What type of landforms are found in the Chihuahuan Desert?

There are many types of landforms in the Chihuahuan Desert. By and large they differ significantly from the types of landforms we associate with more mesic environments.

Two characteristic landform assemblages are the "Basin and Range" terrain, and the "Mesa and Scarp" terrain. Basins are usually wide- ranging, flat areas that lie between mountain ranges. They are made of material that has eroded from the surrounding mountain ranges. Basins may contain playas, playettes, sand sheets and hardpans of various types. Rocky basins may be described as hamadas made of exposed bedrock or of various desert pavements, or they may be merely flat and rocky in which case they are called regs.

Ranges erode to form plateaus, mesas, buttes, and pinnacles. The flat tops of these mountains are created by differential weathering down to resistant caprocks and/or hardpans. The escarpments are surrounded by taluses and various piedmont slope (bajada) type landforms, including alluvial fans along with their associated remnants, collars, ballenas, coppice dunes, and terraces. Sometimes inselbergs arise from the basin floor.

Water-generated landforms include drainage channels which are usually described according to their size using landform-words like canyons, ravines, gullies, washes, drainages, or wadis. Great ergs (large areas covered with mobile sand dunes) are less frequent, but do exist, and dunes have an encyclopedic range of landform descriptions.

No discussion of Chihuahuan Desert landforms would be complete without including badlands. These complicatedly eroded areas are usually made mostly of massive deposits of various types of soft argillic materials (clays) or calcic materials. Badlands are created by the rapid erosion of these very soft materials. Badlands made of argillic materials usually have little or no vegetation because rapid shrinking and swelling of these materials disrupts roots of seedlings and prevents their establishment.

This is actually only a short list of typical desert landforms found in the Chihuahuan. Most of these landforms are themselves made of other features, which are described by separate groups of technical terms. A thorough answer to this question could form the basis of a nice book!
Thanks for the feedback!

Oleg is basically handed his job on a silver platter as the Embassy's Science and Technology officer because his father is a prominent Communist Party member. How does Oleg's privilege impact the way he does his job as a KGB agent?

View Full Interview
In Deserts

The Chihuahuan Desert is located in what three states?

The Chihuahuan Desert enters parts of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico as well as several states in Mexico.
Thanks for the feedback!
In Deserts

What animals live in the Chihuahuan Desert?

There are numerous animals that call the Chihuahuan Desert home.  Here are some of them:   Cougar   Bobcat   Jaguar   Jaguarundi   Wolf   Coyote   (MORE)
In Phoenix

The 8 Different Biomes of the Incredibly Diverse Sonoran Desert

The desert is only one of many different types of eco-regions you will find in the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert, which stretches across the southern half of Arizona, sou (MORE)

The Mesa, Famous Landform of the American Southwest

Appearing in the background of famous western paintings and adventurous cinematic "westerns," mesas are a landform that is familiar to most moviegoers as well as geologists. S (MORE)
In Phoenix

Playing Golf in the Desert Sun

Playing golf in the desert of Phoenix, AZ as a means of entertainment is a leisurely way to spend your afternoon. Some course are designed like a standard golf course, while o (MORE)
In Phoenix

6 Amazing Wild Animals of the Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert covers the southwestern parts of Arizona, the southeastern parts of California, and the state of Sonora in Mexico. More rain falls on the Sonoran Desert tha (MORE)
In Phoenix

The Most Common Desert Plants in Arizona

The Sonoran Desert, a large desert that stretches from New Mexico to California, consumes about a third of the state of Arizona. Despite its hot, arid climate, it boasts a wid (MORE)

Sinai Desert Tours and Cruises

The Sinai Desert, also known as the Sinai Peninsula, has been attracting enthusiasts of all types for years. Whether you like to scuba dive, hike, or capture beautiful landsca (MORE)
In Deserts

What is the climate in the Chihuahuan Desert?

Most of the desert's northern latitudes have both Hot Desert  (Köppen BWh) and Cool Desert (Köppen BWk) climates. Rainfall in  these regions averages between 300 and 600 m (MORE)
In Mexico

What 3 states are the Chihuahuan Desert in?

On the US side it would include Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. On the Mexican side the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas and Nuevo Leon are within the desert's (MORE)
In Deserts

How many people live in the Chihuahuan Desert?

Several million people live in cities and towns of the Chihuahuan  Desert. here are a few major metropolitan areas in that desert:   El Paso, Texas   Las Cruces, New (MORE)