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Evidence of past environmental conditions during the evolution of a calcretised Wadi System in Southern Jordan using stable isotopes

McLaren, Sue J.; Leng, Melanie J.; Knowles, Tanya; Bradley, Andrew V.. 2012 Evidence of past environmental conditions during the evolution of a calcretised Wadi System in Southern Jordan using stable isotopes. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 348-9. 1-12. 10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.05.010

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Abstract/Summary

A stratigraphically and temporally ordered sequence of channel calcretes preserved along the Wadi Dana, Southern Jordan, records the Quaternary evolution of the formation and infilling of rock-cut channels and their subsequent incision in a tectonically subsiding basin. It is currently unknown under what palaeoenvironmental conditions these non-pedogenic calcretes formed. Stable isotope analyses have been used to investigate whether any past topographical, hydrological, vegetational, diagenetic, and/or temporal signatures can be identified from the channel calcretes. The results of this research indicate that channel calcrete development is influenced by altitudinal variation (affecting vegetation and hydrology) within the landscape as well as location within individual wadi channels (which has an affect on diagenetic processes). The lack of calcretisation of a terrace that is between + 1 and 1.5 m above the modern wadi floor supports the idea that the environment is currently too arid for calcrete to develop. Thus the presence of older Wadi Dana channel duricrusts suggests wetter conditions when they formed. The δ18O data of the calcrete implies cooler conditions than today, as there is little evidence of a strong evaporative effect. Any temporal control is limited and mainly a function of stratigraphic position with some numeric dating

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.05.010
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0031-0182
Date made live: 19 Sep 2012 15:11
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/19649

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