Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (3): 509-528.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202003006

• Surface Process • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Development of aeolian geomorphology in China in the past 70 years

DONG Zhibao, LYU Ping   

  1. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2019-07-25 Revised:2020-01-13 Online:2020-03-25 Published:2020-05-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871008);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871011)


Wind is the second largest fluid shaping the earth's landscape besides water. The aeolian landform formed by wind is widely distributed in the global arid regions, and more than 40% of the land area is affected by the aeolian process in the world. Owing to a close relationship with the human's living environment, aeolian geomorphology has received continuous attention from the international academia since the end of the 19th century. Although aeolian landforms are widely distributed in arid and semi-arid regions of China, the relevant study started in the late 1950s. This paper summarizes the development of aeolian geomorphology during the past 70 years in China, which has experienced three stages: the initial stage before reform and opening-up; the development stage between the reform and opening-up to the end of the 20th century; and international stage since the beginning of the 21st century, even partially beyond the international standard nowadays. There are many influential achievements in China, including dunes movement, regional comprehensive study on aeolian landforms, formation and evolution process of unique aeolian landforms, Gobi, the secondary flow around dunes and the exploration of extraterrestrial planets. Aeolian research in China has the potential to lead the international aeolian research in the future, but the aeolian geomorphologists must have following strategic thinking on meta-synthesis, the guidance of the earth system science, the global view and development of the outer space era.

Key words: aeolian geomorphology, deserts of China, research development