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Geomorphologic patterns of dune networks in the Tengger Desert, China

Abstract

Dune networks are widely distributed in the world’s deserts, which include primary ridges and secondary ridges. However, they have not been sufficiently studied in a systematic manner and their origins and spatial and morphological characteristics remain unclear. To provide information on the geomorphology of dune networks, we analyze the software geomorphologic patterns of the dune networks in China’s Tengger Desert using matrix and laboratory to process remote-sensing images. Based on analysis of image features and their layout in a topographic map, we identify two types of dune networks (square and rectangular dune networks) with different size and morphological structures in the Tengger Desert. Four important geomorphic pattern parameters, ridge length, spacing, orientation and defect density, are analyzed. The length of primary ridges of dune networks decreases from northwest of the desert to the southeast, resulting an increasing spacing and a transition from rectangular dune networks to square dune networks. Wind regime and sediment supply are responsible for the variation in pattern parameters. We use the spacing and defect density data to estimate the construction time of dune networks and found that the dune networks in the Tengger Desert formed since about 1.3 ka BP.

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Correspondence to Zhibao Dong.

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Wen, Q., Dong, Z. Geomorphologic patterns of dune networks in the Tengger Desert, China. J. Arid Land 8, 660–669 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-016-0092-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-016-0092-x

Keywords

  • aeolian geomorphology
  • dune networks
  • geomorphological parameters
  • geomorphic pattern analysis
  • Tengger Desert