A Cellular Automaton Model for Investigating Landscape Development in Vegetated Aeolian Environments

Dataset description

Vegetation plays an important role in landscapes that are shaped by wind-driven (aeolian) sand transport, such as coastal dunes and semi-arid regions. We have a good knowledge of how and why different types of desert dunes and dune fields form without the presence of vegetation, but our understanding of the effects of vegetation in the formation of coastal foredunes, parabolic dunes, blowouts, and nebkha's (shrub hummocks) is limited to descriptive observations and reasoning. This is especially true for vegetated dune fields on a landscape scale, and the effects of various plant species on the evolution and dynamics of such environments are not quantified. This research project aims to develop a computer simulation model based on moving around slabs of sand across a grid of cells that represents a landscape surface including varying amounts of vegetation in each cell. These movements are controlled by a set of simple rules that dictate interactions between the existing surface, the vegetation in each cell, and the propagation of the sand slabs. This allows simulating the evolution of aeolian landscapes through self-organisation into different types of dune fields without actually modelling the complex airflow dynamics and sand transport patterns. Simulations will be compared with our current descriptive understanding of vegetated aeolian landscape development to ensure that the model generates realistic results. The model is then used to systematically investigate exactly how and why various kinds of plant species and vegetation patterns influence the dynamics of dune development in aeolian environments.

Further information

For more information please contact:


Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth
NG12 5GG

Tel : +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax :+44 (0)115 936 3276
Email :enquiries@bgs.ac.uk


Dataset details

Author(s) Bass, Dr A C W
Principal Investigator(s) Bass, Dr A C W
King's College London
Language English
Curator British Geological Survey
Supply media/format Digital Model; Version:
Storage format Not available
Frequency of update not applicable
Start of capture {ts '2006-01-16 00:00:00'} Not known
End of capture {ts '2008-01-15 00:00:00'} 15th January 2008
Contact details
Department Enquiries
Organisation British Geological Survey
Address Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth
City Nottingham
County Nottinghamshire
Country United Kingdom
Postcode NG12 5GG
E-mail enquiries@bgs.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax +44 (0)115 936 3276
Topic category code (ISO) geoscientificInformation (information pertaining to earth sciences)
Keyword source BGS Keyphrases
Spatial details
Spatial Reference System Not available
Dataset extent
Coverage (Lat/Long) North boundary : 
East boundary  : 
South boundary : 
West boundary  : 
Metadata language English
Metadata last updated 10th December 2014
Metadata standard compliance NERC profile of ISO19115:2003
Copyright and IPR
The copyright of materials derived from the British Geological Survey's work is vested in the Natural Environment Research Council [NERC]. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a retrieval system of any nature, without the prior permission of the copyright holder, via the BGS Intellectual Property Rights Manager. Use by customers of information provided by the BGS, is at the customer's own risk. In view of the disparate sources of information at BGS's disposal, including such material donated to BGS, that BGS accepts in good faith as being accurate, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the quality or accuracy of the information supplied, or to the information's suitability for any use. NERC/BGS accepts no liability whatever in respect of loss, damage, injury or other occurence however caused.