Dr. SaMeH S. Ahmed

Associate Prof. of Environmental Engineering

Aeolian dune shape

Aeolian dune shapes


"Crescent-shaped mounds are generally wider than they are long. The slipfaces are on the concave sides of the dunes. These dunes form under winds that blow consistently from one direction, and they also are known as barchans, or transverse dunes. Some types of crescentic dunes move more quickly over desert surfaces than any other type of dune. A group of dunes moved more than 100 metres per year between 1954 and 1959 in the China's Ningxia Province, and similar speeds have been recorded in the Western Desert of Egypt. The largest crescentic dunes on Earth, with mean crest-to-crest widths of more than 3 kilometres, are in China's Taklamakan Desert."[2]


Straight or slightly sinuous sand ridges typically much longer than they are wide are known as linear dunes. They may be more than 160 kilometres (100 miles) long. Some linear dunes merge to form Y-shaped compound dunes. Many form in bidirectional wind regimes. The long axes of these dunes extend in the resultant direction of sand movement.

Linear loess hills known as pahas are superficially similar. These hills appear to have been formed during the last ice ageunder permafrost conditions dominated by sparse tundra vegetation.


Radially symmetrical, star dunes are pyramidal sand mounds with slipfaces on three or more arms that radiate from the high center of the mound. They tend to accumulate in areas with multidirectional wind regimes. Star dunes grow upward rather than laterally. They dominate the Grand Erg Oriental of the Sahara. In other deserts, they occur around the margins of thesand seas, particularly near topographic barriers. In the southeast Badain Jaran Desert of China, the star dunes are up to 500 metres tall and may be the tallest dunes on Earth.


Oval or circular mounds that generally lack a slipface, dome dunes are rare, and these occur at the far upwind margins of sand seas.


U-shaped mounds of sand with convex noses trailed by elongated arms are parabolic dunes. These dunes are formed from blowout dunes where the erosion of vegetated sand leads to a U-shaped depression. The elongated arms are held in place by vegetation; the largest arm known on Earth reaches 12 km. Sometimes these dunes are called U-shaped,blowout, or hairpin dunes, and they are well known in coastal deserts. Unlike crescent shaped dunes, their crests point upwind. The bulk of the sand in the dune migrates forward.

In plan view, these are U-shaped or V-shaped mounds of well-sorted, very fine to medium sand with elongated arms that extend upwind behind the central part of the dune. There are slip faces that often occur on the outer side of the nose and on the outer slopes of the arms.

These dunes often occur in semiarid areas where the precipitation is retained in the lower parts of the dune and underlying soils. Parabolic dunes are dependent on the vegetation that covers them—grasses,shrubs,and trees, which help anchor the trailing arms. In inland deserts, parabolic dunes commonly originate and extend downwind from blowouts in sand sheets only partly anchored by vegetation. They can also originate from beach sands and extend inland into vegetated areas in coastal zones and on shores of large lakes.

Most parabolic dunes do not reach heights higher than a few tens of metres except at their nose, where vegetation stops or slows the advance of accumulating sand.

Simple parabolic dunes have only one set of arms that trail upwind, behind the leading nose. Compound parabolic dunes are coalesced features with several sets of trailing arms. Complex parabolic dunes include subsidiary superposed or coalesced forms, usually of barchanoid or linear shapes.

Parabolic dunes, like crescent dunes, occur in areas where very strong winds are mostly unidirectional. Although these dunes are found in areas now characterized by variable wind speeds, the effective winds associated with the growth and migration of both the parabolic and crescent dunes probably are the most consistent in wind direction.

The grain size for these well-sorted, very fine to medium sands is about 0.06 to 0.5 mm. Parabolic dunes have loose sand and steep slopes only on their outer flanks. The inner slopes are mostly well packed and anchored by vegetation, as are the corridors between individual dunes. Because all dune arms are oriented in the same direction, and, the inter-dune corridors are generally swept clear of loose sand, the corridors can usually be traversed in between the trailing arms of the dune. However to cross straight over the dune by going over the trailing arms, can be very difficult. Also, traversing the nose is very difficult as well because the nose is usually made up of loose sand without much if any vegetation.

Longitudinal (Seif) dunes

Seif dunes
Rub' al Khali seen by the ASTERinstrument on NASA's Terra satellite

Longitudinal dunes (also called Seif dunes, after the Arabic word for "sword"), elongate parallel to the prevailing wind, possibly caused by a larger dune having its smaller sides blown away. Seif dunes are sharp-crested and are common in the Sahara. They range up to 300 m (980 ft) in height and 300 km (190 mi) in length. In the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, a vast erg called theRub' al Khali or the Empty Quarter, contains seif dunes that stretch for almost 200 km and reach heights of over 300 m.

Seif dunes are thought to develop from barchans if a change of the usual wind direction occurs. The new wind direction will lead to the development of a new wing and the over development of one of the original wings. If the prevailing wind then becomes dominant for a lengthy period of time the dune will revert to its barchan form, with one exaggerated wing. Should the strong wind then return the exaggerated wing will further extend so that eventually it will be supplied with sand when the prevailing wind returns. The wing will continue to grow under both wind conditions, thus producing a seif dune. On a seif dune the slip face develops on the side facing away from the strong wind, while the slip face of a barchan faces the direction of movement. In the sheltered troughs between highly developed seif dunes barchans may be formed because the wind is unidirectional.

A transverse dune is perpendicular to the prevailing wind, probably caused by a steady build-up of sand on an already existing minuscule mound.

Reversing dunes

Complex dune: Dune 7 in the Namib desert, one of the tallest in the world.

Occurring wherever winds periodically reverse direction, reversing dunes are varieties of any of the above shapes. These dunes typically have major and minor slipfaces oriented in opposite directions.

