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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Sand source and formation mechanism of riverine sand dunes: a case study in Xiangshui River, China

Abstract

Riverine sand dunes develop as a result of fluvial-aeolian interactions. The primarily barchan dune chains along the Xiangshui River (a branch of the Xar Moron River) form a typical riverine dune field. We collected a series of samples from the riverine sand dunes parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind. We investigated the sand sources and formation mechanisms of these dunes by determining the grain size, heavy mineral content and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) of the samples. The sand of the near-river dunes was coarser than the sand of the dunes distant from the river, indicating that coarse sand of the valley mainly deposited on near-river dunes. The heavy mineral analysis suggested that wind-sand activity levels were intense on the upwind dunes, but relatively weak on the downwind dunes. This indicated that the sand sources for the near-river dunes were more abundant than those of the distant dunes. Our OSL analysis of samples suggested that the deposition rates on dunes near the river were greater than the deposition rates on dunes distant from the river. The development of dunes along the river indicated that the river played an important role in dune formation and development. In addition, airflow fluctuation and the formation of the waveform dunes had a type of feedback relationship. Grain size, heavy mineral and OSL analyses are widely used methods in wind-sand research. Sand dune grain size characteristics reflect the effects of airflow on the transport and separation of sand materials, as well as the physical characteristics of the sand sources. Heavy mineral characteristics are often used to investigate the relationships between sediments and sand sources. OSL indicates dune age, revealing formation of dunes. Therefore, it is useful to explore dune sand sources, as well as the mechanisms underlying dune formation, by determining grain size, heavy mineral content and OSL. This study investigated the sand sources of riverine dunes and provided new information about riverine dune formation and development.

Keywords

riverine dune; grain size; heavy mineral; OSL; Horqin Sandy Land

First Page

525

Last Page

536

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