The Coastal Dunes of Israel and their Transformation in the Past 200 years

Noam Levin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The coastal dunesCoastal dunes of Israel represent a highly dynamic landscape, which can serve as an indicator of both climatic and anthropogenic changes. The current phase of coastal dunes is relatively young, representing an incursion which mostly started in the post-Byzantine and early Moslem periods, probably due to changes in anthropogenic land use. Until the first half of the twentieth century, the coastal dunesCoastal dunes were mostly active, and the low interdune areas were often used for traditional Mawasi agriculture, relying on accessible underground water. Both live and dead plants of the coastal dunes were used by the local Arab and BedouinsBedouins people for their herds, building materials, heating, and medicines. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, centuries’ old practices of overgrazing and cutting of the dune vegetation came to an end, and given the low wind power along the coast, these dunes underwent a process of spontaneous stabilizationStabilization, associated with an increase in vegetation cover and a decrease in dune movement rates. In the past 140 years, Israel’s coastal dunesCoastal dunes were put under great development pressures, and large parts of them have been transformed to other land uses, including agricultural land, built-up areas, and other human uses. Since the 1980s, however, the importance of the dunes as a habitat for psammophile species and for recreation has been recognized, and conservation efforts have been put forward, both by designating protected areas and via studies examining the possibility of reactivating the dunes to preserve some of their ecological and cultural values.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NameWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
VolumePart F2449
ISSN (Print)2213-2090
ISSN (Electronic)2213-2104

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024.


  • Bedouins
  • Coastal dunes
  • Grazing
  • Parabolic dunes
  • Stabilization


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