Definition - What does Loess mean?

Loess is the silt-sized sediment which is built by inflation of the wind-blown dust. It is highly porous, homogeneous and traversed by capillaries which allow the sediments to fracture and create vertical buffs. It can be very thick and usually occurs as the blanket deposits that cover areas of around tens of hundreds of square kilometers. It usually stands in either vertical or steep faces. It can stand in the banks for several years without collapsing as the grains are angular.

Petropedia explains Loess

Loess is friable, homogeneous, porous, slightly coherent, non-stratified, pale yellow or buff. It is usually calcareous with angular grains that are round and little polishing. It consists of crystals of mica, quartz, feldspar and other minerals. It can be represented as rich and dust-like soil that has vertical cleavage as a characteristic feature making it easy to form the cave dwellings. It usually develops into exceptionally fertile agricultural soil. The soil underlain by the Loess turns to be extremely drained. For it to form, four things are required:

  • A source of dust;
  • Adequate wind energy for transporting the dust;
  • Appropriate area for accumulation and;
  • Enough amount of time.

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