Developing a framework of Quaternary dune accumulation in the northern Rub' al-Khali, Arabia

Farrant, Andrew R.; Duller, Geoff A.T.; Parker, Adrian G.; Roberts, Helen M.; Parton, Ash; Knox, Robert W.O.; Bide, Thomas. 2015 Developing a framework of Quaternary dune accumulation in the northern Rub' al-Khali, Arabia. Quaternary International, 382. 132-144.

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Located at the crossroads between Africa and Eurasia, Arabia occupies a pivotal position for human migration and dispersal during the Late Pleistocene. Deducing the timing of humid and arid phases is critical to understanding when the Rub' al-Khali desert acted as a barrier to human movement and settlement. Recent geological mapping in the northern part of the Rub' al-Khali has enabled the Quaternary history of the region to be put into a regional stratigraphical framework. In addition to the active dunes, two significant palaeodune sequences have been identified. Dating of key sections has enabled a chronology of dune accretion and stabilisation to be determined. In addition, previously published optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates have been put in their proper stratigraphical context, from which a record of Late Pleistocene dune activity can be constructed. The results indicate the record of dune activity in the northern Rub' al-Khali is preservation limited and is synchronous with humid events driven by the incursion of the Indian Ocean monsoon.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 10406182
Date made live: 21 Oct 2015 07:33 +0 (UTC)

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