The Quaternary desert sediments of the Al Liwa area, Abu Dhabi
Once the characteristics of the study area have been defined within the context of desert environments the theory of sediment accumulation in such a setting will be critically reviewed. The processes and products of aeolian sand transport and deposition that dominate the region will be discussed in Chapter Four and illustrated with contemporary examples from the study area and ancient equivalents from the Permian-age Clipper Field of the Southern North Sea. Once the primary building blocks of aeolian bedforms have been considered, the relationship between aeolian bedforms and the wind will be addressed in Chapter Five. The basis for the classification of aeolian bedforms on the grounds of morphology and morphometry will be examined, as will the possible controls on bedform size and spacing and the concept of draas as equilibrium bedforms. The apparent relationships that exist between bedform morphology, alignment and wind regime in a number of the world's desert areas will be critically considered in this section. The concepts of bounding surfaces, bedform accumulation and preservation will be considered in Chapter Six. The roles of sand supply and subsidence will be addressed, as will the significance of interdune sequences. Once the factors controlling the evolution, distribution, and the accumulation of aeolian sediments in aeolian bedforms have been considered, the dynamics of sand-sea systems and the significance of regional bounding surfaces will be critically assessed in Chapter Seven. In Chapter Eight the application of ground penetrating radar (GPR) as a means to determine the internal sturcutre of modern aeolian bedforms will be considered in conjunction with the results of a survey conducted on the Al Liwa area. The theories and principles discussed to date will then be applied to the study area. In Chapter Nine observed patterns of present-day dune morphology and morphometry across the region will be described in detail and the question of bedform morphology and alignment with respect to the contemporary wind regime addressed.