skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on January 1, 2023

Title: Cosmogenic nuclide and solute flux data from central Cuban rivers emphasize the importance of both physical and chemical mass loss from tropical landscapes
Abstract. We use 25 new measurements of in situ produced cosmogenic 26Al and 10Bein river sand, paired with estimates of dissolved load flux in river water,to characterize the processes and pace of landscape change in central Cuba.Long-term erosion rates inferred from 10Be concentrations in quartzextracted from central Cuban river sand range from3.4–189 Mg km−2 yr−1 (mean 59, median 45). Dissolved loads (10–176 Mg km−2 yr−1; mean 92, median 97), calculated from stream soluteconcentrations and modeled runoff, exceed measured cosmogenic-10Be-derived erosion rates in 18 of 23 basins. This disparity mandatesthat in this environment landscape-scale mass loss is not fully representedby the cosmogenic nuclide measurements. The 26Al / 10Be ratios are lower than expected for steady-state exposure or erosion in 16 of 24 samples. Depressed 26Al / 10Be ratios occur in many of the basins that have the greatest disparity between dissolved loads (high) and erosion rates inferred from cosmogenic nuclide concentrations (low). Depressed 26Al / 10Be ratios are consistentwith the presence of a deep, mixed, regolith layer providing extendedstorage times on slopes and/or burial and extended storage during fluvialtransport. River water chemical analyses indicate that many basins with lower 26Al / 10Be ratios and high 10Be concentrations are underlain at least in part by evaporitic rocks that rapidly dissolve. Our data show that when assessing more » mass loss in humid tropical landscapes,accounting for the contribution of rock dissolution at depth is particularly important. In such warm, wet climates, mineral dissolution can occur many meters below the surface, beyond the penetration depth of most cosmic rays and thus the production of most cosmogenic nuclides. Our data suggest the importance of estimating solute fluxes and measuring paired cosmogenic nuclides to better understand the processes and rates of mass transfer at a basin scale. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1719240
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10355521
Journal Name:
Geochronology
Volume:
4
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
435 to 453
ISSN:
2628-3719
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. We assess if variations in the in situ cosmogenic 26Al/10Be production ratio expected from nuclear physics are consistent with empirical data, knowledge critical for two-isotope studies. We do this using 313 samples from glacially transported boulders or scoured bedrock with presumed simple exposure histories in the Informal Cosmogenic-nuclide Exposure-age Database (ICE-D) from latitudes between 53°S to 70°N and altitudes up to 5000 m above sea level. Although there were small systematic differences in Al/Be ratios measured in different laboratories, these were not significant and are in part explained by differences in elevation distribution of samples analyzed by each laboratory. We observe a negative correlation between the 26Al/10Be production ratio and elevation (p = 0.0005), consistent with predictions based on the measured energy dependence of nuclear reaction cross-sections and the spatial variability in cosmic-ray energy spectra. We detect an increase in the production ratio with increasing latitude, but this correlation is significant only in a single variate model, and we attribute at least some of the correlation to sample elevation bias because lower latitude samples are typically from higher elevations (and vice versa). Using 6.75 as the 26Al/10Be production ratio globally will bias two-isotope results at higher elevations and perhaps highermore »latitudes. Data reported here support using production rate scaling that incorporates such ratio changes, such as the LSDn scheme, to minimize such biases.« less
  2. Cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure dating and erosion rate measurements in basaltic landscapes rely primarily on measurement of 3He in olivine or pyroxene. However, geochemical investigations using 3He have been impossible in the substantial fraction of basalts that lack separable olivine or pyroxene crystals, or where such crystals were present, but have been chemically weathered. Fine-textured basalts often contain small grains of ilmenite, a weathering-resistant mineral that is a target for cosmogenic 3He production with good He retention and straightforward mineral separation, but with a poorly constrained production rate. Here we empirically calibrate the cosmogenic 3He production rate in ilmenite by measuring 3He concentrations in basalts with fine-grained (~20 lm cross-section) ilmenite and co-existing pyroxene or olivine from the Columbia River and Snake River Plain basalt provinces in the western United States. The concentration ratio of ilmenite to pyroxene and olivine is 0.78 ± 0.02, yielding an apparent cosmogenic 3He production rate of 93.6 ± 7.7 atom g-1 yr-1 that is 20–30% greater than expected from prior theoretical and empirical estimates for compositionally similar minerals. The production rate discrepancy arises from the high energy with which cosmic ray spallation reactions emit tritium and 3He and the associated long stopping distances thatmore »cause them to redistribute within a rock. Fine-grained phases with low cosmogenic 3He production rates, like ilmenite, will have anomalously high production rates owing to net implantation of 3He from the surrounding, higher 3He production rate, matrix. Semi-quantitative modeling indicates implantation of spallation 3He increases with decreasing ilmenite grain size, leading to production rates that exceed those in a large grain by ~10% when grain radii are <150 lm. The modeling predicts that for the ilmenite grain size in our samples, implantation causes production rates to be ~20% greater than expected for a large grain, and within uncertainty resolves the discrepancy between our calibrated production rate, theory, and rates from previous work. The redistribution effect is maximized when the host rock and crystals differ substantially in mean atomic number, as they do between whole-rock basalt and ilmenite.« less
