Transport of beach sand to the foredune by wind is essential for dunes to grow. The aeolian sand transport rate is related to wind velocity, but wind-based models often overpredict this transport for narrow beaches (<100 m). To better predict aeolian sand transport, the fetch-based Aeolus model was developed. Here, we qualitatively test this model by comparing its transport-rate output to visual signs of aeolian transport on video imagery collected at Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands, during a six-month winter period. The Aeolus model and the Argus images often agree on the timing of aeolian transport days, except when transport is small; that is not always visible on the Argus images. Consistent with the imagery (minimal signs of aeolian activity in strong winds), the Aeolus model sometimes predicts the actual transport to be smaller than the potential transport. This difference is largest when wind velocity is large, and its direction is cross-shore. Although transport limitations are not predicted to be common, the results suggest that their effect on the total transport in the study period was substantial. This indicates that the fetch distance should be taken into account when calculating aeolian transport for narrow beaches on longer timescales (>weeks).
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