Three parabolic dunes from the Fair Oaks Dune field in northern Indiana were excavated, in order to study the properties and genesis of lamellae. Reddish lamellae with sharp upper boundaries and diffuse lower boundaries are intercalated with yellowish sand layers within the upper 3–5 m of each dune. The thicknesses of the lamellae decrease from N2 cm in the east (Winamac dune) to b0.3 cm in the west (Shelby dune). In deeper parts of the dunes lamellae were absent, but straight or slightly convex, clay rich depositional laminae were present. Thin sections of lamellae reveal thatmost of the clays are depositional with a lesser clay amount resulting from in situ weathering of feldspar grains. Clays were deposited as sand-size mud (silt/ clay) aggregates that winds removed from glacio-fluvial valleys. Lithic fragments, primarily mud aggregates and carbonates, are much more abundant in unweathered depositional laminae than in weathered lamellae.Weathering and depletion of exchangeable Ca+ and Mg+ led to breakdown of mud aggregates and clay dispersion from clay rich sand laminae through clay-poor sand laminae. The reddish color of lamellae results from oxidation of mafic grains. Sand-size mud aggregates were lighter than quartz or feldspar grains and were carried further downwind and, as a result, the clay in the dunes, and the thickness of the lamellae, increases to the east. At 5.6 m depth in the Winamac dune we found the straight depositional laminae transitioning into wavy lamellae. This is the most direct evidence of depositional lamellae (petrogenic) formation in the literature to date. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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