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Eolian dynamics and sediment mixing in the Gran Desierto, Mexico, determined from thermal infrared spectroscopy and remote-sensing data

Stephen Scheidt, Nicholas Lancaster and Michael Ramsey
Eolian dynamics and sediment mixing in the Gran Desierto, Mexico, determined from thermal infrared spectroscopy and remote-sensing data
Geological Society of America Bulletin (July 2011) 123 (7-8): 1628-1644

Abstract

The Gran Desierto dune field is only partially composed of quartz-rich sands from the ancestral Colorado River. Local sources have been previously underestimated as a major source of sand because previous remote-sensing studies were limited in their capability to detect silicate minerals. Compositions of sands were evaluated in this study using a combination of laboratory thermal emission spectroscopy and thermal remote-sensing data acquired from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument. The spatial interpolation of sample compositions allowed visualization of the sand transport pathways from feldspar-rich local sources by revealing gradients of composition between the dune field and surrounding local sources. The laboratory data were comparable to the remote-sensing retrievals of quartz and feldspar abundance. The mineralogical maturity of the Desierto dunes could be determined by the quartz/feldspar ratio, therefore providing a context for understanding the provenance of the Gran Desierto in relation to other Mojave and Sonoran dune fields. The composition of a previously undescribed group of dunes east of the Pinacate, the Sonoyta dunes, was measured as higher in potassium feldspar relative to the rest of the dune field. The composition of Sonoyta dunes is characteristic of other Mojave dune fields, which are more isolated near local feldspar-rich sources. South of the Pinacate, quartz-rich sand from the west admixes with feldspar-rich sand from the Sonoyta dunes to the east. The northern margin of the Gran Desierto is similarly enriched in feldspar from alluvial fans, and the coastal sand is influenced by carbonate sand that does not appear to survive transport to the inland dunes.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 123
Serial Issue: 7-8
Title: Eolian dynamics and sediment mixing in the Gran Desierto, Mexico, determined from thermal infrared spectroscopy and remote-sensing data
Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh, Department of Geology and Planetary Science, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Pages: 1628-1644
Published: 201107
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 105
Accession Number: 2011-057244
Categories: Sedimentary petrologyGeomorphology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
N31°00'00" - N32°30'00", W114°00'00" - W113°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Desert Research Institute, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201132
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