Reactivation of Coastal Dunefields in Equatorial Brazil: Aeolian Proxies for Climate-Landscape Interaction


OCCI Funded Project: 2008


Large sand dunes along tropical coasts are sensitive to climatic perturbations and in northern South America these landforms are located within the influence of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), an important player in the climate system.

Our study will focus on reconstructing aeolian activity in coastal dunefields of Pará State, Brazil. Here El Niño is associated with dry periods and past dune reactivation episodes may be linked to ENSO intensification. High-resolution subsurface imaging combined with optical dates of dune sands will be used to map and date key phases in landscape evolution. This database will be complemented by a record of windblown sediment flux into nearby wetlands to develop a new set of geological proxies and extend the existing instrumental record of regional climate change by several millennia.