Wind Erosion

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What You Do:

Learn about erosion processes.

Build a natural landscape.

Explore how the landscape changes with different inputs.

What You Need:

  • Pie pans
  • Straws
  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Soil
  • Rocks
  • Marker

What Do You Do?

  • Build a landscape inside the pie pan:
  • Start with the popsicle sticks (representing trees)–use the clay to hold them in place at the bottom of the pan.
  • Next, add sand to the pan, just to cover the clay.
  • Use a marker to draw the level of sand on the popsicle stick.
  • Next, add soil on top of the sand.
  • Use a marker to draw the level of soil on the popsicle stick.
  • Place rocks on top of the soil.
  • Use the straw to gently blow wind ACROSS the top of the pie pan. ¬†What happens?

What Happened?

The wind changes the surface of the earth and other planets. Wind erosion occurs in the processes of deflation—wind removing particles from the surface—and abrasion—the grinding and sandblasting of particles carried by wind. Understanding wind erosion is important in science because it helps determine how the landscape has changed over time.

Observe how the rocks and popsicle sticks block the wind, preserving some soil and sand behind and beneath them.

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