Human and climate impacts on the mobility of Nizzana Sand Dunes, Israel

Hezi Yizhaq, Vladislav Dubinin, Yosef Ashkenazy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Nizzana sand dunes are located in the western Negev along the border between Israel and Egypt and along the rainfall gradient from the arid zone in the north-west (annual mean of 140 mm) to the extremely arid zone in the south-east (80 mm). These dunes are part of the larger northern Sinai dune field. Aerial photographs and satellite images indicate clear and sharp difference between the dunes on the Egyptian side and the dunes on the Israeli side—the dunes on the Egyptian side are bare and active while those on the Israeli side are (partly) covered by biogenic crust and shrub and are (semi) stable. The Egyptian dunes are active due to human practices, mainly trampling, grazing and clear-cutting practices; these practices are forbidden in the Israeli side, leaving the dunes in their natural, partly active/stable state. Nizzana dunes are classified as vegetated linear dunes (VLD) where only their crests remain active in the southern edge of the dunes. Such dunes are one of the most common dunes in the world and cover vast areas in the Australian and Kalahari deserts. We develop a mathematical model and remotely sensed data to study the effect of anthropogenic activity and climate conditions on the mobility of sand dunes. We also study the response of the Mediterranean dune fields to future climate change scenarios using Global Circulation Models (GCMs) and predict the Nizzana dunes will remain (partially) fixed by the end of the 21st century since both wind power and precipitation will not change drastically.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCharacteristics, Dynamics and Provenance of Sand Dunes in the Northern Hemisphere
EditorsLu Qi, Mahesh K. Gaur, Victor R. Squires
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003290629
ISBN (Print)9781032269436
StatePublished - 9 Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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