OTR Field Trip: Great Sand Dunes

Title: RMAG On-The-Rocks Field Trip: Great Sand Dunes National Park, May 22nd, 2010
Field Trip Leader: Andrew Valdez, Geologist Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Field Trip Date: May 22, 2010
Publication: The Outcrop, May 2010, p. 24

Great Sand Dunes is a complex aeolian system of limited extent where a variety of aeolian features can be observed. Sand deposits such as an inland sabkha, sand sheet, dunefield, and sand ramps have developed along the topographic gradient from the valley center to the Sangre de Cristo mountain front. Dune types are also variable and include types that are self organizing and migratory, self organizing and vertically growing, and those that form in response to vegetation and topography. The complexity of the system is the result of the interaction of various controlling factors. The field trip will explore each type of sand deposit and attempt to explain the important factor that lead to its development as well as allow for discussion by the participants.

Participants should wear over the ankle hiking boots, and bring water, sunscreen, and lunch.