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Assessment of Wind Regime and Sediment Transport Activity at Oceano Dunes, California
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Knowledge of long-term wind regime that determines the seasonal and annual patterns of sediment transport is essential to understand the dynamics of the Aeolian environment and dune morphology. Oceano Dune is one of the largest active dunes on the coast of California. This study employs the one-minute averaged five-year data from the measurements within the Oceano dunefield since 2010 to study the 10-meter study wind regimes, threshold speed, and sand transport potential. Though winds from west to northwest occur throughout the year, they are persistent and relatively strong only during spring and early summer. Threshold wind speed computed for 417 transport events from 2011 to 2015 ranged between 5.18 m/s to 8.49 m/s and did not follow any specific seasonal trend. No significant correlation between mean air temperature and relative humidity with threshold wind speed was observed. The annual average sand transport potential reveals that the Oceano dunes lie in the intermediate wind energy environment for saltation activity. Almost 2/3rd of the annual transport potential is contributed by March to June months, which are the crucial period for transport activity. Oceano Dunes experiences strongly unidirectional sand transporting winds and supports the formation of transverse dune.