Holocene Yardangs in volcanic terrains in the Southern Andes, Argentina

Moshe Inbar, Corina Risso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Yardangs of different sizes were developed in the Payun Matru Volcanic Field, a semiarid area east of the southern Andes mountains. Yardangs from volcanic terrains have not been described previously from Earth, although studies from Mars interpreted linear ridges found by Mariner and Viking images as yardangs. The Payun Matru Volcanic Field is an extensive plateau at 2000 m a.s.l. covered by basaltic lava and ignimbrite flows. Strong westerly winds affect the extensive plateau. Micro- and mesoyardangs are formed on the ignimbrite rock blanket, and macroforms or megayardangs, several kilometres in length, are developed in the basaltic lava flows as long parallel troughs. They all have a distinctive 320° azimuth, which is the prevailing wind direction. No yardang features are noted in the more recent lava flows, younger than 1000 years, indicating that their formation needed a longer time or they developed in earlier periods with stronger winds. The yardang development is explained by the strong unidirectional winds, the poor vegetational cover due to the aridity of the region, the available quartz sand and volcanic ash particles as abrasive agents, and the volcanic lithology texture and flow structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-666
Number of pages10
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001


  • Holocene
  • Payun Matru
  • Southern Andes
  • Volcanic geomorphology
  • Wind erosion
  • Yardangs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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