Yardangs in Dasht-e Lut, Iran

Rain, wind and ice constantly wear down the Earth's land surface and transport the resulting broken down rock and soil to the oceans in a process called erosion.

Left unchecked, erosion would transport all the Earth's dry land into the oceans, leaving a water world. It is only the movement of the Earth's plates, which builds mountains, that stops this happening.

Geologists are quite precise about what erosion is: The term erosion only covers the transportation of Earth materials. Rock and soil are altered while still in place by a process referred to as weathering. Weathering often makes rock and soil susceptible to erosion.

Image: The wind eroded ridges in this image are known as yardangs. These examples are in the Dasht-e Lut desert, Iran. (credit: George Steinmetz/SPL)

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Yardangs in Dasht-e Lut, Iran Erosion

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Erosion

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