Three. The Form and Behaviour of Free Dunes

  1. Andrew Warren

Published Online: 27 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118295786.ch3

Dunes: Dynamics, Morphology, History

Dunes: Dynamics, Morphology, History

How to Cite

Warren, A. (2013) The Form and Behaviour of Free Dunes, in Dunes: Dynamics, Morphology, History, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118295786.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444339697

Online ISBN: 9781118295786



  • flow-hierarchy models;
  • free dunes;
  • grain-size;
  • lee slope;
  • slip faces;
  • supply model;
  • wind;
  • windward slope


This chapter discusses behaviour of free dunes that that are actively forming. The features described in the chapter are best developed on transverse dunes, which are those created by winds that blow consistently from one direction throughout an annual cycle. Nonetheless, the features are shared by dunes in more directionally variable wind regimes, even if their slip faces are usually smaller, and their windward slopes usually steeper, because they are prevented from full development by repeated changes in wind direction. Movement is the consequence of erosion on the windward slope of a dune, and deposition in the lee. Finally, the chapter examines a general question about the height of dunes. Another argument against the size/wind-speed explanation is a model that shows that dunes are reduced in high winds. The discussed models are flow-hierarchy models, grain-size models, and the time/supply model.