Beaches and fore dunes (the dunes closest to the sea) are in a constant state of change in response to waves and wind. Upper panel: fore dunes are formed when vegetation traps wind-blown sand. Middle panel: the front face of a fore dune is eroded when storm waves crash onto the dunes and wash away plants and sand. Lower panel: the dunes form again as vegetation is re-established on an exposed site and begins to trap sand.
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Artwork by Bruce Mahalski
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Source: George Payne and others. New Zealand's sandy coasts. CD-ROM. NIWA, 2003.