EOLIAN DUNES OF LATE QUATERNARY AGE ON THE FLOODPLAIN OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER, JASPER COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
The sand hills are interpreted as remnants of an eolian dune field that was active just before and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). It is not clear whether the dunes were mobile during all of this time, or whether there were discrete intervals of eolian sediment mobilization separated by intervals of eolian sediment stabilization. Nevertheless, it appears that just prior to and during the LGM the climate became relatively arid and (or) the wind strength increased, causing fluvial sediments of the Savannah River to be reworked into parabolic eolian dunes. During this time, some vegetation may have been present to stabilize the tails of the dunes. The dunes migrated to the east away from the Savannah River, but did not reach the east bank of the flood plain before the climate became less arid and (or) wind strength decreased, resulting in stabilization of the dunes by vegetation. Since the LGM, changes in aridity and wind strength have not exceeded thresholds for eolian remobilization of the dunes, the dunes have remained stabilized, the dune morphology has been degraded, and pedogenic processes have imparted a brown color to the uppermost 0.1–0.6 m of the dunes.