# What are the different types of sand dunes?

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Mar 21, 2017

Generally speaking, there are five types of sand dunes: transverse, linear/longitudinal, star, barchan, and parabolic.

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Sand dune types are determined by shape. The shape of a sand dune is dependent on the strength of the wind and on the sand type.

Generally speaking, there are five types of sand dunes: transverse, linear/longitudinal, star, barchan/crescentic, and parabolic/blowout .

The five main types of dunes are shown below.

Wind coming from all directions generates star dunes.

Barchan and parabolic dunes can look very similar but the main difference is the direction of the wind in relation to the top of the crescent shape. The top of the crescent faces the wind direction in barchans and the top of the crescent is orientated in the same direction as the wind in parabolic dunes.

The direction of the wind also creates the main difference between transverse and linear dunes.

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