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Sand dunes-induced geomorphological changes in Um Ar-Rimam depression, Kuwait


In arid and semiarid lands, Aeolian processes play a principal role in the transportation and deposition of material that affects the geomorphological features. Being part of the Arabian Desert, the surface in Kuwait is generally smooth with low relief. Therefore, Aeolian processes have a significant impact on the Kuwait desert, especially on the geomorphological features, such as the Umm Ar-Rimam depression and the surrounding sand dunes. The aim of this project is to detect geomorphological changes in Umm Ar-Rimam depression and in addition, monitor whether the movements of the sand dunes around the area have major impacts on these changes. In order to monitor these changes and understand the process of landscape evolution, remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) techniques are required. Satellite imagery is used in both areas between 2002 and 2017. In addition, fieldwork and laboratory analyses are used to study the geomorphological differences between the areas to confirm the potential sources of the deposits in the depression. Results show significant changes in the depression and movement of sand dunes was detected in the Al-Huwaimiliyah dune field. Furthermore, analysed sediments are comparable in all samples for both areas, confirming that aeolian processes, particularly wind, associated with movements of sand dunes have an impact on the depression mostly in the southern sector.

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This work was conducted as productive output of a project sponsored by the Research Administration of Kuwait University (Project SE01/08). The authors are grateful to the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, for providing the facilities for sedimentological, mineralogical, and geomorphological studies. Thanks are due to Chemist Mrs. Nehaya Saied, Mr. Nabeel Adeeb, and Mr. Yousif Al-Tamimi for their help in laboratory work, as well as in their technical support.

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Correspondence to Redha Mohammad.

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Dashti, A., Mohammad, R. & Al-Hurban, A. Sand dunes-induced geomorphological changes in Um Ar-Rimam depression, Kuwait. Arab J Geosci 14, 1632 (2021).

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  • Geomorphology
  • Umm Ar-Rimam depression
  • Al-Huwaimiliyah dune field
  • Remote sensing
  • Change detection
  • GIS