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CrustalTrudger t1_it7b3w2 wrote

These are referred to as "Baers Mounds" or "Baers Knolls" after the scientist who first described them in detail in the mid 1800's. There have been a large number of hypotheses put forward to explain their formation, with aeolian (wind blown sediment) being one of the more popular as they do have a similar form to some windblown features, but subsequent work has shown that their internal structure and sediment characteristics are inconsistent with this. At present, there is still not a single explanation for their formation as far as I know, but recent publications have suggested they may be related to deposition during flow of water in a former connection between the Black and Caspian Seas, i.e., the Manych Strait (e.g., Badyukova, 2018) or as a result of deposition during rapid fall of the level of the Caspian Sea (e.g., Melnikova & Pokazeev, 2020).


zyphelion OP t1_it7dzq1 wrote

Thank you for answering! It's pretty fascinating that it's still sort of a mystery. The longitudinal (?) striations are quite striking and I thought my browser had glitched when I saw it at first.


[deleted] t1_it7m1z8 wrote



its___mike t1_it7xjsm wrote

This has a similar feel to it as the Carcross Desert and the Athabasca Sand Dunes (among others in Northern Canada)


ChesswiththeDevil t1_it89efx wrote

There are similar deserts in the middle of Tundra forest in Alaska.


Quirky_Word t1_it8g28k wrote


Kwyjibo83 t1_itb2hgw wrote


hiroto98 t1_itb72dp wrote

There's one in Japan too, in Tottori. Sea on one side and forest on the other.


Snookn42 t1_itbkq4c wrote

It also looks a lot like the Shark River Slough in the Everglades National Park


[deleted] t1_it8050u wrote



akmacmac t1_itafvde wrote

That’s so cool. You should also look at Devil’s Club. Native to the Pacific Northwest, with a disjunct population on islands of Lake Superior.


HastilyMadeAlt t1_itaxz35 wrote

A natural population? If so that's so freaking cool


akmacmac t1_itcxai3 wrote

Afaik it’s naturally occurring there. There’s some interesting theories as to how that came to be. Having to do with the prehistoric copper mines on those islands


KentondeJong t1_itb5n51 wrote

Yooooo, I'm from Saskatchewan. Represent man. Thanks for promoting my tubular province.


yeerth t1_it8fn6b wrote

Are these similar to White Sands in New Mexico?


CrustalTrudger t1_it8hftp wrote

As described in the original answer, these are not wind blown features and they are definitely not gypsum dunes like those in White Sands.


ontopofyourmom t1_itb562s wrote

We have places with a similar feel (although likely for a different reason) on the Oregon Coast.


Tharen101 t1_ita8kt2 wrote

We have similar geomorphological mystery in the US in north and south Carolina. Tyey are called the Carolina bays.


sylvershade t1_itaaibo wrote

Perfect soil for blueberries! Most of NCs blueberries are grown in those bays.


[deleted] t1_it7wvrs wrote



gwaydms t1_it85s3a wrote

The Channeled Scablands? Yeah, that's wild. And it happened not once, but many, many times.


EdenianRushF212 t1_it8ejda wrote

and correct me if I'm wrong, but we were unaware it was continental flooding channels until recently we panned back and fixed our eyes on the actual scale of the flooding, which is madness.


graffiti81 t1_it8zl71 wrote

Anyone interested in the topic of mega floods in Washington state should check out Nick Zentner's Ice Age Floods lectures (down toward the bottom of the page). He's got some great info.


GayMormonPirate t1_itakf8a wrote

You beat me to it. I was just going to mention the unique geologic formations in Eastern Washington state left by the ice age glaciers and floods.


newt_girl t1_it7xgot wrote

That's what this reminded me of, too. The channeled scablands.


treemonktheverdant t1_it8egzm wrote

At least when viewed on google maps, they look a lot like the Scab Lands in Washington State. They were also created by monumental floods.


CrustalTrudger t1_it8fi3n wrote

None of the explanations for these features as summarized in the Badyukova paper cited in the original answer focus on megafloods like those that generated the scablands as a possible origin. Ultimately, with many geomorphic features, shape alone is not diagnostic for the formation mechanism.


Arcturus1981 t1_it8bvgz wrote

Yes, thank you for the answer. I asked about this feature on r/geology and didn’t get an answer so I’m glad it came up again.


RockleyBob t1_it8vqbd wrote

This seems similar to the glacial lake that used to occupy parts of Montana during the ice age which burst and made the undulating hills of Washington state's Palouse region, no?


CrustalTrudger t1_it8zd4w wrote

As has been stated several other times in this thread, if you look at the Badyukova paper, they describe previous interpretations, none of which are glacial outburst floods, largely because the internal stratigraphy and sedimentology is not consistent with such an origin.