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Term Dune

Large sand accumulations, originated and shaped by the wind, pushed inland and unloaded in different locations, where they are stopped by pioneer plants and by protuberances of the terrain. Wind erosion plays an important role in this dynamic process of formation. Dunes are important geological structures with a high economic, ecological, historical, and cultural value, which support great biological diversity. Dunes provide defensive barriers and protect the coast from wave action, prevent the salinization of the soil, protect beaches from erosion and acting as barriers for agricultural production.

There have been 25 sand dune areas identified in the Dominican Republic, all adjacent to beach and river mouths. Dunes are classified as maritime, insular or continental, depending on their location and landscape, which in turn influences the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of their sediment. (For example, the salinity level, and size of grains of sand, the vegetation they sustain, and the origin of the material that they are comprised of). In the Dominican Republic, dunes are maritime and insular or, on occasion, a combination of both.

The sizes of dunes vary; the majority of Dominican dunes range from 3 to 10 meters in height. The Calderas dune, located in the province of Peravia, is the most extensive dune formation in the country, spanning 26 km2 long. Originally 30 meters in height, the dunes have been mined for sand and at present maximum elevations of 12 meters.

The greatest threats to dune systems in the country include: the extraction of sand for construction; oil exploitation; construction of roads, piers and tourist facilities; the deposit of domestic and industrial waste; and recreational use by jeeps and four wheelers.



Additional Information
Topic  BiodiversityProtected areasResources coastal / marine