Journal Highlights

Quantifying the Role of Urbanization on Airflow Perturbations and Dunefield Evolution

Editor’s Highlight—

This study examines the impact of urban development on the geomorphology of coastal dunes and dunefields. Having conducted conventional analyses of image and lidar data to document dunefield changes over time at Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain, the authors then seek to explain these changes using the results of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling. The application of CFD modeling to quantify the changes in airflow and sediment transport at a dune and dunefield scale provides a methodology for understanding anthropogenic impacts of coastal dunefield evolution in other areas. 

Blog—Development degrades Canary Island’s cherished sand dunes (+video) 

Wind is powerful. Given enough time, steady gusts are strong enough to carve landscapes, from The Wave in Arizona to the limestone swirls of Texas. But putting homes and buildings in the wind’s path can disrupt this terrain-altering process, and even degrade cherished natural features, a new study suggests.

The new study, published in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, explores the impact of development on local wind patterns and dune formation on one of Spain’s Canary Islands.

By reviewing aerial photographs and topographical measurements, the study’s authors watched how a city’s expansion altered local wind patterns and ultimately changed the surrounding landscape, jeopardizing the long-term sustainability of a major tourist destination. ..more

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