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Type: Journal article
Title: Aridity in the monsoon zone as indicated by desert dune formation in the Gregory Lakes basin, northwestern Australia
Author: Fitzsimmons, K.
Miller, G.
Spooner, N.
Magee, J.
Citation: Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 2012; 59(4):469-478
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0812-0099
Statement of
K. E. Fitzsimmons, G. H. Miller, N. A. Spooner, and J. W. Magee
Abstract: Desert dunes within the monsoon-fed Gregory Lakes basin form valuable archives for Quaternary paleoenvironments, in a region where such records are scarce. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) chronologies from two dunes identify the timing of eolian processes, interpreted as a complex response to aridification and increased sediment availability during lake transgressions and associated fluvial activity. The earliest eolian deposition in our record occurred ca 91.5 ka, which postdates the last ‘mega-lake’ phase but predates a smaller lake transgression during early MIS 3. Sand plain accretion took place around ca 47 ka during contemporaneous periodic high lake levels. This was followed by intermittent linear dune building, between ca 35 and 11.5 ka, which most likely took place during an interval of relative aridity. Close spacing of mid-Holocene ages within one dune indicates rapid sediment accumulation in a single arid event ca 5 ka. At no time in the last 50 ka have lake levels reached those of the last ‘mega-lake’ phase prior to ca 91.5 ka, suggesting a substantially weakened present-day monsoon.
Keywords: Gregory Lakes
Lake Mulan
Great Sandy Desert
desert dunes
OSL dating
Rights: © 2012 Geological Society of Australia
DOI: 10.1080/08120099.2012.686171
Grant ID: ARC
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