If conditions were "perfect"the landscape was flat, winds
blew from only one direction, vegetation could not grow, and sand was
available but limited barchan dunes would dominate a sandscape.
Since those conditions are rarely found at Great Sand Dunes, a very complex
dune system emerges. Even so, classic barchan dunes can be found at
various locations throughout the park. Look for classic barchan dunes
directly across from the dune's main parking lot.
As the sand supply increases,
barchan dunes begin to connect with others forming barchaniod ridges.
If the ridges become fairly straight, scientists call them transverse
For an animated example of barchan dune development, view
the first half of the reversing dune animation.