Sand is brought into a desert by wind, often from a nearby area of eroding sedimentary rock, like sandstone. At the same time, the dryness and winds of the area destroy most vegetation and soil, leaving only sand and rocks. It’s important to remember, however, that not all deserts have sand, and that the presence of sand dunes doesn’t mean that it’s a desert. Antarctica, for example, is a desert because of the lack of precipitation.
Quartz sand is common and survives easily in most weathering processes. Sand is transported by wind, but not great distances at a time; much such wind-borne transport is in the form of migrating dunes, with wind moving sand a few inches that eventually can add up to miles.
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