Cosmogenic nuclide analysis in sediment from the Earth's largest rivers yields mean denudation rates of the sediment-producing areas that average out the local variations commonly found in small rivers. Using this approach, we measured in situ cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in sand of >50 large rivers over a range of climatic and tectonic regimes covering 32% of the Earth's terrestrial surface. In 35% of the analyzed rivers, we find 26Al/10Be ratios significantly lower than these nuclides´ surface-production-rate ratio of 6.75 in quartz, indicating radioactive decay over periods exceeding 0.5 Myr. We invoke a combination of slow erosion, shielding in the source area, and sediment storage and burial during long-distance transport to explain these low ratios. In the other 65% of studied rivers we find 26Al/10Be ratios within uncertainty of their surface production-rate ratio, indicating cosmogenic steady state. For these rivers, we obtain a global source area denudation rate of 141 t/km2×yr (54 mm/kyr of rock-equivalent) that translates to a flux of 3.07 ± 0.56 Gt/yr. By assuming that this sub-dataset is representative of the global land surface, we upscale this value to the total surface area for exorheic basins, thereby obtaining a global denudation flux of 15.2 ± 2.8 Gt/yr that integrates over the past 11 kyr. This value is slightly lower than published values from cosmogenic nuclides from small river basins (23 (+53/−16)) Gt/yr) upscaled using a global slope model, and also lower than modern sediment and dissolved loads exported to the oceans (24.0 Gt/yr). Our new approach confirms an estimate of global dissolved and solid matter transfer that converges to an encouragingly narrow range of within 35%; whereas the use of paired nuclides in large rivers provides estimates of the buffering timescales of sediment transport.
Wittmann, H., Oelze, M., Gaillardet, J., Garzanti, E., & von Blanckenburg, F. (2020). A global rate of denudation from cosmogenic nuclides in the Earth's largest rivers. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS, 204.
|Citazione:||Wittmann, H., Oelze, M., Gaillardet, J., Garzanti, E., & von Blanckenburg, F. (2020). A global rate of denudation from cosmogenic nuclides in the Earth's largest rivers. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS, 204.|
|Tipo:||Articolo in rivista - Review Essay|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||Si|
|Titolo:||A global rate of denudation from cosmogenic nuclides in the Earth's largest rivers|
|Autori:||Wittmann, H; Oelze, M; Gaillardet, J; Garzanti, E; von Blanckenburg, F|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103147|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|