© Toby Savage (www.tobysavage.co.uk)


I belong to the Earth Systems Science Research Group at the University of Reading. My main research interest is in the use of optical and radar remote sensing for dryland geomorphology and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, with a special focus on aeolian and fluvial processes, weathering, soils and geochemistry.

The following links provide access to brief, illustrated summaries of current research projects. Please contact me if you would like to know more.

The Sahara Desert

The Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

The Namib Sand Sea

Andhra Pradesh, India

The United Arab Emirates


Selected publications

Walden, J., White, K. and Drake, N.A. 1996 Controls on dune colour in the Namib sand sea: preliminary results. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 22, pp. 349-353.

White, K. and Hockey, B. 1996 7 October 1995 eruption of Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand, observed by NOAA AVHRR. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 17, pp. 1617-1622.

White, K., Drake, N.A. and Walden, J. 1997 Remote sensing for mapping palaeosurfaces on the basis of surficial chemistry: a mixed pixel approach. In Widdowson, M. (Ed.) Palaeosurfaces: Recognition, Reconstruction and Palaeoenvironmental Interpretation. Geological Society Special Publication 120, pp. 283-293.

Eckardt, F. and White K. 1997 Human induced disruption of stone pavement surfaces in the Central Namib Desert, Namibia: observations from Landsat Thematic Mapper. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 18, pp. 3305-3310.

White, K., Walden, J., Drake, N.A., Eckardt, F. and Settle, J.J. 1997 Mapping the iron oxide content of dune sands, Namib sand sea, Namibia, using Landsat Thematic Mapper data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 62, pp. 30-39.

White, K. and Walden, J. 1997 The rate of iron oxide enrichment in arid zone alluvial fan soils, Tunisian Southern Atlas, measured by mineral magnetic techniques. Catena, 30, pp. 215-227.

Walden, J. and White, K. 1997 Investigation of the controls on dune colour in the Namib sand sea using mineral magnetic analyses. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 152, pp. 187-201.

White, K., Bryant, R. and Drake, N.A. 1998 Techniques for measuring rock weathering: application to a dated fan segment sequence in southern Tunisia. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 23, pp. 1031-1043.

White, K. 1999 Remote sensing for palaeoenvironmental studies in drylands. Chapter 2 in Singhvi, A.K. and Derbyshire, E. (Eds.) Palaeoenvironmental Studies in Arid Lands.New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., pp. 27-39.

White, K. and El Asmar, H.M. 1999 Monitoring changing position of coastlines using Thematic Mapper imagery, an example from the Nile Delta. Geomorphology, 29, pp. 93-105.

Wang, J., White, K. and Robinson, G.J. 2000 Estimating surface net solar radiation by use of Landsat-5 TM and digital elevation models. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 21, pp. 31-43.

Wang, J., Robinson, G.J. and White, K. 2000 Generating viewsheds without using sightlines. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 66, pp. 87-90.

Walden, J., White, K., Kilcoyne, S.H. and Bentley, P.M. 2000 Analyses of iron oxide assemblages within Namib dune sediments using high-field remanence measurements (9T) and Mössbauer analysis. Journal of Quaternary Science, 15, pp. 185-195.

White, K., McLaren, S.J., Black, S. and Parker, A. 2000 Evaporite minerals and organic horizons in sedimentary sequences in the Libyan Fezzan: Implications for Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. In McLaren, S.J. and Kniveton, D.R. (Eds.) Linking Climate Change to Land Surface Change, Amsterdam: Kluwer, pp. 193-208.

Mattingly, D.J., Al-Mashai, M., Balcombe, P., Barnett, T., Brooks, N.P.J., Cole, F., Dore, J., Drake, N.A., Edwards, D., Hawthorne, J., Helm, R., Leone, A., McLaren, S.J., Pelling, R., Preston, J., Reynolds, T., Townsend, A., Wilson, A.I. and White, K. 2000 The Fezzan Project 2000: Preliminary report on the fourth season of work. Libyan Studies, 31, pp. 103-120.

Goudie, A.S., Colls, A., Stokes, S., Parker, A., White, K. and Al-Farraj, A. 2000 Latest Pleistocene and Holocene dune construction at the north-eastern edge of the Rub Al Khali, United Arab Emirates. Sedimentology, 47, pp. 1011-1021.

