Geomorphology and paleogeography of sand dunes that have formed the kurkar ridges in the coastal plain of Israel

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38 Scopus citations


The foredune is the only dune type that is formed parallel to coastlines and can be considered as the dune type that cemented into aeolianite (known locally as kurkar) ridges, along the coastal plain of Israel. Previous works indicate that sand-transporting wind directions during formation of the kurkar dunes were similar to those of the present; i.e., from southwest to northwest. Foredunes are formed by vegetation (principally Ammophila arenaria) that traps aeolian sand at the landward edge of the backshore. A. arenaria grows vigorously in cold and semiarid areas and can form foredunes under climatic conditions that prevailed in the coastal plain of Israel during the Late Pleistocene. Successive foredunes can form with shore progradation accompanying some oscillations of sea level. These successive foredunes trap all sand blown onshore by the wind so that the area landward of the dunes is under deflation by the wind. Only destruction of vegetation on the foredunes, resulting in blowouts, will create a gap for sand enroachment inland. Similarly, destruction of vegetation close to the backshore or prevention of foredune formation at the outlet of rivers causes sand encroachment and formation of transgressive coastal dunes such as the contemporary coastal dunes of Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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