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Comparison of field and laboratory weathering rates in carbonate rocks from an Eastern Mediterranean drainage basin

Levenson, Yael and Ryb, Uri and Emmanuel, Simon (2017) Comparison of field and laboratory weathering rates in carbonate rocks from an Eastern Mediterranean drainage basin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 465 . pp. 176-183. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.02.031.

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The rates of carbonate rock weathering affect the global carbon cycle over timescales of hundreds to thousands of years. While field measurements show that the rate of carbonate denudation increases with rainfall, significant variability exists. To determine whether the mineralogical composition of the rocks causes this variability, we compare published long-term field denudation rates determined from cosmogenic isotopes (^(36)Cl) with the weathering rates measured in laboratory experiments conducted on the same rock samples. The samples were collected from natural-rock outcrops across the Soreq drainage basin (Israel) that experience similar mean annual precipitation, but exhibit long-term denudation rates that vary from 6 mm ky^(−1) to 20 mm ky^(−1). In laboratory experiments, we found that the laboratory rates also varied, decreasing as the ratio of dolomite to calcite increased. However, no correlation was evident between the long-term denudation rates and mineral composition, suggesting that the variability in field rates was not controlled by the kinetics of dissolution. Other factors, such as rain intensity, biological activity, and mechanical erosion are likely to control the variability in the rates by inhibiting or accelerating the weathering of carbonate surfaces in natural settings.

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Additional Information:© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Received 10 November 2016; Received in revised form 15 February 2017; Accepted 17 February 2017. Sari Roded, Yevgeny Kreisserman and Ran Goldberg are thanked for their technical help, and Ofir Tirosh is thanked for his assistance with the analytical work. We thank Shasta Marrero for her detailed review of the manuscript and for help with the recalculation of the denudation rates. We also thank the editor Derek Vance and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. The Israel Science Foundation and the CAMBR fellowship are thanked for their financial support during this study.
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Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:denudation; weathering; carbonate rock; atomic force microscopy
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170323-101146715
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Official Citation:Yael Levenson, Uri Ryb, Simon Emmanuel, Comparison of field and laboratory weathering rates in carbonate rocks from an Eastern Mediterranean drainage basin, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 465, 1 May 2017, Pages 176-183, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:75350
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Mar 2017 19:12
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 16:32

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