Xagó Beach Dune Fields

August 22, 2005


Provided by: Manuel Marqués López
Summary author: Manuel Marqués López

The photo above shows the dunar complex along the shore near Xagó, Spain, in the region of the Cabo Peñas in Asturias. It was taken on July 10, 2005. In the western corner of this beach (upper right), there's generally less deposition due to the shadowing effect of the promontory. Three sets of dunes can be identified in this photo. Beginning inland and working toward the beach, we see

  1. An internal dune field, which consists of dunes that rise toward the cliff in the foreground. (climbing dunes);
  2. An intermediate dune set, separated from the internal dune field by an ample runner or depression. These dunes attain greater heights along their crests and are nearly parabolic;
  3. An external dune field, formed by a single fore dune, widely colonized by the plant Ammophila arenaria.

The beach itself consists of fine-grained sand having a predominantly quartz composition. This sand comes primarily from the nearby Nalón River.

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