Which polygon-shaped sedimentary structures are found in deserts and dry lake beds?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think the answer here is mudcracks.

Mudcracks are where soil that is high in clay content, such as that found in sedimentary zones like lakes, cracks due to heat. The clay in these soils is very absorbent, much like a sponge. When the soil absorbs large amounts of water and swells, it will look like gooey mud. When the soil drys out, however, like during extended droughts and dry spells or during heat waves, the water in the soil evaporates and the mud shrinks, causing stress fractures in the mud. In deserts, these are common in wadis, or dry riverbeds, and at the basses of foothills and mountains where clay can accumulate.

The slower the drying time, the more regular the crack pattern will be, with strict polygonal cracks forming in the shade. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial