Intensity of geodynamic processes in the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit
- 1Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Faculty of Chemistry and Geosciences, Vilnius University, 03101, Vilnius, Lithuania
- 2Laboratory of Quaternary Research, Institute of Geology and Geography, Nature Research Centre, 08412, Vilnius, Lithuania
Abstract. The paper considers conditions and intensity of aeolian and dune slope transformation processes occurring in the wind-blown sand strips of the dunes of the Curonian Spit. An assessment of the intensity of aeolian processes was made based on the analysis of climatic factors and in situ observations. Transformations in aeolian relief forms were investigated based on the comparison of geodetic measurements and measurements of aerial photographs. Changes in micro-terraces of dune slopes were investigated through comparison of the results of repeated levelling and measurements of aerial photographs. The periods of weak, medium, and strong winds were distinguished, and sand moisture fluctuations affecting the beginning of aeolian processes were investigated. The wind-blown sand movements were found to start when sand moisture decreased by 2 % in the surface sand layer and by up to 5 % at a depth of 10 cm. In 2004–2016, the wind-blown sand movements affected the size of reference deflation relief forms: scarp length by 8 %, scarp width by 35 %, pothole length by 80 %, pothole width by 80 %, roll length by 17 %, roll width by 18 %, hollow length by 17 %, and hollow width by 39 %. The elementary relief forms in the leeward eastern slopes of the dunes experienced the strongest transformations. During a period of 5 months, the height of micro-terraces of the eastern slope of the Parnidis Dune changed from 0.05 to 0.64 cm. The change was related to fluctuations in precipitation intensity: in July–August 2016 the amount of precipitation increased 1.6-fold compared with the multiannual average, thus causing the change in the position of terrace ledges by 21 %.