SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (1): 76-83.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2014.01.76

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Review of Barchan Dunes

Yan-yan YANG(), Lian-you LIU, Zhi-qiang QU, Guo-ming ZHANG   

  1. Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education Engineering Center of Desertification and Blown-sand Control, Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management,Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2013-02-24 Revised:2013-04-20 Online:2014-01-10 Published:2013-06-13


Barchan dunes are the most common and more in-depth researched aeolian landform, which have been learnt for a long time. This study briefly reviews the shapes and migration, formation conditions and process, flow field and erosion, grain size and structure, distribution and interaction of barchan dunes, and analyzes its study trends. Although a lot of important progress has been made in the study of barchan dune, there are still many problems needs to be solved. Firstly, shapes and migration are the most obvious characters of the barchan dune and have been researched since 1940. However, in the same region where the shapes of barchan dune are varied, the reasons are worth studying. Meanwhile, the researches in barchan dunes migration were concentrated on long period of time interval, while the short time interval studies, such as season and sand storm event, are critical in the projects of windbreak and sand-fixation, but have been concerned little. Secondly, in the formation condition and process, whether EST can stand for sand availability or not and which parameters can instead of it are still needed to answer. Meantime, experiments of the formation process are few, which are very important to prove the conceptual model. Thirdly, in the flow field of barchans dunes, how to measure shear force and the turbulent are very important aspects to study since how sand movement and deposition in the turbulent condition are the microscopic factors to explain the evolution. Moreover, studies of barchans dune structures are limited, so we can use new technologies, such as GPR(Ground Penetrating Radar) in the future. At last, distribution and interaction of barchan dunes are hot fields, where many studies have been done. However, they are still to be advanced and qualitative, and lots of problems are needed to solve. For instance, process, mass change and control condition of interaction, formation and development mechanism of barchans dune distribution.

Key words: barchan dunes, shapes and migration, formation conditions and process, flow field and erosion, grain size and structure

CLC Number: 

  • P931.3