Seven. Coastal Dunes

  1. Andrew Warren

Published Online: 27 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118295786.ch7

Dunes: Dynamics, Morphology, History

Dunes: Dynamics, Morphology, History

How to Cite

Warren, A. (2013) Coastal Dunes, in Dunes: Dynamics, Morphology, History, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118295786.ch7

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444339697

Online ISBN: 9781118295786



  • beach-dune system;
  • coastal dunes;
  • coastal sand sheets;
  • embryo dunes;
  • fore-dunes;
  • humid climate


This chapter focuses on an intermediate time-space scale, and on active landforms. The major distinction of arid coasts, as concerns dunes, is that there is little or no vegetation to hold sand. A ‘humid’ climate is one that can support enough plant cover to hold the amounts of sand delivered by the wind from the beach. The supply of sand to a stretch of coast is determined by the same kind of mixture of processes as determine the supply of sand to desert dunes, but, given the geological youth of most coastal dunes, dependent as they have been for sand released by the Holocene rise in sea level. At the scale of an individual beach/dune system, the supply of sand to coastal dunes is more complex. Finally, the chapter talks about exclusively coastal dunes such as embryo dunes, fore-dunes, tsunamis, and coastal sand sheets.