Quaternary Alluvial Stratigraphical Development in a Desert Setting: A Case Study from the Luni River Basin, Thar Desert of Western India

  1. Michael D. Blum6,
  2. Susan B. Marriott7 and
  3. Suzanne F. Leclair8
  1. M. Jain1,†,
  2. S. K. Tandon1,
  3. A. K. Singhvi2,
  4. S. Mishra3 and
  5. S. C. Bhatt1,‡

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch19

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

How to Cite

Jain, M., Tandon, S. K., Singhvi, A. K., Mishra, S. and Bhatt, S. C. (2005) Quaternary Alluvial Stratigraphical Development in a Desert Setting: A Case Study from the Luni River Basin, Thar Desert of Western India, in Fluvial Sedimentology VII (eds M. D. Blum, S. B. Marriott and S. F. Leclair), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch19

Editor Information

  1. 6

    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

  2. 7

    School of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK

  3. 8

    Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University, Dimwiddie Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geology, Delhi University, Delhi-110058, India

  2. 2

    Physical Research Laboratory, Navarangpura, Ahmedabad-380009, India

  3. 3

    Department of Archaeology, Deccan College, Pune 411 006, India

  1. Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK

  2. Department of Geology, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, UP, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2005

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 35 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis

Series Editor Information

  1. School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405126519

Online ISBN: 9781444304350



  • alluvial stratigraphy - thar desert;
  • quaternary alluvial stratigraphical development in desert setting;
  • River Luni and its tributaries - constituting major drainage system in Thar Desert;
  • field successions;
  • Type-1 succession - dominated by multistoreyed sheets of sandy gravel;
  • multistoreyed gravel sheets (MGS);
  • horizontally bedded fine to very fine sands with interbedded calcrete gravel lenses;
  • luminescence geochronology;
  • optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)


This study describes the stratigraphical development of the Quaternary alluvial deposits in the Luni basin, Thar Desert of India. On the basis of mode of occurrence, lithofacies assemblages and overall alluvial motif, alluvial deposits have been differentiated into an older Type-1 and a younger Type-2 succession, with chronological control provided by optically stimulated luminescence dating. The Type-1 succession is composed of thick multistoreyed gravel–sand sheets and overbank heterolithic facies deposited in a subsiding basin by braided streams. Quartz in sediments of the Type-1 succession was in charge saturation, which implies a minimum age of 200 ka. It is argued that the Type-1 sequence was deposited during the Pliocene. The Type-2 succession consists of a diverse array of lithofacies assemblages that represents fluvial and aeolian depositional environments, which change in their relative importance through time. Optical ages from the Type-2 succession indicate deposition during the late Pleistocene and Holocene (oxygen isotope stages 5–1). The Type-2 succession indicates that high-amplitude climatic shifts during the last glacial cycle played a major role in determining the fluvial behaviour and resultant alluvial stratigraphy.