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The role of fire in coastal dune geomorphology
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 10:23 authored by Samuel Joel Shumack
After disturbance to protective covering, vegetated sand dunes may become bare and mobile. This thesis addresses the hypothesis that fire is a disturbance which plays a role in de-stabilising coastal dunes. Firstly, we conducted a regional scale remote sensing analysis of Landsat Thematic Mapper, Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, and Operational Land Imager data on 31 fire-scars on coastal dunes in Western Australia (WA). We used the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index to assess medium-to-long term vegetation recovery and maximum-likelihood image classification to monitor substantial changes in bare sand area. Secondly, we surveyed recently burnt coastal dunes near Esperance to characterise the disturbance to the dunes' protective covering in terms of remnant vegetation structure, wind flow, surface characteristics, aeolian activity, and regeneration. Results suggested that a) no active dunes were initiated by 30 fires over 28 years; b) native dune vegetation regenerates well after fires, particularly within six months; c) burnt vegetation allows wind to impact the surface with minimal obstruction, but may not allow the same topographic acceleration seen on active dunes; d) remnant ground cover inhibits post-fire sand movement; and e) complex interactions between burn severity, seedbank distribution and post-fire precipitation affect regeneration, and may prolong surface exposure to wind.
Table of ContentsChapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. The impact of fire on sand dune stability: surface coverage and biomass recovery after fires on Western Australian coastal dune systems from 1988 to 2016 -- Chapter 3. Characterising the disturbance from fires on coastal dunes near Esperance, Western Australia: implications to dune de-stabilisation -- Chapter 4. Conclusion -- Chapter 5. References -- Chapter 6. Appendices.
NotesBibliography: pages 51-57 Theoretical thesis.
Awarding InstitutionMacquarie University
Degree TypeThesis MRes
DegreeMRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Environmental Sciences
Department, Centre or SchoolDepartment of Environmental Sciences
Year of Award2016
Principal SupervisorPaul Hesse
RightsCopyright Samuel Joel Shumack 2016. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright
Extent1 online resource (v, 62 pages) colour illustrations
Former Identifiersmq:71562 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1275647