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Sand Dunes - Death Valley's Gold
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California, are an extensive dune field that covers a vast area and contains three different types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped. They are named for the spiny shrub that is able to flourish in these dry regions.
Mesquite Flat Dune's highest peaks rise approximately 140’ above sea level, though shifting winds and gravity alter heights and shapes daily. Dunes such as these form over thousands of years as blowing sand reaches an insurmountable obstacle (such as mountains). When sand particles can go no further, wind churns the blocked sand into very fine particles and deposits them at or near the base of the obstacle. An arid climate is the foundation for such a process.
While the converging winds constantly shape and reshape individual sand dunes, the Mesquite Flat Dune field itself does not move.
April 10th, 2011
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