004 - Desert Landforms

Factual Question

What landforms can be found in desert regions?

How are desert landforms created?

Key Terminology

  • Weathering
  • Erosion
  • Aeolian
  • Transportation
  • Deposition

Define the words above using a dictionary.

Activity One - Mix and Match

  1. Using wikipedia draw a diagram to show how the wind can transport the sand in a desert.
  2. The table below describes different types of landforms found in a desert. The descriptions and diagrams do not match and it is your task to sort them out. Draw out the table, copy the descriptions and then draw the matching diagram.


A - Long, narrow dune deposited when a prevailing (dominant) wind is interrupted by a strong cross wind.

B - Isolated hills of resistant rock worn back by a strong cross wind. One is taller than it is wide and the other is wider than it is tall.

C - An extremely hard, smooth rock left standing like a soldier on duty, after being abraded by the wind.

D - A deposition of material at the base of a mountain which has been washed down by storms.

E - Crescent (moon) shaped dune deposited when the wind blows steadily in one direction.

F - Rock undercut at its base by strong winds carrying grains of sand.

G - Fantastically carved rock of varying hardness, eroded by the wind.

H - A dry river bed, as water only flows here during flash floods (a sudden and often short storm).


1 - Zeugen (mushroom rock)

Mushroom Rock

2 - Barchan


3 - Linear Dune

Linear Dune

4 - Yardang


5 - Inselberg


6 - Wadi


7 - Mesa and Buttes

Mesa and Butte

8 - Pediment