Sediment Source Dependency of Dunes in Central Washington
April 9, 2019
Department or Program
The expansion of agriculture since the 1960s has dramatically affected the landscape of Central Washington. My research examines the effect of farm expansion on nearby revegetation of exposed dune surface, testing the postulate that active dunes require an exposed sediment source. Literature on the subject indicates that active dunes require continuous wind-blown sand and a sediment source to provide this sand. Working by the assumption that wind patterns have not changed, it may be that increasing farmland has reduced the availability of sediment sources.Using historical satellite imagery of Juniper Dunes and Hanford Dunes, I measured the area of exposed sand and developed a regression analysis to demonstrate that dunes whose sediment source has been developed with agriculture will vegetate, while dunes with exposed sediment sources remain active.