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New Method Speeds Up Dating of Thar Desert Dunes

New Method Speeds Up Dating of Thar Desert Dunes

In a recent study, Nitundil et al. (2023) are exploring the potential of an innovative technique to rapidly estimate the age of dunes in India’s Thar Desert, significantly speeding up the process. The study primarily utilized a portable optically stimulated luminescence (POSL) reader, drastically reducing the analysis time to around 5 minutes per sample.

The findings indicate an eastward movement of the dunes, with the eastern sides being younger and accumulating sand at a faster rate. This new method not only provides a faster way to study the desert’s shifting landscape but also offers insights into environmental changes over time.

Additionally, the article mentions a comparison between the results obtained from the μDose system and the traditional Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The two methods showed consistency within the margin of uncertainty, validating the reliability of the μDose system in supporting the POSL reader for rapid age assessments.

This innovative approach is set to transform the way researchers study and understand desert dynamics, providing a quick, reliable, and accessible means to track and predict changes in sensitive environments like the Thar Desert.


Nitundil, S., Stone, A., Srivastava, A., 2023. Applicability of using portable luminescence reader for rapid age-assessments of dune accumulation in the Thar desert, India. Quaternary Geochronology (78). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2023.101468