Dynamics of nebkhas superimposed on a parabolic dune and their effect on the dune dynamics

K. Ardon, H. Tsoar, D. G. Blumberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report here on a bare barchan dune in Israel that converted over the last 60 years to a shrub-covered parabolic dune due to changes in land use. Thirty nebkhas (sand mounds) that were formed by sand trapped around shrubs growing on the dune were monitored during winter of 2004-2005. The rates of erosion or deposition were measured at five points in the nebkhas by erosion pins. All nebkhas were shown to undergo erosion or deposition activity. Nebkhas on the windward slope of the dune experienced primarily erosion. Those on the lee slope grew slowly by the light accumulation of sand. The largest nebkhas were found on the dune crest; they built up through the accumulation of sand that was eroded from the windward slope. There were no significant differences between the rates of erosion/deposition of the five study points placed in each nebkha. However, there were significant differences between the rates of erosion/deposition of the nebkhas on the three dynamic segments of the dunes (windward, crest and lee). A change in dune dynamics was observed by the emergence of shrubs on the crest. These shrubs trapped sand and increased the crest height. The sand trapped on the crest was not deposited on the lee side. In that case, the dune becomes narrower, higher, with a concave shape (of the windward slope), during the transformation from a barchan to a parabolic dune.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1022
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume73
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Barchans
  • Coastal sand dunes
  • Coppice dunes
  • Erosion pins
  • Human impact
  • Parabolic dunes

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