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Pattern evolution and interactions in subaqueous dune fields: North Loup River, Nebraska, U.S.A.

Mason, Jasmine and Cardenas, Benjamin T. and Day, Mackenzie D. and Daniller-Varghese, Max and Brothers, Sarah C. and Kocurek, Gary and Mohrig, David (2020) Pattern evolution and interactions in subaqueous dune fields: North Loup River, Nebraska, U.S.A. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 90 (12). pp. 1734-1746. ISSN 1527-1404.

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A time series of aerial images of a dune field on a migrating free bar in the North Loup River, Nebraska, is used to generate a quantified dataset that allows analyses of crestline deformation, dune interaction type and spatial density, and impact of spurs. Measurement of dune parameters show that the dune field maintained a dynamic steady-state pattern, despite high rates of deformation, common interactions, and sediment bypassing. Mapped crestlines had a mean migration rate of 8 cm/min. The mean deformation rate, quantified using a partial Procrustes analysis, was 2 cm/min, indicating that along individual crestlines, local migration varied ± 25% from the bedform mean. Dune interactions caused the break-apart and recombination of crestline segments, thus limiting pattern variability caused by deformation. Although most of the 50 documented interactions are comparable to those observed in aeolian dune fields, defect-driven interactions are less common and interactions caused by migration of the convex-downstream nose of the dunes were observed, which has not been reported in aeolian dunes. The spatial density of interactions is consistent with that derived for aeolian crescentic-dune fields, in spite of differences in ambient fluid and dune size. Although spurs were ubiquitous, their presence did not have a quantifiable impact on deformation and interactions as compared to areas where spurs were absent, suggesting that these short-lived features affect instantaneous flux rates only.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemData
Mason, Jasmine0000-0003-4107-5749
Cardenas, Benjamin T.0000-0001-7246-219X
Day, Mackenzie D.0000-0003-3998-7749
Mohrig, David0000-0003-1828-4526
Additional Information:© 2020 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). Received 22 April 2020; accepted 27 November 2020; Published Online: December 2020. The authors thank Alessandro Ielpi, Arjan Reesink, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback on this work. The authors also acknowledge the Jackson School of Geosciences Dynamics of Sedimentary Systems Fall 2015 class for their work in the field, and Tim Goudge, Travis Swanson, and Rose Palermo for additional help with image processing. Funding for this research was provided by the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Data and scripts used in this work are available online at See Supplemental Material for additional description of interactions and visual aid for tracking dune migration.
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University of Texas at AustinUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210217-145837295
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Official Citation:Jasmine Mason, Benjamin T. Cardenas, Mackenzie D. Day, Max Daniller-Varghese, Sarah C. Brothers, Gary Kocurek, David Mohrig; Pattern evolution and interactions in subaqueous dune fields: North Loup River, Nebraska, U.S.A.. Journal of Sedimentary Research 2021; 90 (12): 1734–1746. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108096
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Feb 2021 17:30
Last Modified:18 Feb 2021 17:30

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