The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dune Research

In May (during Segment 4) as I was hiking through the P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, I came across areas that were roped off. This time, it wasn't the nesting areas of the piping plover, but a research area on the formation and destruction of dunes.
This month, I finally caught up with woman in charge of this research, Dr. Deanna van Dijk, professor of geology at Calvin College. We had lunch together, and I was fascinated with her research on Lake Michigan dunes.

Some of her research is summarized HERE

By setting instruments into the dunes (like sand traps and erosion pins), Dr. van Dijk can measure sand movement and deposition along with changes in dune size. She sent me several of her published research papers on southwest Michigan dunes. Some of her research has even led to the protection of dunes that were being harmed by human activities.

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