A Typology of Foredune Textures: Sand Patches and Climate Controls



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Foredunes are formed and developed in association with vegetation. A bare sand area has been viewed as a measure of dune mobility or activity and researched in association with climate controls: particularly wind power, annual mean precipitation, and temperature, expressed in annual mean potential evapotranspiration. There has been no research that utilized the patterns of bare sand areas to classify foredune areas in coastal dune systems and investigated climate controls related to sand patch patterns, or ?foredune textures? such as size, number, and distribution of sand patches

Four foredune types were classified based on four landscape metrics (PLAND: percentage of bare sand area, PLADJ: proportion of like-adjacencies, NLSI: normalized landscape shape index, and ENN_RA: range of Euclidean nearest neighbor), by applying the concepts and methodologies of landscape ecology. Four climate variables (annual mean precipitation, annual mean potential evapotranspiration, Lancaster?s mobility index, and the standard deviation of annual mean precipitation) were found to affect the foredune types and help in distinguishing one foredune type from another.

The amount of bare sand area on coastal foredune areas can be explained by annual mean precipitation (R^2 is 0.52 at the 99 % confidence level), standard deviation of precipitation (R^2 is 0.51 at the 99 % confidence level), and Lancaster?s mobility index (R^2 is 0.37 at the 99 % confidence level) but wind variables such as drift potential do not explain much (R^2 is 0.04 at maximum). This suggests that dune activity or stabilization in coastal dune systems is mainly controlled by vegetation cover, which is in turn affected by precipitation. Foredune textures can be a useful tool to predict foredune types in association with future climate change, and the optimal averaging period of precipitation for each bare sand area was seven years.