Arabian Deserts: Nature, Origin and Evolution

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jul 21, 2006 - Science - 592 pages
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Arabian Deserts provides a comprehensive coverage of all the deserts of Arabia largely based on the author’s experience in Arabia over the last fifty years. It deals with every type of desert found there, including those formed by great sand seas, dunefields, evaporites, clay pans, stony plains, volcanic flows, desert plateaux and mountains, deltas, and desert islands. Distinctive landforms of Arabia deserts are described, together with their geological setting and the influence of climates both past and present. The six great sand seas of Arabia are emphasized since Ar Rub’ al Khali Desert forms the world’s largest continuous sand desert. Sources, sedimentology, and the mechanisms of formation of these great sand deserts are examined. Distinctive sand dunes and interdunes types found in Arabia are described, classified and explained. Fluvial processes are discussed, as well as the many oases, and lake deposits formed in milder, more humid intervals. Extensive areas of black, basaltic, volcanic desert are described covering three times the area of Belgium. Ecology of Arabia and human influence on desertification are outlined. Climatic changes in the evolution of Arabian deserts during the Quaternary and their causes are explained and a chronology of climatic events during their formation is established.

Audience

This book will be of interest to geoscientists, especially Quaternary geologists, geomorphologists, geographers, sedimentologists interested in aeolian and fluvial processes, climatologists, coastal studies groups, desertification interest groups, and ecologists with interest in arid lands.

 

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Contents

Preface
xvii
Sources of sand for Arabian sand dune deserts
xli
Acknowledgements
lxiii
Types of deserts and landform regions of Arabia
11
Geological setting of Arabian deserts
29
Influences of climate
45
Ecology of Arabian deserts
71
Watercourses and rivers of Arabia
89
Stony and rocky deserts of Arabia
309
Rocky Deserts of Arabia
327
Deserts of interior drainage basins
351
Coastal deserts of Arabia
385
Desert plains steppes and plateaux
427
Mountain deserts of Arabia
447
Dating methods as applied to Arabian deserts and deposits
465
Evolution of Arabian deserts and their chronology
493

Arabian sand seas
125
Lesser dunefields of Arabia
167
Types of desert dunes in Arabia
201
12
208
17
239
Mechanisms of sand accumulation
263
Sedimentology of Arabian dune sands
281
Desert dust and loess
297
Acronyms
513
309
568
A Glossary of Arabic Terms for Arabian Deserts
575
310
583
9
585
327
590
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