Date of Award
Master of Science (MSc)
S. B. McCann
Forty-five coastal sand dune systems over one kilometre in length have been identified in the province of Nova Scotia. All were investigated in the field. Observations were made of morphology, vegetation cover, stability, and the impact of human activity. In order to facilitate comparison between systems a morphological classification scheme and a morpho-ecological model have been developed.
Sand dune systems exist in all the coastal areas of Nova Scotia, with the exception of the Bay of Fundy. The beaches and associated dunes tend to be limited in length by rocky headlands, the longest system, Merigomish, being less than five kilometres. Many systems are sediment deficient, and the dunes consist of a thin cap of sand on a gravel substrate, or a single foredune ridge. Vegetation cover is primarily pioneer species, although shrub-heath communities may exist in the lee of the foredune on more developed systems. The best developed, most complex systems are on the north coast, including those of Pomquet and Merigomish. Large volumes of sand storage also occur at Bartletts and Mavillette beaches on the southwestern shore. The dunes on the exposed southern coast are generally the most sediment impoverished, and the least developed. Although fifteen dune systems studied are now in local, provincial or national parks, many systems still exhibit degradation resulting from human activity, particularly Mavillette, Carters, Crescent, and Glace Bay.
Hales, Wendy J., "Sand Dunes of Nova Scotia" (1992). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6182.
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