Longitudinal dunes can move sideways

Patrick Hesp, Robert Hyde, Virginia Hesp, Qian Zhengyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Longitudinal dunes occur in all major sand areas in the world. Their dominant mode of migration or extension is considered to be either prevailing‐ or resultant wind‐parallel, the dunes extending downwind via accretion of the terminal nose. In the Qaidam Pendi in Northwest China a series of active longitudinal dunes extend downwind at 5–10 m yr−1. Internal sedimentary structures examined in the dunes, however, display beds dipping in one direction rather than two opposed directions as is expected. Analysis of aerial photographs confirms that these dunes migrate laterally up to three metres per year, whilst maintaining a symmetrical longitudinal dune morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Lateral migration
  • Longitudinal dunes
  • N.W. hina


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