Scientific article
Open access

Continental interior parabolic dunes as a potential proxy for past climates

Published inGlobal and planetary change, vol. 206, 103622
Publication date2021-11

The global occurrence of parabolic dunes and their reactivation potential make them significant features in the present global landscape. Several studies have assessed the distribution and structure of parabolic dunes and their relationship to local climate factors with the aim to constrain the processes influencing their activation and potential reactivation. However, none of them have addressed the connection between recently active inland parabolic dunes and climatic conditions at a global scale, nor their potential as proxy for past climates. Here we report that the activity of 106 continental interior parabolic dunes from the last millennium is largely controlled by few quantifiable climate variables that are mutually influenced: aridity, type of vegetation, and wind speed. We then compare the mid-Holocene activity of 67 continental dunes with the palaeolevel of 394 lakes to confirm their relationship to past aridification, itself triggered by a northward displacement of the Intertropical Converge Zone. This study provides a quantitative tool to constrain past climates in regions where inland parabolic dunes have shown to be active, especially where other proxies are not available; along with linking continental parabolic dune activity with atmospheric circulation.

  • Quaternary
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Global
  • Parabolic Dune
  • Climate
  • Desertification
  • Aridity
  • Vegetation
  • ITCZ
Citation (ISO format)
VIMPERE, Lucas, WATKINS, Stephen E., CASTELLTORT, Sébastien. Continental interior parabolic dunes as a potential proxy for past climates. In: Global and planetary change, 2021, vol. 206, p. 103622. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2021.103622
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0921-8181

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