Past and present environmental records, risk and climate change. The role of Coastal Sabkha’s in western region Abu Dhabi, with DCT (CoPI)

Project summary

Paleo-environmental records derived from a wide variety of natural archives. In order to study, understating and reconstruct, the paleo-environment and the landscape evolution of the UAE western regions, during the Holocene (last 11650 years BP) the sedimentary archives of the coastal sabkha’s are valuable resources to identify past environmental records. The coastal sabkha’s are supratidal mudflat or sand flat in which evaporite-saline minerals accumulate as the result of semiarid to arid climate. The sabkha environment are related with the human occupation of the coastal area and lot of archaeological remains and settlements will be investigated (Marawah island). Will be used a multidisciplinary approach, including: Geomorphological mapping and analysis of the landforms, soil sampling, sedimentology and geochemical analysis (XRF, XRD), grain size analysis, radiocarbon dating and other geochronological methods (OSL), micro-fauna analysis. Additionally geophysical investigations (ERT, EM) will be used to identify the paleo relief of the sabkha Matti.

The proposed research focuses this year to analyses the coring samples taken last year by multi proxy methods (already done four boreholes in wadi Matti area during 2019), laboratory analysis and dating. New core sampling will take place in Marawah island with the support of DCT (Department of Culture and Tourism) in a Neolithic settlement. The extrapolation of these data with the recent environmental conditions could be contribute to the future long-term climatic prediction and extreme events in the study area.

Project dates

January 2020 – ongoing


Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PI)
Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT) (CoPI)


Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi