Reconstructing the environmental conditions of extinct coastal dune systems using historical sources: the case of the Guanarteme dune field (Canary Islands, Spain)
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The reconstruction of environmental conditions allows us to categorize an area before it has suffered disturbances or even completely disappeared. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the natural conditions of the Guanarteme dune system (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain) before it disappeared, focusing on studying its processes, landforms and vegetation cover. To this end, both primary sources and bibliographical references have been used as the basis of a description for the environmental state of this system between the 15th century and the middle of the 20th century, when the system was considered extinct. The different shapes and forms of the dunes over the centuries have enabled us to study the system evolution: its landforms have changed both in shape and number, as has the volume of sediments. This variation becomes obvious when we study the appearance of the system at the different dates of analysis. These changes are linked to the aeolian sediment dynamics, which are fairly stable from the 15th century until the last third of the 19th century, when a large amount of sediment in circulation was observed together with the shift of large aeolian landforms.