Sand Drift and Growth of Sand Dunes on the Jæren Coast, Southwestern Norway
Free (open access)
Volume 9 (2014), Issue 4
483 - 499
ALF TØRUM & OVE TOBIAS GUDMESTAD
The Jæren coastline on the southwestern corner of Norway has some stretches of sandy beaches, although most of the Norwegian coastline is rocky and barren. This coastline faces the large waves of the North Sea and sees a storm surge level of 1.2 m above mean sea level. The beaches were formed primarily by moving ice during the glacial periods, and, following these periods, the water level in the area has been varying and was, 4000 years ago, approximately 5 m higher than it is today. Since then, the water level has steadily decreased until today’s level. Archeologists have revealed approximately 2500-year-old farm fields, which more recently have been covered by thick Aeolian sand. This sand drift has been a problem for the farmers, as the wind has blown the sand such that it has been covering the cultivated fields. In the 1880s it was decided to plant marram grass, which has been successful in stopping the sand from blowing onto the farm fields. Today the beaches of the coastline are not eroding significantly. The paper discusses the evidence of sand dune growth on the Jæren coast and the reasons why there has been no significant long-term beach erosion in the area.
Beach erosion, marram grass, Sand drift, Sand dune growth