Small isolated dune fields in the northern Mojave Desert are important centers of biodiversity and archaeological occupation sites. Currently dunes at Ash Meadows, Nevada, are stabilized by vegetation and are experiencing erosion of their upwind margins, indicating a negative sediment budget. New OSL ages from dunes at Ash Meadows indicate continuous eolian accumulation from 1.5 to 0.8 ka, with further accumulation around 0.2 ka. Prior studies (e.g., Mehringer and Warren, 1976) indicate periods of dune accumulation prior to 3.3 ka; 1.9–1 ka; and after 0.9 ka. These periods of eolian accumulation are largely synchronous with those identified elsewhere in the Mojave Desert. The composition of the Ash Meadows dunes indicates their derivation from regional fluvial sources, most likely during periods when axial washes were active as a result of enhanced winter precipitation.
Additional publication details
Holocene dune formation at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Area, Nevada, USA
Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center