Paper No. 41-12
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM
DRONE ASSISTED INVESTIGATION OF DUNE FIELD MORPHOLOGY IN THE WHITE RIVER BADLANDS, SOUTH DAKOTA
The intent of this research is to investigate late Holocene landscape development in the White River Badlands of South Dakota. Our previous investigations, which utilized 14C dating of paleosols, revealed that pediments along the margins of badlands ridges were dissected into sod tables within the last 1500 years. This time period indicates that the Medieval Climate Anomaly (900 to 1,300 AD) or the Little Ice Age (1,300 to 1,850 AD) droughts could have denuded slopes of vegetation, resulting with incision of the landscape and the formation of sod tables. This study investigates this latest Holocene climate change and landscape development using drone-collected, high-resolution imagery of the landscape to help visualize the dune morphology. The orientations of dunes were measured on resulting images. The analysis revealed that parabolic dunes on Bouquet Table are aligned in the NW-SE direction, consistent with modern wind direction, but also suggesting consistent dominant wind for at least the recent millennium. High resolution maps of dunes, loess sheets, and aeolian clifftop deposits, based on topography and vegetative cover, will be presented.