional winds carrying dust and sand are able to sculpt exposed rock surfaces by abrasion. The original name refers to such features in the deserts of Central Asia. Yardang orientation inconsistent with modern conditions may indicate palaeo wind directions.


[See also aeolian, zeugen]

  • Dong, Z; Lv, P; Lu, J et al. (2012) Geomorphology and origin of yardangs in the Kumtagh Desert, Northwest China. Geomorphology 139: 145-154.
  • Goudie, A S (2008) The history and nature of wind erosion in deserts. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 36: 97-119.
  • Goudie, A S; Stokes, S; Cook, J et al. (1999) Yardang landforms from Kharga Oasis, south-west Egypt. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie Supplementband 116: 1-16.
  • Sebe, K; Csillag, G; Rusekiczay-Rudiger, Z (2011) Wind erosion under cold climate: A Pleistocene periglacial mega-yardang system in Central Europe (Western Pannonian Basin, Hungary). Geomorphology 134: 470-482.
James P. Terry
National University of Singapore
© by SAGE Publications Ltd.

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