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Rapid Soil Production and Weathering in the Southern Alps, New Zealand

Larsen, Issac J. and Almond, Peter C. and Eger, Andre and Stone, John O. and Montgomery, David .R and Malcolm, Brendon (2014) Rapid Soil Production and Weathering in the Southern Alps, New Zealand. Science, 343 (6171). pp. 637-640. ISSN 0036-8075.

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Evaluating conflicting theories about the influence of mountains on carbon dioxide cycling and climate requires understanding weathering fluxes from tectonically uplifting landscapes. The lack of soil production and weathering rate measurements in Earth’s most rapidly uplifting mountains has made it difficult to determine whether weathering rates increase or decline in response to rapid erosion. Beryllium-10 concentrations in soils from the western Southern Alps, New Zealand, demonstrate that soil is produced from bedrock more rapidly than previously recognized, at rates up to 2.5 millimeters per year. Weathering intensity data further indicate that soil chemical denudation rates increase proportionally with erosion rates. These high weathering rates support the view that mountains play a key role in global-scale chemical weathering and thus have potentially important implications for the global carbon cycle.

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Larsen, Issac J.0000-0003-3094-4830
Additional Information:© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 19 August 2013. Accepted for publication 30 December 2013. Published Online January 16 2014. We thank the NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes program (OISE-1015454 to I.J.L.), Royal Society of New Zealand, NASA Earth and Space Science fellowship program, Geological Society of America, and University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences for support; A. Heimsath, J. Roering, F. von Blanckenburg, and N. Hovius for stimulating conversations; H. Greenberg for geographic information system support; K. Larsen for assistance collecting sediment samples; R. Sletten for assistance importing samples; A. Heimsath and A. J. West for thorough reviews; and the New Zealand Department of Conservation for granting access to study sites. Data are available in the supplementary materials. I.J.L. and P.C.A. designed and planned the field component of the study; I.J.L., A.E., and B.M. conducted the field sampling; A.E. described soils; and I.J.L. and J.O.S. separated ^(10)Be. I.J.L. wrote the manuscript, with input from all coauthors.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes programOISE-1015454
Royal Society of New ZealandUNSPECIFIED
NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship programUNSPECIFIED
Geological Society of AmericaUNSPECIFIED
University of Washington Department of Earth and Space SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6171
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140228-114137922
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Official Citation:Rapid Soil Production and Weathering in the Southern Alps, New Zealand Isaac J. Larsen, Peter C. Almond, Andre Eger, John O. Stone, David R. Montgomery, and Brendon Malcolm Science7 February 2014343:637. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1244908]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44065
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 Feb 2014 20:12
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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