This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Sand Dunes Essay

2623 words - 10 pages

1.0 Introduction1.1 What are Sand Dunes?McHenry [1] (1993, p. 406) states, "A sand dune is a hill, mound or ridge of accumulated sand and loose material, which is formed by wind action." They are natural structures that protect the coastal environment by absorbing energy from wind, tide and wave action.1.2 Formation of Sand DunesSand dunes are formed by accretion, which is the increase of land by the action of natural forces. Any part of the upper beach, once dry, can lose sand to the wind, especially if the sand is fine, and dune formation proceeds in the direction which the predominant wind direction is blowing.As claimed by McHenry [2] (1993, p. 754) "Sand dunes are also formed as the wind carries sediment from the beach in a landward direction, depositing it wherever an obstacle obstructs airflow." The dune gradually grows in this way, creating a larger obstruction to sand particles being airborne.With high wind speeds, sand is continually pushed over the crest of the primary dune. This causes new sand dunes to build up behind the first dune, eventually forming a series of dunes from the seashore, inland.1.3 Succession and Zonation in Sand Dune CommunitiesHuxley and Walter (2000, p. 127) found that as a dune forms, "sand is unstable and tends to move with wind action." However, there are a few plants which are able to cope with these conditions, and these will begin to colonise the dune area, and plant succession will occur. Often these pioneer plants include Spinifex grass and creepers (Huxley & Walter 2000). These pioneer plants are very tolerant of salt and can therefore grow much closer to the sea than most other species. These plants may have adaptations that may include:§ High vertical growth rates to keep up with continuous sand deposition.§ Leaves are often rolled which reduces the leaf surface area exposed to the atmosphere therefore decreasing the plants transpiration rates§ Extensive lateral root or creeping shoot systems to bind the sand together.By helping to bind the sand in one place, a more stable windbreak is produced, encouraging more sand to be deposited and thus building the dune higher. These plants continue to grow, creating protection for further plants. The inland dunes eventually produce continuous plant cover, which effectively anchors the sand in the one place. In the colder months of the year, most of the available water for the plants will come from the dew deposited at night. Developing humus layers from decaying vegetation will help to retain some of this moisture. Eventually, a build-up of humus from all the decaying vegetation will develop the sand into a sandy soil, capable of supporting pasture grasses and bushes. The final stage in dune succession may be the formation of Coniferous forests, which is common in climax communities for sand dune ecosystems.Zonation in dune communities reflects the different conditions of each section. Eg. Primary dune has scarce vegetation, and what it does...

Find Another Essay On Sand Dunes

coastal management Essay

834 words - 3 pages of erosion affecting Cronulla. The see bee wall is a hexagonal arrangement that breaks up the amount of energy given from the destructive waves and lets the water run off the wall with little power and force. Consequently the waves diminish in power and do not become high energy waves cutting into the land. The artificial cement made structure was made as a result of not having any natural barriers, like sand dunes and vegetation, to stop the

xcvxcvxcvxcvxc Essay

1841 words - 7 pages Ynyslas DunesVegetation succession and soil development- The Psammosere Figure 1. Location of Ynyslas dunes. Sand dune systems offer an ideal opportunity to study vegetation succession. Vegetation succession is one of the fundamental ecological concepts that underpin our understanding of the development of habitats and their management. Succession is a process which takes place temporally (over time), however, rather than study one

Barrier Beaches of Long Island, NY

1385 words - 6 pages dunes and a bay. This is true of the barrier beaches of Long Island. Long Island is famous for its sandy ocean beaches. Between the barrier beach and the main coast is the Great South Bay. The beaches and dunes have very different characteristics. The sandy beach is the junction of land and ocean. The sandy beach consists of two zones, the swash zone and the drift line. The swash zone is the area of wet sand, caused by the incoming wave

Huntington Beach as a Summer and Winter Beach

1123 words - 5 pages sample. Finally, there will be a brief summary at the end of this paper in which the sand samples will be briefly restated in show of example for the winter and summer differences in a beach, specifically Huntington Beach. Information on Winter Beaches As storms and wave heights, along with a general change in wave and wind direction, surge during the fall and winter months, beach berms and occasionally the dunes erode in reaction, causing the

The women in the dunes

1984 words - 8 pages The Women in the dunesNo escapeIs Kobe Abe's strange, bleak novel The Woman in the Dunes, about a man imprisoned in a pit of sand, a parable of damnation or salvation?It is a metaphor for the human predicamentKobo Abe's novel The Woman in the Dunes appeared in 1962, to spontaneous acclaim, was translated into 20 languages and adapted for a Cannes festival award-winning film directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara and scored by Toru Takemitsu. Each of

