What is it about?

The accurate detection of altitudinal surface changes on a star dune compared to climatic data enables the identification of aeolian dynamics and new mechanisms where, besides wind intensity alone, slope angles are more decisive for sand transport than previously assumed.

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Why is it important?

Morphologies of highly complex star dunes are the result of aeolian dynamics in past and present times and reflect climatic conditions and associated forces like sediment availability and vegetation cover but the lack of sufficient surfaces detail, and their influence on formation and evolution remains unclear. The investigation at hand recoreded the dynamics of a complex star dune (Erg Chebbi, Morocco) in sufficient detail by analysing wind measurements compared to morphometric changes derived from multitemporal high‐accuracy 3D observations. Observed surface changes lead to the identification of an overall shielding effect and point to a self‐sustained dune growth, which has not yet been described in such spatial detail. The methodological approach of combining meteorological data and high‐resolution multitemporal 3D elevation models can be used for monitoring all dune forms and contributes to a general understanding of dune dynamics and evolution.

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This page is a summary of: Capturing complex star dune dynamics ‐ Repeated highly accurate surveys combining multitemporal 3D topographic measurements and local wind data, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, May 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/esp.5420.
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