Original paper

Analysis of the wind regime in context of dune geomorphology for the Kumtagh Desert, Northwest China

Dong, Zhibao; Zhang, Zhengcai; Lv, Ping; Qian, Guangqiang; Luo, Wanyin


It's necessary to understand a region's wind regime before one can understand the related aeolian geomorphology. Based on field observations, we analyzed the wind regime of China's Kumtagh Desert, a region that has remained largely unexplored until recently. The wind regime can be characterized based on both the mean wind speeds and the drift potential. The mean wind speed varied both spatially and temporally, reflecting the influence of local geographic factors, and especially the physical blocking and thermodynamic effects created by the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau south of the desert. The drift potential in the Kumtagh Desert belongs to the category of an intermediate-energy wind environment, and the index of directional variability is also intermediate. The diversity of local dune geomorphology should be associated with the complexity of the wind regime in each part of the region. However, the general understanding of the desert's wind regime provided in the present paper is not yet adequate to clarify the precise relationships between wind regime and dune geomorphology.


aeolian geomorphologydune dynamicsairflow patternsdrift potential