Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Holocene dune activity in the Thar Desert, India

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Author(s)

Aayush Srivastava, David S.G. Thomas, Julie A. Durcan

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The Thar Desert dune system in north-west India and eastern Pakistan provides a rich archive of past environmental, geomorphological and climatic change. Much of the knowledge about the timing of dune accumulation in the Thar stems from scattered and sporadic records, based on older luminescence dating protocols. If the Thar dune record is to be incorporated within a growing multiproxy framework of past climate and environmental dynamics, it is necessary to generate a systematic record of the timing of dunefield accumulation. From this, relationships to climate and other drivers of dune activity may then be better established. To this end, an intensive programme of field sampling and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating was carried out from a dunefield in the east-central Thar Desert. This study presents the first detailed Holocene dune accumulation history from the region, and sheds light on the development of the multi-generational parabolic dune systems. In contrast to previously published work, we identify the importance of the Holocene and the last millennium as periods with a number of preserved accumulation phases. OSL ages suggest that accumulation was persistent during the early and mid-Holocene (within 11.7-5.5 ka), late Holocene (2-1 ka), as well as two major phases in the last millennium (600 – 200 a and within the last 70 a). Potential drivers of dune mobility in the last century include a strong anthropogenic dimension. Rapid net accumulation is recorded in the last 70 years, with rates varying between 2 and 5 m/year, in an environment where agricultural pressures have increased dramatically with the advent of irrigation schemes expanding into dunefield areas.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1418
Number of pages12
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Geomorphological change, Holocene, Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, Parabolic dunes, Thar Desert

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Holocene palaeoenvironmental changes in the Thar Desert: an integrated assessment incorporating new insights from aeolian systems

    Srivastava, A., Thomas, D. S. G., Durcan, J. A. & Bailey, R. M., 1 Apr 2020, In: Quaternary Science Reviews. 233, 106214.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Analysis of late Quaternary linear dune development in the Thar Desert, India

    Srivastava, A., Durcan, J. A. & Thomas, D. S. G., 1 Nov 2019, In: Geomorphology. 344, p. 90-98 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. The potential of portable luminescence readers in geomorphological investigations: a review

    Munyikwa, K., Kinnaird, T. C. & Sanderson, D. C. W., 2 Sep 2020, In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Occurrence, evolution and ice content of ice-debris complexes in the Ak-Shiirak, Central Tien Shan revealed by geophysical and remotely-sensed investigations

    Bolch, T., Rohrbach, N., Kutuzov, S., Robson, B. A. & Osmonov, A., 17 Jan 2019, In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 44, 1, p. 129-143

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The effect of cyclic variation of shear stress on non-cohesive sediment stabilization by microbial biofilms: the role of ‘biofilm precursors’

    Chen, X., Zhang, C., Paterson, D. M., Townend, I. H., Jin, C., Zhou, Z., Gong, Z. & Feng, Q., 1 Feb 2019, In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. Early View, 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. A conceptual model of supra-glacial lake formation on debris-covered glaciers based on GPR facies analysis

    Mertes, J. R., Thompson, S. S., Booth, A. D., Gulley, J. D. & Benn, D. I., 3 May 2017, In: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 42, 6, p. 903-914 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 267881665

Top