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J.B. Swinehart

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The climatic controls on dune mobility, especially the relative importance of wind strength, remain incompletely understood. This is a key research problem in semi-arid northern China, both for interpreting past dune activity as evidence of paleoclimate and for predicting future environmental change. Potential eolian sand transport, which is approximately proportional to wind power above the threshold for sand entrainment, has decreased across much of northern China since the 1970s. Over the same period, effective moisture (ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration) has not changed significantly. This "natural experiment" provides insight on the relative importance of wind power as a control on dune...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geomorphology
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The age of sand dunes in the Nebraska Sand Hills has been controversial, with some investigators suggesting a full-glacial age and others suggesting that they were last active in the late Holocene. New accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon ages of unaltered bison bones and organic-rich sediments suggest that eolian sand deposition occurred at least twice in the past 3000 14C yr B.P. in three widely separated localities and as many as three times in the past 800 14C yr at three other localities. These late Holocene episodes of eolian activity are probably the result of droughts more intense than the 1930s "Dust Bowl" period, based on independent Great Plains climate records from lake sediments and tree rings....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Research
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Wind-blown sands were mobile at many sites along the desert margin in northern China during the early Holocene (11.5-8 ka ago), based on extensive new numerical dating. This mobility implies low effective moisture at the desert margin, in contrast to growing evidence for greater than modern monsoon precipitation at the same time in central and southern China. Dry conditions in the early Holocene at the desert margin can be explained through a dynamic link between enhanced diabatic heating in the core region of the strengthened monsoon and increased subsidence in drylands to the north, combined with high evapotranspiration rates due to high summer temperatures. After 8 ka ago, as the monsoon weakened and lower temperatures...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geology
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Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Quaternary Science Reviews
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