Abstract

A Symposium entitled "Classification of Large-Scale Flow-Transverse Bedforms" was convened at the 1987 Mid-Year Meeting of SEPM in Austin, Texas with the purpose of examining the problems involved in classifying large subaqueous flow-transverse bedforms developed in fluvial, intertidal, and marine environments, and recommending changes in nomenclature. The consensus of the participants is that despite the wide spectrum of morphologies of large-scale flow-transverse bedforms (excluding antidunes), they all occupy a similar position in the lower-flow-regime sequence between ripples and upper plane bed. The wide variety of forms is a reflection of secondary effects such as channelization, fluctuating water levels, and unsteady and reversing flows. The bedforms appear not to fall into size classes with naturally occurring boundaries but rather form a continuum with spacing from just under 1 m to over 1,000 m. The symposium panel proposes, therefore, that they should have only one name, DUNE. Dune is preferred as it has historical precedence over other terms in use, such as megaripple and sand wave. The term "dune" should be modified by primary descriptors of shape (i.e., 2-D or 3-D) and size based on spacing (small (0.6-5 m), medium (5-10 m), large (10-100 m) or very large (> 100 m) and the adjective subaqueous when it is important to distinguish them from eolian dunes. The panel recommends a morphologically based classification that is descriptive, with an underlying genetic rationale. Second order descriptors such a sediment size and bedform superposition may be used to describe more thoroughly the variety of subaqueous dunes in nature.

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