Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kenedy Ranch, Texas

The Kenedy Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world at 235,000 acres (951 sq km)!  On the southeastern portion of the ranch are cattle, windmills, mudflats, and a field of travelling dunes.  The dunes form a banner dune field, and the dunes themselves are barchans.  Particular things to note are the dune scars that appear as abruptly terminating vegetation where dunes have overtaken the small shrubs that grow in the area.  The 'S' shaped dune in the northwest shows this very well.  These dunes likely formed from a blowout, which allowed the sediments to begin migrating across the area.  Two converging longshore currents, as well as a predominant southeasterly wind "feed" sediment to the dune system and keep it moving in a NW trending direction.

My good friend Michael Hill who recently graduated from Texas A&M Kingsville has been studying and presenting research on this area for years.  It was his knowledge and experience that made this post possible.

The animation below shows the years: 1995, 2003, 2008, 2011

gif of dune movement

Dune field, mudflats, and barrier island

Geologist Michael Hill at the dune field, July 2012

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:     27°00'00.00"N     97°40'00.00"W

More info: Kenedy Ranch

Michael has given me permission to share his poster which can be found here and he can be reached for questions regarding his research at:

Check back in two weeks to see a before and after from 2012's most talked about hurricane.


  1. The animated gif is such an obvious way to show this type of change very concisely. Should do that to my river delta images I posted on comment to your meander cut-off post.

    1. Thanks! It can be tricky trying to line up the images perfectly so that they don't jump around too much.