Goudie, A.S., Parker, A.G., Bull, P.A., White, K. and Al-Farraj, A. 2000 Desert loess in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Journal of Arid Environments, 46, pp. 123-135.

Dearing, J.A., Livingstone, I.P., Bateman, M.D., and White, K. 2001 Palaeoclimate records from OIS8.0-5.4 recorded in loess-palaeosol sequences on the Matmata Plateau, southern Tunisia, based on mineral magnetism and new luminescence dating.. Quaternary International, 76/77, pp. 43-56.

White, K., Goudie, A.S., Parker, A. and Al-Farraj, A. 2001 Mapping the geochemistry of the northern Rub' Al Khali using multispectral remote sensing techniques.Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 26, pp. 735-748.

White, K., Goudie, A.S., Parker, A. and Al-Farraj, A. 2001 Mapping the geochemistry of the northern Rub' Al Khali using multispectral remote sensing techniques. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 26, pp. 735-748.

Mattingly, D.J., Brooks, N., Cole, F., Dore, J., Drake, N., Leone, A., Hay, S., McLaren, S., Newson, P., Parton, H., Pelling, R., Preston, J., Reynolds, T., Schrüfer-Kolb, I., Thomas, D., Tindall, A., Townsend, A. and White, K. 2001 The Fezzan Project 2001: Preliminary report on the fifth season of work. Libyan Studies, 32, pp. 133-153.

Brooks, N.P.J., White, K., Drake, N. and MacLaren, S. 2001 Changes in vegetative cover in the Wadi al-Ajal, southern Libya, over the past half-century. Geomatics, Earth Observation and the Information Society, Proceedings of the First Annual Conference of the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society, 12-14 September 2001, University of London, pp. 247-259, ISBN 0 946226 31 8

Eckardt, F.D., Drake, N.A., Goudie, A.S., White, K. and Viles, H.  2001  The role of playas in the formation of pedogenic gypsum crusts of the Central Namib Desert, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 26, pp. 1177-1193.


Ferrier, G., White, K., Griffiths, G.H., Bryant, R. and Stefouli, M.  2002  The mapping of hydrothermal alteration zones on the island of Lesvos, Greece, using an integrated remote sensing dataset. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23, pp. 341-356.


White, K., Livingstone, I., Gurney, S., Dearing, J., and Bateman, M.  2002  Post-processing of mineral mixture maps for mapping surficial materials: the example of the Matmata loess, southern Tunisia. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23, pp. 3091-3106.


El-Asmar, H.M. and White, K.  2002  Changes in coastal sediment transport processes due to construction of New Damietta Harbour, Nile Delta, Egypt. Coastal Engineering, 46, pp. 127-138.


Bullard, J.E. and White, K.  2002  Quantifying iron oxide coatings on dune sands using spectrometric measurements: an example from the Simpson-Strzelecki Desert, Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107 B6, pp. ECV5 1–11 (DOI 10.1029/2001JB000454)


White, K., Brooks, N.P.J., Drake, N.A. and McLaren, S.J.  2003  Studies in Geography, Geomorphology, Environment and Climate. Chapter 2 in Mattingly, D.J. (Ed.) The Archaeology of Fazzan, Volume 1, Synthesis. London: The Society for Libyan Studies/Tripoli: The Department of Antiquities, pp. 37-74.


White, K., Brooks, N.P.J., Drake, N.A., Charlton, M. and MacLaren, S.J.  2003  Monitoring vegetation change in desert oases by remote sensing; a case study in the Libyan Fazzān. Libyan Studies, 34, pp. 153-166.


Aziz, H.K. and White K.  2003  Using mimics to model L-band SAR backscatter from a peat swamp forest. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 15, pp. 546-556.


Parker, A.G., Eckersley, L., Smith, M.M., Goudie, A.S., Stokes, S., Ward, S., White, K. and Hodson, M.J.  2004  Holocene vegetation dynamics in the northeastern Rub’al Khali, Arabian Peninsula, a phytolith, pollen and carbon isotope study. Journal of Quaternary Science, 19, pp. 665-676.


