- The effects of changing wind regimes on the development of blowouts in the coastal dunes of The Netherlands
- Landscape Ecology
- Volume | Issue number
- 6 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Blowouts are the main features of aeolian activity in many dune areas. To assess the impact of future climatic change on the geomorphological processes prevailing in a dune landscape it is essential to understand blowout formation and identify the meteorological parameters which are important.
The development, that is, local erosion and accumulation, of six blowouts in a dune terrain along the Dutch coast has been related to wind velocity and wind direction, as measured at a nearby standard meteorological station. Blowout changes correlate best with wind velocities between 6.25 and 12.5 m/s (measured at 10 m
height) which are the critical wind velocities for moving particles in the 0.15 to 0.42 mm range. These winds mostly blow from the southwest. Consequently, the blowouts are elongated in the same direction.
Extreme aeolian events such as northwestern storms have little effect on blowout development compared to events which have a lower magnitude but occur with a higher frequency. An eventual shift towards higher effective wind velocities would probably result not in larger blowouts but in a break-down of the whole system, especially if this shift were accompanied by a change in wind direction. The accumulation of sand in blowouts during storms should be seen as a first step of adaptation to a higher energy level.
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