What are the major types of sand dunes?

There are five main types of sand dunes. These are the barchan, transverse, blowout, linear, and composite dunes. Although it is sometimes easier to see different dune types from the air, some deserts have only one predominant type. The barchan dune is a horseshoe-shaped dune with the front curve facing into the wind.

Where can you find a sand dune?

The Athabasca Sand Dunes, located in the Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, Saskatchewan. The Cadiz Dunes in the Mojave Trails National Monument in California. The Kelso Dunes in the Mojave Desert of California.
  • What is a beach dune?

    A sand dune is a mount, hill or ridge of sand that lies behind the part of the beach affected by tides. They are formed over many years when windblown sand is trapped by beach grass or other stationary objects. Without vegetation, wind and waves regularly change the form and location of dunes.
  • What is a coastal sand dune?

    Sand dunes are small ridges or hills of sand found at the top of a beach, above the usual maximum reach of the waves. They form from wind blown sand that is initially deposited against an obstruction such as a bush, driftwood or rock. Dunes are very vulnerable to erosion by natural processes and by human activity.
  • What is a cross bed?

    Cross-beds or "sets" are the groups of inclined layers, which are known as cross strata. Cross-bedding forms during deposition on the inclined surfaces of bedforms such as ripples and dunes; it indicates that the depositional environment contained a flowing medium (typically water or wind).

Updated: 2nd October 2019

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