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Kelso Dunes

The Kelso Dunes are located in the Mojave Desert National Preserved southeast of Baker, CA. Sand from the Mojave River alluvial apron is driven approximately 35 miles by predominantly westerly winds, piling up at the base of the Granite and Providence mountains, which flank the south and southeast sides of the dune field.  The westerly winds are counterbalanced by strong winds from other directions that result in a result in a variety of dunes forms [Sharp, 1966].  The dune field covers an area of 115 km2 and contains dunes that rise up to 195 m above the terrain.  Large portions of the dunes have sparse vegetation cover that stabilizes areas of previously drifting sand.  The dunes are composed predominately of quartz and feldspar eroded from granitics of San Bernardino Mountains to the south but also contain a large proportion of lithic fragments [Edgett and Lancaster, 1993] .