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Title: Relationship between meteoric <sup>10</sup>Be and NO<sub>3</sub><sup>−</sup> concentrations in soils along Shackleton Glacier, Antarctica
Abstract. Outlet glaciers that flow through the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) experienced changes in ice thickness greater than other coastal regions of Antarctica during glacial maxima. As a result, ice-free areas that are currently exposed may have been covered by ice at various points during the Cenozoic, complicating our understanding of ecological succession in TAM soils. Our knowledge of glacial extent on small spatial scales is limited for the TAM, and studies of soil exposure duration and disturbance, in particular, are rare. We collected surface soil samples and, in some places, depth profiles every 5 cm to refusal (up to 30 cm) from 11ice-free areas along Shackleton Glacier, a major outlet glacier of the EastAntarctic Ice Sheet. We explored the relationship between meteoric 10Be and NO3- in these soils as a tool for understanding landscape disturbance and wetting history and as exposure proxies. Concentrations of meteoric 10Be spanned more than an order of magnitude across the region (2.9×108 to 73×108 atoms g−1) and are among the highest measured in polar regions. The concentrations of NO3- were similarly variable and ranged from ∼1 µg g−1 to 15 mg g−1. In examining differences and similarities in the concentrations of 10Be and NO3- with depth, we suggest that much of the southern portion of the more » Shackleton Glacier region has likely developed under a hyper-arid climate regime with minimal disturbance. Finally, we inferred exposure time using 10Be concentrations. This analysis indicates that the soils we analyzed likelyrange from recent exposure (following the Last Glacial Maximum) to possibly>6 Myr. We suggest that further testing and interrogation of meteoric 10Be and NO3- concentrations and relationships in soils can provide important information regarding landscape development, soil evolution processes, and inferred exposure durations of surfaces in the TAM. « less
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Earth Surface Dynamics
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National Science Foundation
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