Abstract

The large (mean height 25 m, spacing 300 m), relatively straight-crested dunes of the central Oregon coast migrate an average of 3.8 m/yr toward an azimuth of 26°. The dunes are transverse to the strong, south-southwesterly winter storm winds that are responsible for their basic form, orientation, and migration. The dry, moderate, north-northwesterly summer winds modify the dune form but not the dune trend.

Comparison of the sand transport calculated from wind data and the transport measured from dune migration indicates that the actual transport by the wet southerly winds is only one-third of the amount calculated assuming dry conditions. The resultant (vector-mean) transport rate, as recalculated by comparison of the measured and initially calculated rates, is 34 m3/m·yr toward an azimuth of 45°. The dunes are thus oblique by our definition of an oblique dune (angle between dune trend and resultant transport direction between 15° and 75°).

The internal structures of the dunes confirm northward migration during wet conditions. Evidence for deposition during wet conditions includes slipface deposits deformed mostly by sliding and various structures formed by the adhesion of sand grains to wet surfaces. Most summer deposits are not preserved, but those on the basal apron (the gentle north slope at the base of the winter slipface) have a high preservation potential. A depositional model based on dune climbing predicts that the preserved record of oblique dunes formed by an obtuse-bimodal wind regime would consist of tabular sets of crossbeds in which the dip angles increase upward from the base of each set.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.