Arid to sub-humid regions contribute ca. 40 % to the global land surface and are home of more than 40 % of the world’s population. During prehistoric times many important cultures had developed in these regions. Due to the high sensitivity of dryland areas even to small-scale environmental changes and anthropogenic activities, ongoing geomorphological processes but also the Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental evolution as recorded in sediment archives are becoming increasingly relevant for geomorphological, palaeoenvironmental and geoarchaeological research. In this context, the connectivity between different landscape components plays a significant role in amplifying or suppressing landscape response and the resultant signals of environmental change preserved in sediment archives. Dryland research is also boosted by methodological advances that assess the degree of linkage between geomorphic adjustments and climate, thereby permitting rigorous evaluation of dryland areas as indicators of global environmental change.
This session aims to pool contributions from the broad field of earth sciences that deal with geomorphological processes and different types of sediment archives in dryland areas (dunes, loess, slope deposits, fluvial sediments, alluvial fans, lake and playa sediments, desert pavements, soils, paleosols etc.) at different spatial and temporal scales. This session invites a wide range of contributions from case studies of individual regions and archives, to methodological and conceptual studies. Studies that: 1) Demonstrate interactions between eolian, fluvial, gravitational and/or biological processes in dryland environments; 2) Integrate geomorphological data within conceptual and/or numerical models of connectivity; 3) Evaluate spatial and temporal controls on preservation of these sediments in dryland geoproxy archives; and 4) discuss emerging opportunities and limitations to resolve past and current dryland dynamics, are especially welcome in this session.
D.S.G. Thomas (Oxford) "Can dryland geoproxy data generate Quaternary palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental records?"