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From landform to process: Morphology and formation of lake-bed barchan dunes, Makgadikgadi, Botswana

Burrough, Sallie L., Thomas, David S.G., Bailey, Richard M., Davies, Lauren
Geomorphology 2012 v.161-162 pp. 1-14
basins, bleaching, climate change, data collection, dunes, luminescence, morphometry, remote sensing, sediments, Botswana
A suite of crescentic landforms is visible from remotely sensed imagery within the Ntwetwe panPan in the Makgadikgadi basin, Botswana. We investigate the most distinct of these landforms using morphometric measurements, sedimentary data and Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) signal analysis. Comparative analysis with previously published barchan morphological data sets suggest the Ntwetwe features fall within the spectrum of morphometric parameters found in a range of barchan dunefields from around the world. There is currently insufficient comparative morphometric data from sub-aqueous dunefields to be able to distinguish the particular formative environment of the dune. OSL signal analyses however, support the hypothesis of Grove (1969) [Grove, A.T., 1969. Landforms and climatic change in the Kalahari and Ngamiland. Geographical Journal, 135: 191–212] that the last deposition of the sediments within the Ntwetwe forms was most likely aeolian in origin. Luminescence signal analysis is employed to investigate potential transport and bleaching environments of the sediments forming the features, but results in this case do not shed further light on the formative conditions of these enigmatic landforms.