Monday, May 20, 2013

Ancient Australian Dunes

Lens cap (bottom, left of center) for scale.

Lens cap (middle, left of center) for scale

I'm working on my next Death Valley post, but in the meantime, here are two quick photos of some beautiful cross-bedding in the Mereenie Sandstone at Kings Canyon, Australia.  360 Ma, there was an inland dune field here. That's right, these were sand dunes! Unlike the coastal dunes on Lake Ontario that are made up of beach sand, these ancient Australian dunes are thought to have formed in a desert. The Australian deserts today have dunes too.

Source: Thompson, R., 1995, A guide to the geology and landforms of Central Australia: Northern Territory Geological Survey, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.