All these dune shapes may occur in three forms: simple, compound, and complex. Simple dunes are basic forms with a minimum number of slipfaces that define the geometric type. Compound dunes are large dunes on which smaller dunes of similar type and slipface orientation are superimposed, and complex dunes are combinations of two or more dune types. A crescentic dune with a star dune superimposed on its crest is the most common complex dune. Simple dunes represent a wind regime that has not changed in intensity or direction since the formation of the dune, while compound and complex dunes suggest that the intensity and direction of the wind has changed.

The best book

Prayer Times

Click here

Office hours

Sunday:     12-1

Monday:     12-1

Tuesday:     10-12

Wednesday: 10-11

You are welcome to contact me by at any time

You  may also contact me via WhatsApp group, ..

Ext. 2524

Civil Eng. Students

DON'T miss!

Love your department and be proud of your field of study

As we approaching the second midterm exams..  Get ready and remember our offices are open to answer you . do not hesitate to .contact me if you have difficulties

For CE 370 students : I do apologize for did not attend the extra lab session that proposed to be on Wednesday at 6 am.  Sorry

Good Luck


My Dear Students

Please visit the  announcement box for the relevant course and make sure that you can download and upload easily, otherwise

.contact me  to sort it out

There will be an orientation session in the midell of this term to help you select your track in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Special Issue

Electrical Power Resources: Coal versus Renewable Energy

  Published Online on January 2016

Mining Engineering

Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that involves practice, theory, science, technology, and the application of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. Mining engineering also includes processing minerals for additional value.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for    environmental problems. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land. And, they develop new and improved means to protect the environment.


Actions speak louder than words



College of Eng. MU



Universities I've worked in

Assuit University (Home University), Egypt

Imperial College, London, UK

Faculty of Engineering, Al-Mergeb University, Libya

King Saud University, KSA

,Majmaah University

Majmaah University has a very nice web page that provide  all information regarding deanships, colleges, activities,  campuses and many others. Search your request in

Also visit

My Academic Pages


and give me


How many red balls we need to make balance 


Egypt vs Tunisia (Handball final)  30/1/2016

Currency Converter

Click here


Click here

Course 2016/17-1

  1. Computer Applications in Surveying  CE 473
  2. Surveying 1 CE 370
  3. Photogrammetry CE 474
  4. Surveying II  CE 371
  5. Design I  (round 4) CE 498

The Rules of Life

Rule #7


Member of the Editorial Board: " Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Sciences"  2013


Participating in The Third International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment,(ICWEE) 2015 - American University of Sharjah, UAE 24-26 March 2015 with a Paper and Poster

New article

Recovery of Titania from Waste-Sludge of Majmaah Water Treatment Plant

"Production of Titania Nano-particles from Wast-


Coming soon

Results of M2 CE311

Student Conference

Participation  in the 6Th Student Conference

With a paper and oral presentation

From the Senior Design Project CE499 -35

See inside, the paper, and presentation

CE 370 Course

Surveying  I -  CE 370 - 2016-2017-1

Power point


Lecture notes

Second Midterm Exam


Model Answer
Inside, please follow:

Student Performance Records

CE 371 Course

Surveying II - CE 371 - 2016-2017-1


First midterm exam



See Inside

Student Performance Records

CE473 Course

Computer Applications in Surveying

CE 473


Power point


Exams + Quizzes


CE 474 Course

2015-2016-2 - Photogrammetry  CE474

Available 0-1-2-3-4 Power point


Quizzes 2 and 3 with model Answer

Available Chapter 1,2,3,4,5 Lecture notes

Report 1  Cameras Report


60 marks Exams

See Inside

Student Performance Records

CE 360 Course

Environmental Engineering 1

CE 360: Environmental Engineering 1


Y PP0-1-2-3,4 Power point
Y 1,2,3,4,5 Chapters

Water quality Poster + Climate Change Reports
will be announced (Quiz #2 will be using D2L- Online Quizzes


Quizzez 2,3 and 4 with model answer and results Exams and results

GE 306 Course

Engineering Report Writing

GE 306: Engineering Report Writing

CE 499 Course

Senior Design 2 - CE 499

Meeting on 14-4-2015

Second Best paper from Senior Design Projects in 2015

Paper title:

Evaluation of Groundwater Quality Parameters using Multivariate Statistics- a case Study of Majmaah, KSA


Abdullah A. Alzeer

Husam K. Almubark

Maijd M. Almotairi

CE 360-Summer Course

Environmental Engineering I

Welcome to CE360 second Term 2015-2016 

Engineering Practice

 Engineering Practice GE 307

What is your opinion

Contact me

Mobile: 00966598311652

[email protected]

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
College of Engineering, Majmaah University
Majmaah, P.O. 66, 11952, KSA

Thank you

Your frequent visit to my website has helped  a lot to get the 2nd place in the university competition in the  year 1434-2013... Thanks very mush and please keep following my work

زيارتكم المتكررة لموقعي ساهمت في حصولي على المركز الثاني لاحسن المواقع الشخصية بجامعة المجمعة ...لكم جميعا خالص شكري وتقديري

CE 212 - Summer Course

Properties and Strength of Materials 1

CE 212

Y from PP0 to PP 6 + PDF Power points
Y Midterm #2 + Model Answer + results Exams
Y lab 3 Labs

Solution of Quiz 4 + Results HW

CE 311- Summer Course

Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering

CE 311

M2+ model Answer + PP 1-9 = PDF 1-9 all are available

Sheets 2 + 4 with model Answers

Results of M2

إحصائية الموقع

عدد الصفحات: 1412

البحوث والمحاضرات: 1541

الزيارات: 58856