Desert pavement: An environmental canary?


Journal Article

Ongoing disruption of ancient, varnished desert pavement surfaces near Death Valley National Park is inferred to be the result of unusually intense animal foraging activity. Increased levels of bioturbation are associated with enhanced vegetation growth stimulated by recent El Nino precipitation. The occurrence of abundant, recently overturned, varnished clasts suggests that the pavement disturbances reported here are rare on the millennial time scale of desert varnish formation. These observations suggest the possibility that changes in desert pavement surfaces may provide early hints of future changes in desert ecology and environment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Haff, PK

Published Date

  • January 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 109 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 661 - 668

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1376

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/321960

Citation Source

  • Scopus