Médano Blanco Coastal Dunes, Argentina

Médano Blanco Coastal Dunes, Argentina

white-dunes-argentina
Astronaut photograph ISS026-E-26761 was acquired on February 13, 2011, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using an 800 mm lens.

By M. Justin Wilkinson, NASA-JSC / Earth Observatory

The Médano Blanco (“White Dunes”) are a recreational area about 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of the twin port cities of Nicochea-Quequén in Argentina.

The Médano Blanco dune field extends 3.5 km (2 miles) at its widest part and separates the Atlantic Ocean from intensive sunflower cropland, visible as the angular pattern of green and brown fields at image left. Small streams, oriented toward the coast, cross the farmland. Water from these streams is dammed behind the dunes and even within the dunes, where wetlands flourish.

Narrow cordons of coastal dunes stretch for hundreds of kilometers along this part of Argentina’s coast. The Médano Blanco is not far from the arid and windy borderlands with Patagonia, one of the windiest places on Earth.

The effects of strong westerly winds (blowing from bottom to top in this image) can be seen everywhere in this astronaut photograph. Dune-ridge crests are oriented at right angles to the prevailing wind.

Geologists suspect that erosion by wind has excavated numerous hollows, which now dot the farmland as small shallow lakes. A stand of dark green trees has been planted on the upwind side of a health spa, the white dot is the roof of a stately building, as a protective barrier against the wind.

The white fringe along the seashore is formed by lines of breaking waves.

Crossing swell trains appear offshore in the Atlantic, and the curvature of the swell shows the effect of the westerly wind. Winds tend to drive the sea currents in this area, though some prominent onshore swells also approach the coast from the southeast. The light brown tinted seawater near the shore is rich with fine mud that is stirred up out of coastal sediments by wave action, then washed seaward and east by currents.

Original Article

How Nature’s Patterns Form, by Mari N. Jensen, College of Science, University of Arizona
“Most patterns you see, including the ones on sand dunes or fish or tigers or leopards, and even the defects in the patterns, have many universal features.”

Exploring the Sand, Coastal Care

Coastal Care

Related Posts

Japan rocked by ‘aftershock’ from devastating 9.0-magnitude quake that hit in 2011

Japan rocked by ‘aftershock’ from devastating 9.0-magnitude quake that hit in 2011

How travelers help to protect the Outer Islands of the Seychelles

How travelers help to protect the Outer Islands of the Seychelles

How Bali’s pristine beaches have turned into garbage dumps as the deserted tourist island struggles without any visitors

How Bali’s pristine beaches have turned into garbage dumps as the deserted tourist island struggles without any visitors

Rebuild or Leave ‘Paradise’: Climate Change Dilemma Facing a Nicaraguan Coastal Town

Rebuild or Leave ‘Paradise’: Climate Change Dilemma Facing a Nicaraguan Coastal Town

SAF Video

Beach of the Month

Photo of the Month

Plastic Pollution

Sand Wars – United Nations-GEA

Sand Mining Detrimental Effects

The World’s Beaches

Coastal Care Junior

NASA – Fly along with NASA’s fleet of Earth science missions and observe Earth from a global perspective in an immersive, 3-D environment.