Chronologies and palaeoenvironments of humid phases in the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia over the past 0.5 Ma

Profile
Profile Display Name:

Richard ClarkWilson

E-mail Address:

richard.clark-wilson.16@ucl.ac.uk

Start Year

2016 (Cohort 3)

Research interests:

My research interests lie in reconstructing past climates and environments using environmental proxies/techniques such as stable isotopes, thin-section micromorphology and X-ray powdered diffraction. I am also interested in geochronological techniques with a specific interest in Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating (OSL).

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Chronologies and palaeoenvironments of humid phases in the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia over the past 0.5 Ma

Research Theme

Past Life and Environments

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution

RHUL

Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution

RHUL

Abstract

The western Nefud Desert lies at a crossroads for Hominin dispersals between Africa and Eurasia during the Pleistocene. As such an understanding of the region’s palaeoenvironmental history is key. Today, the Nefud desert is an impassable barrier to hominin dispersals. However, work by researchers such as Schulz and Whitney (1986), Petraglia et al. (2012) and Rosenberg et al. (2013) indicate that the Nefud Desert periodically experiences humid conditions driven by orbital forcing, during which open grasslands and numerous freshwater sources were established forming landscapes through which hominin and faunal populations could disperse. Nevertheless, there is a gap in our knowledge regarding the landscapes, environments and hydrology that existed during humid phases within the Nefud, as well as their precise age and genesis. The aim of my research, therefore, is to reconstruct the palaeoenvironment, landscapes and hydrology of the western Nefud Desert during humid phases over the last 0.5 Ma using sedimentological and geochemical techniques, whilst building a chronology of humid phases using luminescence dating. The data that this study generates will lead to a better understanding of climatic and environmental controls on hominin populations within the Nefud Desert over the past 0.5 Ma

Policy Impact
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