Particles are transported by the wind through suspension, saltation and creep.
Smaller particles may be held in the atmosphere in
. The upward currents of the air supports the weight of the particles and hold them in the surrounding air.
Typical winds near the Earths surface suspend particles less than 0.2mm in diameter and scatter them.
is downwind movement of particles in a series of jumps or and skips.
Saltation normally lifts sand sized particles no more than 1cm above the ground, and proceeds at 1/2 to 1/3 of the speed of the wind.
A saltating grain may hit other grains that jump up to continue the saltation.
The grain may also hit larger grains that are too heavy to hop, but that slowly creep forward as they are pushed by saltating grains.
accounts for as much as 25% grain movement in desert.
The particles move in the direction of the wind.
Image courtesy of
Aeolian turbidity currents are better known as dust storms. The air over the deserts is cooled when rain passes through it. The cooler and the denser air sinks towards the desert surface.
When it reaches the surface the air is deflected forward and sweeps up the surface debris in its turbulence as a dust storm.