Climate as a control on foredune mode in Southern Australia

Leví García-Romero, Patrick A. Hesp, Carolina Peña-Alonso, Graziela Miot da Silva, Luis Hernández-Calvento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Foredunes are formed by aeolian sand deposition in vegetation on the backshore of beaches. In this paper, the foredune mode (nebkha, discontinuous foredune, and continuous foredune), and transgressive dunefield development is studied along the Great Australian Bight (GAB), 2668 km of coastline. Orthophotos are used to classify the foredune mode, coastal landforms and the vegetation, through geographic information systems (GIS), with fieldwork support. The results show that the foredune mode is strongly controlled by rainfall and temperature with respect to latitude, and to drift potential with respect to longitude across the GAB. Between 200 and 300 mm annual rainfall, nebkha predominate. When the annual rainfall is between 300 and 400, at latitude 32°, a clear pattern is not observed in foredune mode and this is identified as a transition zone. Discontinuous foredunes and continuous foredunes are strongly represented in regions experiencing above 400 mm annual rainfall. The main contribution of this study is the identification of foredune modes which are not only related to a climatic gradient and latitude, but also related to variations in longitude, vegetation cover and diversity, and dune mobility indices. Finally, there are other environmental relationships between the wind and longitude, where the geomorphology of the bay could be playing an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133768
Number of pages15
JournalScience of The Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Climate gradient
  • Dune mobility
  • Dune vegetation
  • Foredune mode
  • Nebkhas
  • South Australia


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