Drake, N.A., Wilson, A., Pelling, R., White, K., Mattingly, D.J. and Black, S.  2004  Water table decline, springline dessication and the early development of irrigated agriculture in the Wadi al-Ajal, Libyan Fazzan. Libyan Studies, 35, pp. 95-112.


Drake, N A., Eckardt, F.D., White, K.  2004  Sources of sulphur in gypsiferous sediments and crusts of southern Tunisia and pathways of gypsum redistribution. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 29, 1459-1471.


Bullard, J.E. and White, K.  2005  Dust production and the release of iron oxides resulting from the aeolian abrasion of natural dune sands. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 30, pp. 95-106.


Gurney, S.D. and White, K.  2005  Sediment magnetic properties of glacial till deposited since the Little Ice Age maximum for selected glaciers at Svartisen and Okstindan, Boreas, 34, pp. 75-83.


White, K. and Mattingly, D.J.  2006  Ancient lakes of the Sahara. American Scientist, 94, pp. 58-65.


White, K., Charlton, M., Drake, N., McLaren, S., Mattingly, D. and Brooks, N. 2006  Lakes of the Edeyen Ubari and the Wadi al-Hayat. In Mattingly, D., McLaren, S., Savage, E., al-Fasatwi, Y. and Gadgood, K. (Eds.) The Libyan Desert, Natural Resources and Cultural Heritage, London: The Society for Libyan Studies, pp. 123-130.


Drake, N., White, K. and McLaren, S.  2006  Quaternary climate change in the Jarma region of Fazzan, Libya. In Mattingly, D., McLaren, S., Savage, E., al-Fasatwi, Y. and Gadgood, K. (Eds.) The Libyan Desert, Natural Resources and Cultural Heritage, London: The Society for Libyan Studies, pp. 133-144.


McLaren, S., Drake, N. and White, K.  2006  Late Quaternary environmental change in the Fazzan, Southern Libya: evidence from sediments and duricrusts. In Mattingly, D., McLaren, S., Savage, E., al-Fasatwi, Y. and Gadgood, K. (Eds.) The Libyan Desert, Natural Resources and Cultural Heritage, London: The Society for Libyan Studies, pp. 157-166.


Charlton, M.B. and White, K.  2006  Sensitivity of radar backscatter to desert surface roughness. International Journal of Remote Sensing27, pp. 1641-1659.


White, K. and Eckardt, F.  2006  Geochemical mapping of carbonate sediments in the Makgadikgadi basin, Botswana, using moderate resolution remote sensing data. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 31, pp. 665-681.


Parker, A.G., Goudie, A.S., Stokes, S., White, K., Hodson, M.J., Manning, M. and Kennet, D.  2006  A record of Holocene climate change from lake geochemical analyses in southeastern Arabia. Quaternary Research, 66, pp. 465-476, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2006.07.001


Thomas, D.C., Deckers, K., Hald, M.M., Holmes, M., Madella, M. and White, K.  2006  Environmental evidence from the Minaret of Jam Archaeological Project, Afghanistan. Iran, 44, pp. 253-276.


White, K., Walden, J. and Gurney, S.D.  2007  Spectral properties, iron oxide content and provenance of Namib dune sands. Geomorphology, 86, pp. 219-229. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.08.014


Armitage, S.J., Drake, N.A., Stokes, S., El-Hawat, A., Salem, M.J., White, K., Turner, P. and McLaren, S.J.  2007  Multiple phases of North African humidity recorded in lacustrine sediments from the Fazzan Basin, Libyan Sahara. Quaternary Geochronology, 2, pp. 181-186.


Petraglia, M., Korisettar, R., Boivin, N., Clarkson, C., Ditchfield, P., Jones, P., Koshy, J., Lahr, M.M., Oppenheimer, C., Pyle, D., Roberts, R., Schwenninger, J-L., Arnold, L. and White, K.  2007  Middle Paleolithic Assemblages from the Indian Subcontinent Before and After the Toba Super-Eruption. Science, 317, no. 5834, pp. 114-116. DOI: 10.1126/science.1141564


Mattingly, D., Lahr, M., Armitage, S., Barton, H., Dore, J., Drake, N.A., Foley, R., Merlo, S., Salem, M., Stock, J. and White, K.  2007, Desert migrations: people, environment and culture in the Libyan Sahara. Libyan Studies, 38, pp. 115-156.


