Age and dynamics of linear dunes in the Namib Desert

C. S. Bristow*, G. A. T. Duller, N. Lancaster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Citations (SciVal)


Ground-penetrating radar and luminescence dating studies of a large, complex, linear dune in the northern part of the Namib Sand Sea provide new information on the age and internal sedimentary structures of these dunes, with important implications for interpretations of paleoclimates and the rock record of eolian sandstones. The dune is a composite feature formed during several episodes of construction, including a hiatus of almost 2000 yr. The oldest sands within the dune are 5700 yr old, indicating complete turnover of sand during the Holocene. The dune has moved laterally by ~300 m during the past 2500 yr, proving lateral migration of a large linear dune. Dune construction has been affected by climate change, and we attribute the hiatus to increased rainfall and vegetation, which largely halted sand movement and dune building in the Namib Desert during the middle Holocene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-558
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 07 Feb 2007


  • linear dunes
  • Namib Desert
  • ground-penetrating radar
  • optically stimulated luninescence dating


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