aeolian deposits

Aeolian sandstone

Aeolian sandstone are sandstones produced by the movement of sand grains by wind power. After the grains have been deposited they are lithified to form a sandstone.

Characteristic features of aeolian sandstones include the appearance of the individual sandgrains, the variety of sand grains and the bedforms shown by the sandstone, all of which result from deposition by wind.

Individual grains are often have very smooth surfaces and are well rounded. They are also usually very spherical. These features are a result of multiple grain-on-grain collisions whilst being carried along by the wind.

Grains within an individual sand layer show a very limited size range. This good sorting of grains occurs because wind is very effective at removing any particles that are fine enough to be carried.

Aeolian sandstones often show very clear cross-bedding which can be used to infer the direction of prevailing wind when the sand was being transported.


  • Cowan, Craig (1993) Identification and significance of aeolian deposits within the dominantly fluvial Sherwood Sandstone Group of the East Irish Sea Basin UK, Geological Society, London, Special Publications; 1993; v. 73; p. 231-245; DOI: 10.1144/GSL.SP.1993.073.01.14
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