Golden Sand Dunes
Sorting through my desert boxes this week I saw this creamy, sandy mix and knew I had to use it to create.
"A dune is a landform, and is a large mass of wind-blown sand. Dunes are most common in deserted environments, such as the Sahara, and also near beaches. An area with dunes is called a dune system. In physical geography, a dune is a hill of loose sand built by aeolian processes (wind) or the flow of water. Dunes occur in different shapes and sizes, formed by interaction with the flow of air or water. Dunes can be natural, but also man-made (artificial). Most kinds of dunes are longer on the stoss (upflow) side, where the sand is pushed up the dune, and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee side. The valley or trough between dunes is called a slack.
"The colours of dunes can vary considerably. In the White Sands area of New Mexico in the USA the dunes are stark white, as they are made of gypsum (plaster of Paris) grains. In the main Namib Sand Sea the dune colour varies from pale yellowish near the coast to reddish pink in the far interior. Several theories have been put forward to explain this variation. The main cause is probably that the weathering of iron-bearing material such as rock fragments causes iron-oxide coatings – rust in other words – to form on the surface of grains.
Near the coast where the sand has recently emerged from the sea, the weathering process has not had sufficient time to form the iron oxide and coat the grains. The winds at the coast are also of a higher strength and regularity, and may roughen the coatings as they form. Further inland the winds are not as strong and the dunes are more stable, allowing the coatings to form. Occasional rain could aid this process, as well as chemical and biological weathering caused by the sparse vegetation cover."
"And in the early morning light, the desert stretched out ahead of us, wave upon wave of creamy yellow golden dunes of sand. We would need to find a way to navigate that..."