Arid to sub-humid regions contribute 40 % to the global land surface. Due to their high sensitivity even to small-scale environmental changes and anthropogenic activities, their former dynamics recorded in sedimentary archives and landforms have been viewed as of increasing relevance for palaeoenvironmental and geoarchaeological research. Dryland research has been significantly aided by methodological advances and better understanding of other climatic and geomorphic systems that allow dryland areas to help understand both regional and global responses to environmental changes.
This session aims to pool contributions from the broad field of earth sciences that investigate sediment archives and landform evolution in dryland areas (dunes, desert loess, slope deposits, fluvial sediments, alluvial fans, lake sediments, desert pavements, (palaeo-)soils, geoarchaeological sites) at different spatial and temporal scales. Special focus will be given to contributions concerning the role of aeolian, fluvial, gravitational and biological sediment entrainment and transport processes in dryland environments, their preservation over time in the sedimentary record, emerging opportunities and limitations to resolve past and current dynamics.
* Kathryn Fitzsimmons (MPI Leipzig): Stacked palimpsests vs. the needle in the haystack - the challenge of reconstructing palaeoenvironments in drylands
* Sebastien Carretier : Erosion dynamics in Chile