Investigating records of dune activity in the Thar Desert, India by combining portable optically stimulated luminescence (port-OSL) with laboratory techniques

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


The densely populated Thar Desert, India has a complex dune developmental history with high spatio-temporal variability, necessitating a high resolution dunefield level investigation. However, establishing chronology of dune accumulation histories from traditional techniques is costly, laborious and resource intensive. This study, for the first time, utilises rapid-age estimates derived from calibrated port-OSL measurements to overcome this limitation. Calibration was carried out using newly dated samples from three linear dunes in the arid western Thar which date to the Holocene period, along with samples with known ages from the central Thar (n = 44; R2 = 0.85). Rapid age-estimates from 122 collected samples across three linear dunes from western Thar were then used to investigate dune activity. There is variability across space, with two of the dunes significantly younger than the other up to a depth of 2m. Eastern flanks are younger and have a higher accumulation rate than the western flanks, suggesting that the dunes are likely moving eastward.
Period17 Jun 2022
Event titleWindy Day
Event typeConference
LocationLoughboroughShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Luminescence
  • Drylands
  • Dunes
  • Geochronology
  • Port-OSL

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