Transverse Dune Landscape
Reference work entry
This is a desert landscape consisting of chains of large barchan dunes. Transverse dunes can generally reach lengths of 10–20 km and heights up to 100 m. Adjacent dune chains can be up to 1,500–3,500 m apart. The dunes are perpendicular to the wind direction, so they are called transverse dunes. The two slopes are asymmetrical; the windward slope is long and gentle, but the leeward slope is short and steep. The windward slope is often superimposed with several small barchan dunes. Transverse dunes form due to wind from two opposite directions. When two air currents meet and block each other or when the airflow is deflected by a mountain, a transverse dune perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction will form. Transverse sand dunes are located in the Tengger Desert and Kumtag Desert in China (Fig. 30).
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