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Journal of Arid Land  2016, Vol. 8 Issue (5): 660-669    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0092-x
Research Articles     
Geomorphologic patterns of dune networks in the Tengger Desert, China
WEN Qing1, DONG Zhibao1,2*
1 Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Department of Geography, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China
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Abstract  Dune networks are widely distributed in the world’s deserts, which include primary ridges and secondary ridges. However, they have not been sufficiently studied in a systematic manner and their origins and spatial and morphological characteristics remain unclear. To provide information on the geomorphology of dune networks, we analyze the software geomorphologic patterns of the dune networks in China’s Tengger Desert using matrix and laboratory to process remote-sensing images. Based on analysis of image features and their layout in a topographic map, we identify two types of dune networks (square and rectangular dune networks) with different size and morphological structures in the Tengger Desert. Four important geomorphic pattern parameters, ridge length, spacing, orientation and defect density, are analyzed. The length of primary ridges of dune networks decreases from northwest of the desert to the southeast, resulting an increasing spacing and a transition from rectangular dune networks to square dune networks. Wind regime and sediment supply are responsible for the variation in pattern parameters. We use the spacing and defect density data to estimate the construction time of dune networks and found that the dune networks in the Tengger Desert formed since about 1.3 ka BP.

Key wordsatmospheric circulation      precipitation      glacier      mass balance     
Received: 04 February 2016      Published: 15 June 2016

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (2013CB956000) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41130533).

Corresponding Authors: DONG Zhibao     E-mail:
Cite this article:

WEN Qing, DONG Zhibao. Geomorphologic patterns of dune networks in the Tengger Desert, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2016, 8(5): 660-669.

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