Original Paper

International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 949-958

First online:

Morphological characteristics and development of coastal nabkhas, north-east Kuwait

  • Jasem M. Al-AwadhiAffiliated withFaculty of Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Kuwait University Email author 
  • , Ali M. Al-DousariAffiliated withDesert Group, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research

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The coastal aeolian nabkhas, in Kuwait, are mostly elongated, with an average length of about 10 m, an average width of 3.7 m, and an average height of 0.65 m. The horizontal component of the nabkha dune (HC: the mean of the length and width of nabkha dune), developed around Nitraria retusa, was measured and compared with the height of the shrub. A second-polynomial function was found to best fit the set of data. The fitting identified three trends of the development of the nabkhas. Initially, as the height of shrubs (H) increases, the HC increases linearly until it reaches approximately 10 m. When H exceeds 2 m, the effect of shrub height becomes ineffective in trapping more sediments; that is, reaching an equilibrium condition, before a decrease in shrub height effectiveness occurs. Sediments of the nabkha crest and wings, left and right sides, are subjected to high energy winds, and therefore, they are generally coarser and better sorted than those of the tail or the nose. Minor differences are noted in the textural characteristics and the mineral composition of nabkha sediments and those of other aeolian landforms found in upwind nabkha field; this indicates that the sediments were derived from the nearby sources.


Shrub Aeolian sediment Minerals Nabkhas