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  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. 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 assessingmore »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
  3. 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 themore »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