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Arabian Deserts: Nature, Origin and Evolution

By: H Stewart Edgell

592 pages, b/w photos and illus


Hardback | Dec 2006 | #154899 | ISBN: 1402039697
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £178.00 $218/€200 approx

About this book

Arabian Deserts provides a comprehensive coverage of all the deserts of Arabia largely based on the author's experience in Arabia over the last fifty years. It deals with every type of desert found there, including those formed by great sand seas, dunefields, evaporites, clay pans, stony plains, volcanic flows, desert plateaux and mountains, deltas, and desert islands. Distinctive landforms of Arabia deserts are described, together with their geological setting and the influence of climates both past and present. The six great sand seas of Arabia are emphasized since Ar Rub' al Khali Desert forms the world's largest continuous sand desert. Sources, sedimentology, and the mechanisms of formation of these great sand deserts are examined. Distinctive sand dunes and interdunes types found in Arabia are described, classified and explained. Fluvial processes are discussed, as well as the many oases, and lake deposits formed in milder, more humid intervals. Extensive areas of black, basaltic, volcanic desert are described covering three times the area of Belgium. Ecology of Arabia and human influence on desertification are outlined. Climatic changes in the evolution of Arabian deserts during the Quaternary and their causes are explained and a chronology of climatic events during their formation is established.

From the reviews: "This new book by Edgell is the only one that covers the entire Arabian peninsula ! . This is a book where the reader can find many interesting details about Arabia and a wealth of up-to-date literature ! . In addition, the index of geographical names and the glossary of Arabic terms are very valuable ! . The book may be used with great profit as an encyclopedia of facts about Arabian deserts ! and as such will be welcome in scientific libraries." (H. Besler, Journal of Sedimentary Research, July, 2006) "The 20 chapters of the book cover a wide range of topics on not only the geography, ecology, and geology of the Arabian deserts but also on fundamental knowledge such as sand dunes and dating methods of desert stratigraphy. Therefore, the book would serve both as an up-to-date textbook and as a reference tool. The enclosed CD-ROM containing color photos and figures is an added value." (Rasoul Sorkhabi, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Vol. 91 (6), 2007)


Acknowledgments.- Introduction.- 1: Definitions of Deserts.- 2: Types of deserts and landform regions of Arabia.- 3: Geological setting of Arabian deserts.- 4: Influences of Climate.- 5: Ecology of Arabian deserts.- 6: Watercourses and rivers of Arabia.- 7: Arabian sand seas.- 8: Lesser dunefields of Arabia.- 9: Types of desert dunes.- 10: Sources of sand for Arabian sand dune deserts.- 11: Mechanisms of sand dune accumulation.- 12: Sedimentology of Arabian dune sands.- 13: Desert dust and Loess.- 14: Stony and rocky deserts of Arabia.- 15: Deserts of interior drainage basins.- 16: Coastal deserts of Arabia.- 17: Desert plains, steppes, and plains.- 18: Mountain deserts of Arabia.- 19: Dating methods applied to Arabian deserts and deposits.- 20: Evolution of Arabian deserts and their chronology.- References. Index. Glossary.

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