Drake, N.A., El-Hawat, A.S., Turner, P., Armitage, S.J., Salem, M.J., White, K. and McLaren, S.  2008  Palaeohydrology of the Fazzan Basin and surrounding regions: the last 7 million years. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 263, pp. 131-145, doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.02.005


Parker, A.G., Harris, B., White, K. and Drake, N.A. 2008 Phytoliths as indicators of grassland dynamics during the Holocene from lake sediments in the Ubari sand sea, Fazzan Basin, Libya. Libyan Studies, 39, pp. 29-40.


White, K. and Bullard, J.E. 2009 Abrasion control on dune colour; Muleshoe Dunes, SW USA. Geomorphology, 105, pp. 59-66.


Drake, N.A., White, K., Salem, M., Armitage, S., El-Hawat, A., Francke, J., Hounslow, M. and Parker, A. 2009 DMPVIII, Palaeohydrology and Palaeoenvironment. Libyan Studies, 40, pp. 171-178.


Barker, G., Antoniadou, A., Barton, H., Brooks, I., Candy, A., Drake, N.A., Farr, L., Hunt, C., Abdulhamid, I., Inglis, R., Jones, S., Morales, J., Morley, I., Mutri, G., Rabett, R., Reynolds, T., Simpson, D., Twati, M. and White, K. 2009 The Cyrenaican Prehistory Project 2009: the third season of investigations of the Haua Fteah cave and its landscape, and further results from the 2007-2008 fieldwork. Libyan Studies, 40, pp. 55-94.


Petraglia, M.D., Korisettar, R., Bai, M.K., Boivin, N., Janardhana, B., Clarkson, C., Cunningham, K., Ditchfield, P., Fuller, D., Hampson, J., Haslam, M., Jones, S., Koshy, J., Miracle, P., Oppenheimer, C., Roberts, R. & White, K. 2009 Pleistocene and Holocene occupations of the Kurnool District India: Cave and rockshelter records, the Toba super-eruption and forager-farmer interactions, Journal of Eurasian Prehistory, 6, pp. 119-166


El Bastawesy, M., White, K., and Nasr, A. 2009 Integration of remote sensing and GIS for modelling flash floods in Wadi Hudain catchment, Egypt . Hydrological Processes, 23, pp. 1359-1368.


White, K. 2009 Remote sensing of aeolian dust production and distribution. In Marini, A. and Talbi, M. (Eds.) Desertification and Risk Analysis Using High and Medium Resolution Satellite Data. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security, Springer: Dordrecht, Netherlands, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8937-4, pp. 59-70.


Livingstone, I., Bristow, C., Bryant, R.G., Bullard, J., White, K., Wiggs, G.F.S., Baas, A.C.W., Bateman, M.D. and Thomas, D.S.G. 2010 The Namib Sand Sea digital database of aeolian dunes and key forcing variables. Aeolian Research, 2, pp. 93-104. doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2010.08.001


Barker, G., Antoniadou, A., Armitage, S., Brooks, I., Candy, A., Connell, K., Douka, K., Drake, N.A., Farr, L., Hill, E., Hunt, C., Inglis, R., Jones, S., Lane, C., Lucarini, G., Meneely, J., Morales, J., Mutri, G., Prendergast, A., Rabett, R., Reade, H., Reynolds, T., Russell, N., Simpson, D., Smith, B., Stimpson, C., Twati, M. and White, K. 2010 The Cyrenaican Prehistory Project 2010: the fourth season of investigations of the Haua Fteah cave and its landscape, and further results from the 2007-2009 fieldwork. Libyan Studies, 41, pp. 63-88.


Drake, N.A., Blench, R.M., Armitage, S.J., Bristow, C.S. and White, K. 2011 Ancient watercourses and biogeography of the Sahara explain the peopling of the Desert. P.N.A.S., 108, pp. 458-462. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1012231108


Bullard, J.E., White, K. and Livingstone, I. 2011 Morphometric analysis of aeolian bedforms in the Namib Sand Sea using ASTER data. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 36, 1534–1549. DOI: 10.1002/esp.2189



Please email me if you would like offprints of any of the above