Sand Dune Simulator (tm) - Simulates and models sand dune formation

Displays, Menus, and Options

Once the Simulator is started you'll see the following two panel display:

The panel on the right is the simulation screen. Each one of the the yellow squares represents a sand grain. Red squares indicate wind gusts. Orange squares are wind gusts carrying a sand grain. Sand cover accross the area as well as the wind intensity are set by using the slider controls on the left.

The left hand panel is the control panel with individual controls for four variables that have been shown to control sand dune shape and development:

When the program starts the Simulator sliders will be automatically set to default values. Text Boxes at the right side of each slider will show the current value and change as the slider is adjusted.

Two buttons are present at the bottom of the control panel: <Setup> and <Go>. Once the slider settings are made, pressing the Setup button will produce the simulation screen. Pressing the Go button after that will start the simulation. Once the <Go> button is pressed, the button label will toggle to <Stop> to halt the simulation.

Modeling Sand Dunes - Its all in the sand and wind regime

Various authors - including Fryberger and Dean(1979)1 have published studies indicating that different dune morphologies can be produced based on the wind regime. That is, the direction of the prevailing wind and its directional variability. I have expanded their work to include the percentage of sand cover as well. When sand percentage is combined with wind direction and variability values derived from the Sand Dune Simulator different dune forms are produced. Each dune form listed below is linked to a page that provides:

These are a few of the dune forms can be generated by the simulator using the <Templates> menu option



Barchanoid Ridge

1. Fryberger, s.G. and Dean, G., 1979, Dune forms and wind regime, in Mckee, E.D., ed, A study of global sand seas: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 1052, p. 137-170.
Copyright (c) 2003 by Sawatch Software, Inc.
Last updated Jan. 14, 2003