A study of dune change in Victoria Valley, Antarctica between 1959 and 2002

Bourke, Mary C., McGowan, Hamish A. and Finnegan, David C. (2007). A study of dune change in Victoria Valley, Antarctica between 1959 and 2002. In: Catto, N.R., International Union for Quarternary Research XVII Congress - The Tropics: Heat Engine of the Quaternary (Quaternary International). International Union for Quaternary Research XVII Congress, Cairns, Australia, (42-42). July 2007. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.04.001


Author Bourke, Mary C.
McGowan, Hamish A.
Finnegan, David C.
Title of paper A study of dune change in Victoria Valley, Antarctica between 1959 and 2002
Conference name International Union for Quaternary Research XVII Congress
Conference location Cairns, Australia
Conference dates July 2007
Convener Professor John Chappell
Proceedings title International Union for Quarternary Research XVII Congress - The Tropics: Heat Engine of the Quaternary (Quaternary International)   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2007
Year available 2007
Sub-type Published abstract
DOI 10.1016/j.quaint.2007.04.001
ISSN 1040-6182
Editor Catto, N.R.
Volume 167-168
Issue Supplement 1
Start page 42
End page 42
Total pages 1
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Evidence of global climate change is expected to be first seen in polar regions, where subtle changes in climate may have large impacts on fragile geomorphic systems. Polar dunes are one such system for which there is little precise information available. For example, the extent to which polar aeolian deposits are stabilized by ice-bonded sands is unknown. As a first step towards a better understanding of the response of polar desert aeolian systems, we have mapped the sand dunes in Victoria Valley, Antarctica over the past four decades. The dune field is located at the confluence of the Packard and Victoria Valleys and has been the focus of field measurement programs for more than 40 years. Previous studies indicate that dune mobility has been limited to the crests shifting over ice-cemented sand layers within the dune in response to the Valley’s bi-direction wind regime. This is believed to impede net migration of the dune field. Short-term field studies have shown erratic movement of the dunes with the range between –14 and 62 m. However, no study has been made of longer term change in the morphological character of the dune field. In this study we use vertical air photographs and LIDAR data to map dune change over a 43 year period. We assess change in dune position and morphology over time. We find that the dunes have migrated (up to 75 m), and that dune form has changed, principally by lateral coalescing and limb extension. Movement of the dunes suggests that migration is possible despite the presence of ice and snow within the dune core. In addition, these changes support earlier observations that indicate a net (westerly) migration driven by topographically channeled thermally generated easterlies and gradient southeasterly winds. We infer this to indicate that the region has not undergone significant change in weather patterns in the last four decades. This is in agreement with the findings of Ayling and McGowan (2006) who investigated dust deposits on the adjacent Victoria Lower Glacier. Accordingly, it would appear that neither change in weather or climate due to global warming has caused significant change to the meteorology of the Victoria Valley, Antarctica and in-turn its aeolian geomorphic system.
Subjects 269901 Physical Geography
E1
770502 Land and water management
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 30 Apr 2008, 12:04:16 EST by Deirdre Timo on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management