Where on Earth: Barchan Dunes in Brazil

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Where on Earth are Barchan Dunes?

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).
Story adapted from Image of the Day post by Andi Hollier, Hx5, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/91119/barchan-dunes-and-lagoons-southern-brazil

  • Image of Barchan dunes and Lagoa dos Barros in 2017 from astronaut photograph, International Space Station
  • Written by Katherine Porter
  • Designed by Dani Player
  • Music from Yesh Music (ASCAP)

Collage of distinct satellite images of natural phenomena.
Text, where on earth? Satellite image, countless light brown crescent shapes facing the same direction.
Text, What are the light colored shapes in this photograph from space? A, Sand dunes in Brazil, B, snow banks in Antarctica, C, waves on the Indian Ocean, D, clouds over the Atlantic Ocean.
A is highlighted, sand dunes in Brazil. Labels appear on map.
Text, Barchan Dunes in Southern Brazil. Strong winds blowing in from the western Atlantic sculpt the sand along the Brazilian coast into distinctive crescent shapes. Sand dunes with this shape are called barchan dunes.
In some areas, multiple dunes have overlapped and coalesced to form dune field.
Dune fields like these are fragile but important barriers that protect the coast.
Wind and waves break on the dune fields, which blunt the effects of storms on the inland regions and reduce coastal erosion.
The map recedes until we have the whole Earth before us . Text, Music courtesy of Yesh Music A S C A P .
Where on earth?