Morphodynamics of incipient foredunes in New South Wales, Australia

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This chapter discusses the morphodynamics of incipient foredunes in New South Wales, Australia. Foredunes are the foremost vegetated sand dunes occurring on the backshore zone of sandy beaches. They are generally formed parallel to the coast. Incipient foredunes are the initial foredune formed by the trapping of sand within pioneer vegetation species. In New South Wales, incipient foredunes are predominantly initiated by the growth of Spinifex hirsutus. In New South Wales, westerly offshore winds, which occur throughout autumn and winter, appear to be primarily responsible for the transport of seeds onto the beach. They are incorporated into the beach sediments by the action of swash and aeolian sand transport. Maximum germination occurs in spring, particularly early October through November, on the upper portion of the backshore zone at the limit of spring tide swash. Mean velocity increases in the upper part of the profiles one to four because of lower profile drag and flow compression over the foredune. There is also a dramatic reduction in velocity, and formation of a separation envelope in the lee of the dune crest. The effect of lateral variations in plant density on flow structure is also examined in the chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-342
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopments in Sedimentology
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


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