Downwind effects on an arid dunefield from an evolving urbanised area

L. Hernández-Calvento, D.W.T. Jackson, R. Medina, A.I. Hernández-Cordero, N. Cruz, S. Requejo

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41 Citations (Scopus)


The impacts of urbanised zones on aeolian dynamics are little understood, particularly within arid areas. This study examines the large-scale influence of a growing tourist resort in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, on the sedimentary dynamics of an arid dunefield. Direct downwind effects from the urban area on the dune field surface are modelled for pre-growth and post-growth phases of the urban development. The geomorphological changes observed in the area stretching from the shoreline to the inland transgressive dune field were documented through aerial photographic and LiDAR evidence. Impacts of the urban growth on airflow, as well as those induced by tourists in the upper beach zone (de-vegetation), are examined through analysis of topographic changes. These impacts on the system are shown to have been synergistic in driving the development of a composite dune ridge, formed by the coalescence of smaller dunes into a distinctive aeolian accumulation ridge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-309
JournalAeolian Research
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Aug 2014


  • Urbanisation
  • Aeolian dynamics
  • Accumulation ridge
  • Maspalomas
  • Gran Canaria


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