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Geology of Mojave National Preserve: Kelso Dunes

Kelso Dune map showing active and relict dunes and sand sheets
This map, adapted from work by Nick Lancaster (1995), shows the distribution of wind-blown sand deposits in the Kelso Dune system. Notice that the active part of the dune system, where sand is on the move, is fringed by large areas of stabilized sands. These vegetated, relict dunes and sand sheets provide important habitat for many desert animals and are, very vulnerable to climate change. A slightly drier climate may kill some of the vegetation holding the sand in place. Once the grasp of the plant roots is loosened, the sand is on the move again.

Lancaster, N., 1995, Kelso Dunes, in Reynolds, R.E. and Reynolds, J., ed.,Ancient Surfaces of the East Mojave Desert: San Bernadino County Museum Association, p.47-51.

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