Aeolian Aspect

Aeolian Studies

Coastal Aspect

Seismic Aspect

Tree-Ring Studies








Aeolian processes deal with anything deposited or eroded by wind and its related processes (McGowan, 2001).  Dunes are the most common aeolian feature and they are the most useful for studying different wind patterns, and in the case of the Haast region, earthquake timeline and history.  The dunes in the study area are not like dunes that people think about in the desert, they are not formed solely by wind moving sediment particles into a formation.  These dunes are built by ‘seismic pulses’ (Goff and Wells, 2007) that send very large of sediment from the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand down to the coast using the rivers of the area as their main source of transport.  After the sediment is deposited in the coastal ridge system by the flowing rivers, it begins to erode away due to Aeolian and coastal processes.  The erosion rates are not constant but they are a good marker of how old the dunes are when their size is compared to the other dunes in the system.  The more erosion that has occurred on each dune can help to understand the order that the dunes were formed in as well as the relative age among the dunes.  There are four major types of wind that can cause erosion or deposition by entraining sediment, they are; dust devils, downdraught haboobs, those associated with rapidly changing pressures, and those associated with cold-fronts (Marx and McGowan, 2003).  In the study area the only types listed above that occur with enough force to have an effect on the dune systems are those associated with both cold-fronts and those dealing with steep pressure gradients (Marx and McGowan, 2003)