Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Migration of Barchan Dunes in Qatar—Controls of the Shamal, Teleconnections, Sea-Level Changes and Human Impact

Version 1 : Received: 2 May 2018 / Approved: 3 May 2018 / Online: 3 May 2018 (08:51:13 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Engel, M.; Boesl, F.; Brückner, H. Migration of Barchan Dunes in Qatar–Controls of the Shamal, Teleconnections, Sea-Level Changes and Human Impact. Geosciences 2018, 8, 240. Engel, M.; Boesl, F.; Brückner, H. Migration of Barchan Dunes in Qatar–Controls of the Shamal, Teleconnections, Sea-Level Changes and Human Impact. Geosciences 2018, 8, 240.

Journal reference: Geosciences 2018, 8, 240
DOI: 10.3390/geosciences8070240

Abstract

Barchan dune fields are a dominant landscape feature in SE Qatar and a key element of the peninsula’s geodiversity. The migration of barchan dunes is mainly controlled by dune size, wind pattern, vegetation cover and human impact. We investigate the variability of dune migration in Qatar over a time period of 50 years using high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery and explore its relation to the regional Shamal wind system, teleconnection patterns, and limitations in sand supply associated with the transgression of the Arabian Gulf. We detect strong size-dependent differences in migration rates of individual dunes as well as significant decadal variability on a dune-field scale, which was found to be correlating with the intensity of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). High uncertainties associated with the extrapolation of migration rates back into the Holocene, however, do not permit to further specify the timing of the loss of sand supply and the onset of the mid-Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) highstand. For the youngest phase considered in this study (2006–2015), human impact is anticipated to have accelerated dune migration under a weakening Shamal regime through sand mining and excessive vehicle frequentation upwind of the core study area.

Subject Areas

Aeolian geomorphology; Arabian Peninsula; Arabian/Persian Gulf; remote sensing; Holocene landscape change

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