  3. Abstract
    Excessive phosphorus (P) applications to croplands can contribute to eutrophication of surface waters through surface runoff and subsurface (leaching) losses. We analyzed leaching losses of total dissolved P (TDP) from no-till corn, hybrid poplar (Populus nigra X P. maximowiczii), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), native grasses, and restored prairie, all planted in 2008 on former cropland in Michigan, USA. All crops except corn (13 kg P ha−1 year−1) were grown without P fertilization. Biomass was harvested at the end of each growing season except for poplar. Soil water at 1.2 m depth was sampled weekly to biweekly for TDP determination during March–November 2009–2016 using tension lysimeters. Soil test P (0–25 cm depth) was measured every autumn. Soil water TDP concentrations were usually below levels where eutrophication of surface waters is frequently observed (&gt; 0.02 mg L−1) but often higher than in deep groundwater or nearby streams and lakes. Rates of P leaching, estimated from measured concentrations and modeled drainage, did not differ statistically among cropping systems across years; 7-year cropping system means ranged from 0.035 to 0.072 kg P ha−1 year−1 with large interannual variation. Leached P was positively related to STP, which decreased over the 7 years in all systems. These results indicate that both P-fertilized and unfertilized cropping systems mayMore>>
  4. Valla, Pierre (Ed.)
    Abstract Over the past few decades, tectonic geomorphology has been widely implemented to constrain spatial and temporal patterns of fault slip, especially where existing geologic or geodetic data are poor. We apply this practice along the eastern margin of Bull Mountain, Southwest Montana, where 15 transient channels are eroding into the flat, upstream relict landscape in response to an ongoing period of increased base level fall along the Western North Boulder fault. We aim to improve constraints on the spatial and temporal slip rates across the Western North Boulder fault zone by applying channel morphometrics, cosmogenic erosion rates, bedrock characteristics, and calibrated reproductions of the modern river profiles using a 1-dimensional stream power incision model that undergoes a change in the rate of base level fall. We perform over 104 base level fall simulations to explore a wide range of fault slip dynamics and stream power parameters. Our best fit simulations suggest that the Western North Boulder fault started as individual fault segments along the middle to southern regions of Bull Mountain that nucleated around 6.2 to 2.5 Ma, respectively. This was followed by the nucleation of fault segments in the northern region around 1.5 to 0.4 Ma. We recreate themore »evolution of the Western North Boulder fault to show that through time, these individual segments propagate at the fault tips and link together to span over 40 km, with a maximum slip of 462 m in the central portion of the fault. Fault slip rates range from 0.02 to 0.45 mm/yr along strike and are consistent with estimates for other active faults in the region. We find that the timing of fault initiation coincides well with the migration of the Yellowstone hotspot across the nearby Idaho-Montana border and thus attribute the initiation of extension to the crustal bulge from the migrating hotspot. Overall, we provide the first quantitative constraints on fault initiation and evolution of the Western North Boulder fault, perhaps the farthest north basin in the Northern Basin and Range province that such constraints exist. We show that river profiles are powerful tools for documenting the spatial and temporal patterns of normal fault evolution, especially where other geologic/geodetic methods are limited, proving to be a vital tool for accurate tectonic hazard assessments.« less
  5. Cosmogenic nuclide techniques have advanced the geosciences by providing tools for exposure age dating, burial dating, quantification of denudation rates and more. Advances in geochemistry, accelerator mass spectrometry and atom trap trace analyses are ushering in a new cosmogenic nuclide era, by improving the sensitivity of measurements to ultra- trace levels that now allow new applications of these techniques to numerous Earth surface processes. The advances in cosmogenic nuclide techniques have equipped the next generation of geoscientists with invaluable tools for understanding the planet, but addressing pressing needs requires rising to an even greater challenge: imbuing within the cosmogenic community, and the geosciences as a whole, a commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion that matches our dedication to scientific research. In this Primer, we review the state of the art and recent exciting breakthroughs in the use of cosmogenic nuclide techniques, focusing on erosion factories over space and time, and new perspectives on ice sheet stability. We also highlight promising ways forward in enhancing inclusion in the field, as well as obstacles that remain to be overcome.