Lake Michigan Coastal Dunes
Calvin College Home

Lake Michigan Coastal Dune Home
Introduction to Lake Michigan Coastal Dunes
Features and Types of Dunes
Wind, Sand and Coastal Dunes
Climate, Dune, Lake and Seasonal Factors
Methods, Results and Research Students
References and Links to More Information


Processes - Introduction to Human Impacts


People go to coastal dunes for many reasons. Some people live, work or exercise on the dunes; others visit parks and natural areas for recreation.

Recreational activities, such as walking, driving and playing on coastal dunes, have physical impacts on the dunes. The impacts depend on two things:

A variety of activities on Mt. Pisgah (Holland, MI))

1. The nature of the activity

The activity's: Examples
type walking, running, climbing, horse-riding
timing during spring growing season,
on snow-covered dune in winter
frequency once, 200 times, 2000 times
concentration 500 people in one day,
500 people in four months

2. The nature of the dune environment

The dune's: Examples
physical characteristics

steep slope vs. horizontal surface,
windward slope vs. lee slope

ecological characteristics

type(s) of vegetation present,
sensitivity of vegetation to disturbance

Human Impacts: next page



Questions or Comments? Contact the webmaster.
Last updated 03/23/10.