The Fair Oaks Dunes (FOD) of NW Indiana, USA is a large (~4500 km2) inland dune field associated with the late Wisconsin deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Meltwaters released by the Michigan, Saginaw, and Huron–Erie lobes transported fluvioglacial sediment through the Kankakee and Tippecanoe Valleys and their tributaries. The texture and composition of the sand in the FOD suggest a Saginaw Lobe origin of sediment with some Huron–Erie Lobe sediment. Sub-mature sand with sub-angular grains and a large feldspar content suggests relatively short distance of transport during two or possibly three dune-building and dune reworking events. We propose a model which explains the development of the dunes in three stages. Dune development began during the Bølling–Allerød (stage 1, ~15–13 ka) interval. During this stage anticyclonic easterly and north-easterly winds deflated the sand from outwash deposits and built transverse and barchanoid dunes on the western sides of the Tippecanoe Valley and paleo-channels. Further downwind, on the western and southwestern windward margins of the FOD, loess was deposited. During the early Younger Dryas (stage 2, ~12.5 ka) atmospheric circulation changed, and westerly winds reworked the original dunes to create a great variety of parabolic dunes. Simple, hemicyclic and lobate parabolic dunes developed in the western FOD, while further downwind, in the eastern and the southern FOD, more elongated hairpin and windrift dunes developed. On the upwind side of the dune field, loess deposits remained stable and were not remobilized during the second stage dune development. By the early Holocene the FOD dunes were stabilized until their minor remobilization during the Middle Holocene (stage 3). Minor disturbances caused by anthropogenic activities have occurred in last two centuries.
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