Publications [#281164] of Peter K. Haff
- Haff, PK, Desert pavement: An environmental canary?,
The Journal of Geology, vol. 109 no. 5
pp. 661-668, University of Chicago Press [doi]
(last updated on 2019/05/24)
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.