The development of sandification process was studied, by monitoring the changes of sediment characteristics, at marsh-sandy land intersections in China's Songnen region. A series of sediment collection plates were deployed in the region; after one year, sediments in these plates were analyzed for changes of mass and chemical characteristics. The sediment flux and the sand content of the sediments decreased with the increasing longitudinal distance between the sampling site and the centre line of a sand dune. The mean sediment flux was 29±14 kg m −2 yr −1 and 0.6±0.3 kg m −2 yr −1 in the sandy land and marsh, respectively. Strong, positive correlations were found between the concentrations of organic matter, total nitrogen, P, Fe, Ti, V and Zr, all of which were also negatively correlated with the sand content. The concentrations of organic matter, total nitrogen, P, Fe, Ti, V and Zr in the marsh sediment samples were all significantly greater than the corresponding concentrations of the sandy land ( p<0.001). Sand content and Ti, V and Zr concentrations all proved to be valid indicators of sandification intensity, and they showed that the marsh could be divided into three distinct zones. Sand expansion extended about 88 m into the marsh. The mean sand content in the sediments of the sandy land was 91% and then 64% in the marsh, which in turn was higher than that of marshes outside the influence of sandification, suggesting that the marsh in the marsh-sandy land transitional area has already undergone extensive sandification in the past. The study results provide information on the wetland's function of indicating and buffering the sandification process.