Antecedent Controls on the Spatial Organization of Yardangs on the Puna Plateau, Northwestern Argentina

Favaro, Elena A.; Hugenholtz, Chris H. and Barchyn, Thomas E. (2021). Antecedent Controls on the Spatial Organization of Yardangs on the Puna Plateau, Northwestern Argentina. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5212

Abstract

Yardangs are streamlined ridges that form in arid environments on Earth and Mars through wind-driven abrasion of consolidated substrates. Currently, there is limited consensus on the mechanisms that initiate and establish patterns of yardangs on the landscape. In this work, we examine the spatial organization of yardangs in the Campo de Piedra Pómez ignimbrite deposit of northwestern Argentina and identify evidence of antecedent controls on yardang patterns and formation. We mapped 14,826 yardangs in the region using a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) and satellite imagery. We classified yardangs as points using a two-stage decision rule based on morphology and spectral characteristics. Point pattern analysis shows that yardangs in the study area are not randomly distributed and commonly exhibit directional anisotropy in point pattern. The anisotropic pattern manifests as bands of closely-spaced yardangs oriented transverse to the dominant northwesterly wind direction. We hypothesize that banding is controlled by pre-existing antecedent topography in the bedrock, such as fumaroles or ridges associated with pyroclastic flow deposits. We present evidence from other locations on Earth and Mars to illustrate that the transverse banding is a common pattern in yardang landscapes.

Viewing alternatives

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations