BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Sand residence times of one million years in the Namib Sand Sea from cosmogenic nuclides

    Vermeesch, Pieter and Fenton, C.R. and Kober, F. and Wiggs, G.F.S. and Bristow, Charlie S. and Xu, S. (2010) Sand residence times of one million years in the Namib Sand Sea from cosmogenic nuclides. Nature Geoscience 3 (12), pp. 862-865. ISSN 1752-0894.

    Full text not available from this repository.

    Abstract

    The Namib Sand Sea is one of the world’s oldest and largest sand deserts1, yet little is known about the source of the sand in this, or other large deserts2. In particular, it is unclear whether the sand is derived from local sediment or comes from remote sources. The relatively uniform appearance of dune sands and low compositional variability within dune fields3 make it difficult to address this question. Here we combine cosmogenic-nuclide measurements and geochronological techniques to assess the provenance and migration history of sand grains in the Namib Sand Sea. We use U–Pb geochronology of detrital zircons to show that the primary source of sand is the Orange River at the southern edge of the Namib desert. Our burial ages obtained from measurements of the cosmogenic nuclides 10Be, 26Al and 21Ne suggest that the residence time of sand within the sand sea is at least one million years. We therefore conclude that, despite large climatic changes in the Namib region associated with Quaternary glacial–interglacial cycles4, 5, the area currently occupied by the Namib Sand Sea has never been entirely devoid of sand during the past million years.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2011 14:24
    Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 12:01
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3143

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    0Downloads
    94Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item