Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Aeolian transport over a developing transverse dune


The spatial and temporal changes in aeolian transport over a dune are fundamental factors that control the morphology of the dune. In the present study, we obtained direct field observations of aeolian transport over a developing transverse dune at the Shapotou Aeolian Experiment Site in the southeastern part of China’s Tengger Desert. The transport rate versus wind speed relationship is complicated over a developing dune compared with the relationships over flat surfaces and over dunes that are in equilibrium with the wind. We obtained trend lines for transport rate over the transverse dune versus distance. The transport rate generally increased from the toe to the crest above the stoss slope, but the difference in transport rate between the crest and the toe was smaller than those that have been proposed for taller dunes. The crest/toe ratio for transport rates therefore seems to depend greatly on dune height. Flux density profiles for different points above the dune at different wind speeds were well described by the exponential decay law, as has been proposed for saltation flux density profiles. Coefficients in the flux density profile function can be defined in terms of the transport rate and wind speed. However, the dependence of relative decay rate with height and average saltation height on wind speed was weaker than that observed in a wind tunnel and above a flat surface. The preliminary results obtained in this study require more evidence from field observations to fully describe aeolian transport above developing dunes.

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