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Aeolian–fluvial interaction: evidence for Late Quaternary channel change and wind-rift linear dune formation in the northwestern Simpson Desert, Australia

Hollands, C.B. and Nanson, G.C. and Jones, B.G. and Bristow, Charlie S. and Price, D.M. and Pietsch, T.J. (2006) Aeolian–fluvial interaction: evidence for Late Quaternary channel change and wind-rift linear dune formation in the northwestern Simpson Desert, Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews 25 (1-2), pp. 142-162. ISSN 0277-3791.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2005.02.007

Abstract

In central Australia, the most easterly extent of the MacDonnell Ranges border the Simpson Desert dunefield where widely spaced strike ridges intercept and isolate pockets of broad-crested linear dunes that reflect regional changes in Late Quaternary climate, flow regime and channel avulsion. An energetic Todd River reworked the eastern part of Camel Flat basin from 75–65 ka until the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) when it shifted eastwards, but with some flows persisting through the basin until about 10 ka. Resulting desert surfaces of different age facilitate temporal comparisons of linear dune formation. Fine-grained red dunes, 75–65 ka in age occur on the western floor of the basin and are ramped against the foot-slopes of the range. After the LGM, and especially during the Holocene, the river's departure enabled small, pale-coloured, closely spaced, coarser-textured linear dunes to form on the abandoned floodplain in the eastern basin, their orientation 20° farther west than the larger and older red dunes. This realignment indicates that the Australian wind-whorl shifted southwards some 160 km or 1.5° after the LGM. Linear dunes in the northwestern Simpson Desert were formed by wind rifting involving vertical accretion of sand from a proximal source, not by long-distance sand transport with linear extension. The blocking ranges have caused negligible downwind sediment accumulation over the past 75 ka.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2011 13:52
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4035

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