Modeling Aeolian Dune and Dune Field Evolution

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195665
Title:
Modeling Aeolian Dune and Dune Field Evolution
Author:
Diniega, Serina
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
sand hops and bounces -see the dunes grow, run, collide -form the field's pattern.Aeolian sand dune morphologies and sizes are strongly connected to the environmental context and physical processes active since dune formation. As such, the patterns and measurable features found within dunes and dune fields can be interpreted as records of environmental conditions. Using mathematical models of dune and dune field evolution, it should be possible to quantitatively predict dune field dynamics from current conditions or to determine past field conditions based on present-day observations.In this dissertation, we focus on the construction and quantitative analysis of a continuum dune evolution model. We then apply this model towards interpretation of the formative history of terrestrial and martian dunes and dune fields. Our first aim is to identify the controls for the characteristic lengthscales seen in patterned dune fields. Variations in sand flux, binary dune interactions, and topography are evaluated with respect to evolution of individual dunes. Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative multiscale models, these results are then extended to determine the role such processes may play in (de)stabilization of the dune field. We find that sand flux variations and topography generally destabilize dune fields, while dune collisions can yield more similarly-sized dunes. We construct and apply a phenomenological macroscale dune evolution model to then quantitatively demonstrate how dune collisions cause a dune field to evolve into a set of uniformly-sized dunes. Our second goal is to investigate the influence of reversing winds and polar processes in relation to dune slope and morphology. Using numerical experiments, we investigate possible causes of distinctive morphologies seen in Antarctic and martian polar dunes. Finally, we discuss possible model extensions and needed observations that will enable the inclusion of more realistic physical environments in the dune and dune field evolution models.By elucidating the qualitative and quantitative connections between environmental conditions, physical processes, and resultant dune and dune field morphologies, this research furthers our ability to interpret spacecraft images of dune fields, and to use present-day observations to improve our understanding of past terrestrial and martian environments.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
dune; dune field; evolution; model; pattern formation
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Applied Mathematics; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Glasner, Karl
Committee Chair:
Glasner, Karl

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleModeling Aeolian Dune and Dune Field Evolutionen_US
dc.creatorDiniega, Serinaen_US
dc.contributor.authorDiniega, Serinaen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractsand hops and bounces -see the dunes grow, run, collide -form the field's pattern.Aeolian sand dune morphologies and sizes are strongly connected to the environmental context and physical processes active since dune formation. As such, the patterns and measurable features found within dunes and dune fields can be interpreted as records of environmental conditions. Using mathematical models of dune and dune field evolution, it should be possible to quantitatively predict dune field dynamics from current conditions or to determine past field conditions based on present-day observations.In this dissertation, we focus on the construction and quantitative analysis of a continuum dune evolution model. We then apply this model towards interpretation of the formative history of terrestrial and martian dunes and dune fields. Our first aim is to identify the controls for the characteristic lengthscales seen in patterned dune fields. Variations in sand flux, binary dune interactions, and topography are evaluated with respect to evolution of individual dunes. Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative multiscale models, these results are then extended to determine the role such processes may play in (de)stabilization of the dune field. We find that sand flux variations and topography generally destabilize dune fields, while dune collisions can yield more similarly-sized dunes. We construct and apply a phenomenological macroscale dune evolution model to then quantitatively demonstrate how dune collisions cause a dune field to evolve into a set of uniformly-sized dunes. Our second goal is to investigate the influence of reversing winds and polar processes in relation to dune slope and morphology. Using numerical experiments, we investigate possible causes of distinctive morphologies seen in Antarctic and martian polar dunes. Finally, we discuss possible model extensions and needed observations that will enable the inclusion of more realistic physical environments in the dune and dune field evolution models.By elucidating the qualitative and quantitative connections between environmental conditions, physical processes, and resultant dune and dune field morphologies, this research furthers our ability to interpret spacecraft images of dune fields, and to use present-day observations to improve our understanding of past terrestrial and martian environments.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectduneen_US
dc.subjectdune fielden_US
dc.subjectevolutionen_US
dc.subjectmodelen_US
dc.subjectpattern formationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineApplied Mathematicsen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGlasner, Karlen_US
dc.contributor.chairGlasner, Karlen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTabor, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLin, Kevinen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberByrne, Shaneen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11108en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659755053en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.