Arabian Deserts

Nature, Origin, and Evolution

  • H. Stewart Edgell

About this book


H. Stewart Edgell is a graduate of the University of Sydney with his doctorate in geology from Stanford University. He has spent most of his working life in the Middle East, especially in Arabia, where he has been active in oil exploration, and primarily in university teaching and research as a Professor of Geology at the Amercian University of Beirut, the UNESCO/Saudi Center for Applied Geology, Jeddah, and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Arabian Deserts provides a comprehensive coverage of all the deserts of Arabia largely based on the author’s experience in Arabia over the last fifty years. Distinctive landforms of Arabia deserts are described, together with their geological setting and the influence of climates both past and present. The six great sand seas of Arabia are emphasized since Ar Rub’ al Khali Desert forms the world’s largest continuous sand desert. Sources, sedimentology, and the mechanisms of formation of these great sand deserts are examined. Distinctive sand dunes and interdunes types found in Arabia are described, classified and explained. Fluvial processes are discussed, as well as the many oases, and lake deposits formed in milder, more humid intervals. Extensive areas of black, basaltic, volcanic desert are described covering three times the area of Belgium. Ecology of Arabia and human influence on desertification are outlined. Climatic changes in the evolution of Arabian deserts during the Quaternary and their causes are explained and a chronology of climatic events during their formation is established.
This book will be of interest to geoscientists, especially Quaternary geologists, geomorphologists, geographers, sedimentologists interested in aeolian and fluvial processes, climatologists, coastal studies groups, desertification interest groups, and ecologists with interest in arid lands.


Arabia Quaternary climate desert deserts ecology landforms

Authors and affiliations

  • H. Stewart Edgell
    • 1
  1. 1.GeologyKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Oil, Gas & Geosciences