Field trip to Tunisian Desert

We skipped a couple of hours from the IAS2009 conference in Algero, Sardinia to look at the 'Grotto of Neptune' caves. cave_IMG_5142 At the start of the fieldtrip, illustrious leaders Nabil Gasmi and Gian Ori show our location on the Chott-El-Djerid near Tozeur on a satellite image nabilgian_IMG_5156 Jason Barnes and Jani Radebaugh on the Chott. Note the subaqueous ripples on the sand. Since the area is dead flat, the current to make these ripples must have been wind-blown? jasonjaniripples_IMG_5173
Nebkhas on the Sebkha. Nebkhas are small coppice (lee) dunes, anchored by these halophyte plants nebkha_IMG_5177 Striking sunset over the flooded Chott. A rare shaft of rain is visible over the road chottsunset_IMG_5220 No trip to the desert would be complete without camels camels_IMG_5331
Jani caresses the fine Saharan sands at the edge of the Grand Erg janisand_IMG_5206 Jason with Yardangs jasonyardangs_IMG_5188 A cafe near the yardangs has a tame falcon, perched on a desert rose ralphfalcon_IMG_5202
Germari de Villiers and Gian debate the geological history of the area germarigian_IMG_5248 Me with large plates of gypsum ralphgypsum_IMG_5246 The crew on the salt flats triosaltflatIMG_5267
Yardangs and ruins of a Star Wars set setyardangs_IMG_5284 Jason with the ruins - the result of the set being overrun by a barchan sand dune jasonstarwarssetIMG_5281 Some of Episode 1: A Phantom Menace was shot here PDVD_003047
The Phantom Menace set is rather better-preserved ralphstarwars_IMG_5295 PDVD_003102 But is still at the mercy of the dunes - this barchan will in time overrun it barchan_IMG_5301
Spectacular canyon at Tamergza, just next to the Algerian border canyon_IMG_5363 Jani poses in front of an ephemeral river channel and ruins on the way to Tamergza janiwash_IMG_5355 Gian with an evaporite sequence that may be used for testing Mars drills evaporites_IMG_5337
Flights back didnt connect, so we had a day to kill in Rome colusseumtrio_IMG_5392
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