The Corralejo dune system in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands (Spain) is an aeolian landscape whose genesis and evolution has commonly been associated with a traditional input-output model by which sediments entered from northern beaches and accumulation occurred in the southernmost (land-locked) sections of the dune field. Satellite images as well as aerial photographic evidence over the last 60 years, however, shows that the evolution of the dunes may reflect a more complex scenario in which under current settings and orientation of the coast, a sediment leakage back into the southern coastal environment is occurring. Under these circumstances, longshore currents can then transport this sediment back along the coast toward its initial landfall location, thus re-joining a sediment-recycling pathway. Human occupation of such a system can sometimes interrupt this pathway, seriously impinging its functionality. Better understanding of its morphodynamics at this scale will help negate these impacts.In this paper, we present a conceptual model for the functioning of the beach and dune systems of Corralejo, purporting that southbound winds and wave fields induce large-scale refraction patterns that in turn generate an intense increase in wave-induced radiation stress at the south tip of the dune field. The work highlights the need to further our knowledge of dune field dynamics in arid coastal settings, integrating aeolian and wave processes in order to promote appropriate science-led decision making for both environmental management and spatial planning.
- Dune Morphodynamics
- Littoral Cells