By Mary C. Bourke, Heather A. Viles (Eds.)
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Extra resources for A Photographic Atlas of Rock Breakdown Features in Geomorphic Environments
Within deserts, many 19th century explorers reported hearing ‘pistol shots’ at night and finding split rocks the next morning, suggesting that dramatic cracking may occur under intense heating and cooling regimes. Lightning and fire have also been reported to produce split rocks (Dorn, 2003). Under experimental conditions such processes have been hard to reproduce, and moisture may be necessary to encourage splitting. Ollier (1971) also notes that split rocks can be produced by unloading affecting corestones within a weathered rock layer.
Figure W13 a & b. Kamenitza (white arrows) and rillenkarren (red arrow) on limestone in the southern Namib Desert. Image courtesy of H. Viles.
They are very well developed on fine grained rock and are associated with joints, fractures and small bed irregularities. Similar to their aeolian counterpart (see Figs. A7-A11), fluvial flutes are closed at the upstream end. They are thought to migrate in an upstream direction and occasionally have a more rounded rather than elongated shape. Hancock et al (1998) attributed this to a diminished strength of flow separation due to changes in the feature itself or in the surrounding bed. Flutes are poorly described in the fluvial literature and a comparative analysis with aeolian features is yet to be undertaken.