Great Sand Sea and Selima Sand Sheet, Eastern Sahara: Geochronology of Desertification

Science  13 Aug 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4560, pp. 629-633
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4560.629


The relation of playa sediments and associated archeological sites with longitudinal dunes allows estimation of ages for the two uppermost strata of the Great Sand Sea. Active dune formation corresponds with interpluvial periods of hyperaridity; dune stability corresponds with semiarid pluvial periods. Archeological sites associated with truncated paleosols in the Selima Sand Sheet suggest a similar climatic relation and indicate that the isohyets of central Sudan shifted at least 400 kilometers northward during the peak of pluvials.