Dunefield Activity and Interactions with Climatic Variability in the Southwest Kalahari Desert

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Abstract

An analysis is undertaken of the temporal variability of climatic parameters that influence dunefield aeolian activity. Data from seven meteorological stations in the southwestern Kalahari Desert are used, spanning the period 1960–1992. Erosivity is considered through analysis of wind data, and erodibility through analysis of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration, which together influence dune surface plant growth. The data are integrated using Lancaster's ‘mobility’ index which provides a measure of potential dune surface sand transport. This is renamed ‘potential dune surface activity index’, to reflect the actual characteristic that is measured. The subsequent analysis indicates that dunefield activity is episodic and temporally variable, that both erosivity and erodibility vary through time, and that present levels of activity cannot be characterized by a single simple state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165–174
Number of pages10
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 1998

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