Vegetation control allows autocyclic formation of multiple dunes on prograding coasts Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Geological Society of America. We investigate the formation of multiple dunes using a > 15 yr record of dune growth from Long Beach Peninsula, Washington State (USA), and a recently published coastal dune model modified to include a feedback between vegetation growth and local dune slope. In the presence of shoreline progradation, we find that multiple dune ridge formation can be autocyclic, arising purely from internal dune dynamics rather than requiring variations in external conditions. Our results suggest that the ratio of the shoreline progradation rate and the lateral dune growth rate is critical in determining the height, number, and form of multiple dunes, allowing the development of testable predictions. Our findings are consistent with observations and imply that caution is required when using dune ridges as proxies for past changes in climate, sea level, land use, and tectonic activity because the relationship between external events and the formation of multiple dunes may not be one to one as previously thought.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 22.248

author list (cited authors)

  • Moore, L. J., Vinent, O. D., & Ruggiero, P.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Moore, Laura J||Vinent, Orencio Duran||Ruggiero, Peter

publication date

  • July 2016