Book report on "Dune" by

471 words - 2 pages most of the novel takes place, is a desolate, isolated spot in the universe which isn't valuable for anything, but the spice. The people on the planet have it hard because of the gigantic sand dunes and the indigenous sand worms which live under the sand. The planet has no source of water on it except that of underground, which is very hard to come by. As you can see, 'Water is precious there.' (pg. 30)The plot of this science-fiction story deals


758 words - 4 pages In this photograph you can see from the stumps and stacks that the force of the water has eroded away the weakest parts in the rocks. Before the erosion started to take place these stumps and stacks would have been solid intact rocks. In years to come these will just be tiny grains of sand in the water. The consequence for this happening is there will be no stumps or stacks and the force of the ocean will wash away the dunes until it finds more


1252 words - 6 pages subjected to wind and wave energy and erosion. This is one reason why South Shore beaches are so eroded and have sand dunes. Barrier islands can stretch for hundreds of miles and are divided into frontal beach, dune, and inland beach. Barrier island are stabilized by wind blown sand which will then pile into dunes. Grass and foliage grow on the dune to keep the sand together. This helps the beach withstand detrimental erosion form storms and

A DAY AT THE BEACH (A story about a soldier in training before a war, the war is not specified unabling the reader to use their imagination) (Writing to Entertain)

892 words - 4 pages allwildlife; the glistening fish visible from the beach. The last of the day's warm sunlight wasshining, calmly beautiful, on our backs."Fire!" All our guns opened up. The gunnery officer had us charging, full pace, overthe sand-dunes. Those sand-dunes! If I was a blind man I reckon I could still feel my way over them to our exact positions again."Fire!" As I shot my rifle my stomach rumbled; it was almost tea time. Then up andcharging over the sand

How Natural Processes Operate at Coastal Geographic Environment

1013 words - 4 pages . Destructive waves are erosive and carry material seawards. Wind Erosion is the driving mechanism for Coastal Transportation and Coastal Deposition. Strong winds have a better ability to cause erosion at Muriwai's Coastal Geographic Environment. Wind erosion is most effective on well-drained landforms such as sand dunes. Loose particles are more easily eroded than wet heavy soil, sand and rock. Coastal Transportation is the movement of

Investigating if Dawlish Warren is Under Threat of Human Impact

5747 words - 23 pages use the wooden fencing used to separate the beach from the reserve for their BBQ, Phil chambers said in a bad year it cost up to £1000 in repairs. In the summer the dunes are very dry so it is very easy to set alight to them and obtain a large fire very quickly, this is very dangerous for people who through their cigarette buds into the dunes, or vandals who find it fun to set alight to dune. This damages the rare sand dune

Similar Essays

The Role Of Vegetation In Coastal Development In Sand Dunes And Salt Marshes

1755 words - 7 pages The Role of Vegetation in Coastal Development in Sand Dunes and Salt Marshes (a) Sand Dunes Before considering the role of vegetation In the development of coastal sand dunes, it may be useful to summarise the general conditions which are conducive to dune formation In order to place the biological processes involved in a broader context. Factors which encourage dune formation include prevailing onshore winds blowing

Beach Dune Erosion Essay

1245 words - 5 pages Vegetated sand ridges called dunes, built up by dry beach sand blown inland and trapped by plants and other obstructions, back most beaches. As sand accumulates, the dunes become higher and wider. Plants play a vital role in this process, acting as a windbreak and trapping the deposited sand particles. A characteristic of these plants is their ability to grow up through the sand and continually produce new stems and roots as more sand is

Sandscale Haws Essay

2891 words - 12 pages Sandscale Haws Physical Structure Sandscale haws are a large scale dune ecosystem in the United Kingdom. The dune ecosystem is built up of many types of dunes, I will now describe the structure of Sandscale haws and how it was created. For dunes to form there are a set of preconditions that must be readily available- firstly a large supply of medium grain sand., this is important as lighter sand will drift too

Coastal Management Essay

834 words - 3 pages of erosion affecting Cronulla. The see bee wall is a hexagonal arrangement that breaks up the amount of energy given from the destructive waves and lets the water run off the wall with little power and force. Consequently the waves diminish in power and do not become high energy waves cutting into the land. The artificial cement made structure was made as a result of not having any natural barriers, like sand dunes and vegetation, to stop the