A computer simulation model for transverse-dune-field dynamics, corresponding to a uni-directional wind regime, is developed. In a previous formulation, two distinct problems were found regarding the cross-sectional dune shape, namely the erosion in the lee of dunes and the steepness of the windward slopes. The first problem is solved by introducing no erosion in shadow zones. The second issue is overcome by introducing a wind speedup (shear velocity increase) factor, which can be accounted for by adding a term to the original transport length, which is proportional to the surface height. By incorporating these features we are able to model dunes whose individual shape and collective patterns are similar to those observed in nature. Moreover we show how the introduction of a non-linear shear-velocity-increase term leads to the reduction of dune height, and this may result in an equilibrium dune field configuration. This is thought to be because the non-linear increase of the transport length makes the sand trapping efficiency lower than unity, even for higher dunes, so that the incoming and the outgoing sand flux are in balance. To fully describe the inter-dune morphology more precise dynamics in the lee of the dune must be incorporated. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.