Loope, David B. Department of Geology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Lincoln, Nebraska.
- Grain size and shape
- Distribution in space and time
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Mobile accumulation of sand-sized material that occurs along shorelines and in deserts because of wind action. Dunes are typically located in areas where winds decelerate and undergo decreases in sand-carrying capacity. Dunefields are composed of rhythmically spaced mounds of sand that range from about 3 ft (1 m) to more than 650 ft (200 m) in height and may be spaced as much as 5000 ft (1.5 km) apart. Smaller accumulations of windblown sand, typically ranging in height from ¼ to ½ in. (5 to 15 mm) and in wavelength from 3 to 5 in. (7 to 12 cm), are known as wind ripples. Dunes and ripples are two distinctly different features. The lack of intermediate forms shows that ripples do not grow into dunes. Ripples commonly are superimposed upon dunes, typically covering the entire upwind (stoss) surface and much of the downwind (leeward) surface as well.
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