Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2005


Published in Great Plains Research 15:2 (Fall 2005). Copyright © 2005 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


Sandhills of eolian origin and currently active dunes in Oklahoma are located mainly on the northern side of the main rivers. Their longitudinal distribution spans a gradient of annual precipitation ranging from 914 mm in the east to 403 mm in the west. Vegetation types along this gradient include cross-timbers woodlands in the east and sand-sage and short grasses in the west. The information presented here is a preliminary assessment of sand dune dynamics and morphology, soils, and vegetation as the basis for an ongoing study on past and present processes of sand dune stability. For this purpose, six areas along the east-west precipitation gradient were selected to evaluate potential sources of information. Pedostratigraphic data were used to reconstruct prehistoric landscape-change events and sequential aerial photographs were used to reconstruct modern processes affecting sand dune stability in the context of climate change and human agency.