Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
Modelling vegetated dune landscapes
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 6, March 2007
How to Cite
2007), Modelling vegetated dune landscapes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L06405, doi:10.1029/2006GL029152., and (
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 FEB 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 13 FEB 2007
- Manuscript Received: 20 DEC 2006
- aeolian dunes;
- phase diagram
 This letter presents a self-organising cellular automaton model capable of simulating the evolution of vegetated dunes with multiple types of plant response in the environment. It can successfully replicate hairpin, or long-walled, parabolic dunes with trailing ridges as well as nebkha dunes with distinctive deposition tails. Quantification of simulated landscapes with eco-geomorphic state variables and subsequent cluster analysis and PCA yields a phase diagram of different types of coastal dunes developing from blow-outs as a function of vegetation vitality. This diagram indicates the potential sensitivity of dormant dune fields to reactivation under declining vegetation vitality, e.g. due to climatic changes. Nebkha simulations with different grid resolutions demonstrate that the interaction between the (abiotic) geomorphic processes and the biological vegetation component (life) introduces a characteristic length scale on the resultant landforms that breaks the typical self-similar scaling of (un-vegetated) bare-sand dunes.