Lake Michigan Coastal Dunes
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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


Seasonal Changes
There is a distinctive seasonal pattern to Lake Michigan coastal dunes because wind, vegetation and surface conditions change throughout the year. The illustration below shows how a foredune changes through one year.
The foredune does not change much during the summer because most summer winds are too weak to move sand.
Strong westerly winds in autumn storms move sand from the beach to the foredune where it is trapped by vegetation.
Strong winter winds move sand and snow from the beach to the foredune. The wind-blown sand travels further across the dune as the dune vegetation is buried. Frozen dune slopes can have steep angles.
As snow and ice melt, new sand deposits settle down on dune slopes. Vegetation such as American beach grass sends shoots up through the deposits.
  Illustrations by Jody Brown


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Last updated 03/23/10.