Recent erosional history of a soil profile based on cosmogenic in-situ radionuclides 14C and 10Be

D. Lal, M. Pavich, Z. Y. Gu, A. J.T. Jull, M. Caffee, R. Finkel, J. Southon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


We present here results of measurements of cosmogenic in-situ produced 14C and 10Be in a quartz vein in a soil profile near Reston (Virginia, USA). Assuming that the quartz vein suffered mass wastage soon after any exposure resulting from soil erosion, we obtain model erosion rates of ≥3 × 10-3 and ≤3 × 10-4 cm yr-1 for the nuclides 14C and 10Be respectively. The implications of these results are discussed both in terms of plausible recent erosion histories of the soil profile, and also the applicability of the quartz vein method and its variants for determining soil erosion rates. We conclude that the two radionuclides together should generally prove useful for determining soil erosion rates in quartz containing rock fragments. By itself, the nuclide 14C should be useful for determining erosion rates exceeding -5 × 10-2 cm yr-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Processes
Subtitle of host publicationReading the Isotopic Code, 1996
EditorsS. Hart, A. Basu
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664230
ISBN (Print)9780875900773
StatePublished - 1995

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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