Coastal Dunes

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3-Year Streaming
Coastal Dunes (21:00)
Item# 797

At ground level, shallow seas, broad beaches, dunes, and waterlogged hollows seem to comprise a chaotic environment. In fact, there is order and form, produced by the interaction of wind, vegetation, and moving sand. Because sand dunes develop rapidly, the development of a landform can be observed. Measuring wind velocity demonstrates how saltation, sand movement, and erosion happen. The program demonstrates the morphology of dune development and how the complex interaction between it and the vegetation-soil system can be observed and measured. The program also demonstrates how precarious the balance is between the various factors, and how slight changes—including the use of the area by man—can destroy large parts of the system. (20 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (6)

1. Sand of Coastal Dunes (03:49)
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A ground level, shallow seas, broad beaches, dunes, and waterlogged hollows seem to comprise a chaotic environment. Order and form, however, result from wind, vegetation, and moving sand. How and why does sand move?

2. Vegetation of Coastal Dunes and Sand Accumulation (02:27)

In the vegetation of coastal dunes, the zone of no wind is ten times greater than on the open dunes. When sand enters that zone, it tends to stay. Sand accumulates among the grass, and distinct ridges are formed.

3. Coastal Dune Winds (03:37)

The nature of the relationship between dune form and wind velocity becomes apparent on a charted graph. Using grids, researchers determine the amount of vegetation in embryonic dunes. In this way, the dominant species is determined.

4. Soil and Plants of Coastal Dunes (02:55)

Soil samples from embryonic coastal dunes are gathered for further study in the laboratory. A field testing kit is used to determine the pH of soil samples. Fore dunes are less than 3 meters above the level of the beach.

5. First Dune Ridge of Coastal Dunes (03:41)

In this example, the first dune ridge is 17 meters, and its vegetation is different from that of the embryo and fore dunes. They form a major obstacle to the movement of sand. Each succeeding ridge becomes smaller.

6. Marsh Vegetation (03:07)

Wasting dunes are less impressive of the preceding dunes, and their vegetation is different from the more coastal dunes. Natural balance in the coastal dunes is precarious. Humans can destroy large parts of the coastal dune system.

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