- Aeolian processes across transverse dunes. II: Modelling the sediment transport and profile development
- Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
This paper discusses a model which simulates dune development resulting from aeolian saltation transport. The model was developed for application to coastal foredunes, but is also applicable to sandy deserts with transverse dunes. Sediment transport is calculated using published deterministic and empirical relationships, describing the influence of meteorological conditions, topography, sediment characteristics and vegetation. A so-called adaptation length is incorporated to calculate the development of transport equilibrium along the profile. Changes in topography are derived from the predicted transport, using the continuity equation. Vegetation height is incorporated in the model as a dynamic variable. Vegetation can be buried during transport events, which results in important changes in the sediment transport rates. The sediment transport model is dynamically linked to a second-order closure air flow model, which predicts friction velocities over the profile, influenced by topography and surface roughness.
Modelling results are shown for (a) the growth and migration of bare, initially sine-shaped dunes, and (b) dune building on a partly vegetated and initially flat surface. Results show that the bare symmetrical dunes change into asymmetric shapes with a slipface on the lee side. This result could only be achieved in combination with the secondorder closure model for the calculation of air flow. The simulations with the partly vegetated surfaces reveal that the resulting dune morphology strongly depends on the value of the adaptation length parameter and on the vegetation height. The latter result implies that the dynamical interaction between aeolian activity and vegetation (reaction to burial, growth rates) is highly relevant in dune geomorphology and deserves much attention in future studies.
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