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Addressing the contribution of climate and vegetation cover on hillslope denudation, Chilean Coastal Cordillera (26 degrees-38 degrees S)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences. University of Tuebingen, Germany.
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Number of Authors: 52018 (English)In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, ISSN 0012-821X, E-ISSN 1385-013X, Vol. 489, p. 111-122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Earth surface is modulated by interactions among tectonics, climate, and biota. The influence of each of these factors on hillslope denudation rates is difficult to disentangle. The Chilean Coastal Cordillera offers a strong climate and vegetation gradient from arid and unvegetated in the North to humid and vegetated in the South. A similar (convergent) plate tectonic boundary lies to the West of the Coastal Cordillera. We present eight depth profiles analyzed for in situ-produced cosmogenic Be-10 in four study areas. These profiles reveal denudation rates of soil-mantled hillslopes and the depth of mobile layers. Depth profiles were investigated from both S- and N-facing mid-slope positions. Results indicate the depth of the mobile layers in the four study areas increase from N to S in latitude. When mixing is present in the mobile layers they are completely mixed. In the S- and N-facing hillslopes of each study area, mid-slope positions do not show a systematic change in depth of the mobile layers nor in denudation rates based on cosmogenic depth profiles. From N to S in latitude, modelled denudation rates of hillslopes increase from similar to 0.46 to similar to 5.65 cm/kyr and then decrease to similar to 3.22 cm/kyr in the southernmost, highest vegetation cover, study area. Calculated turnover times of soils decrease from 30 to similar to 11 kyr and then increase to similar to 22 kyr. In this work, the increasing denudation rates are attributed to increasing mean annual precipitation from N to S. However, despite the ongoing increase in precipitation from N to S, the denudation rate in the southernmost location does not continue to increase due to the protective nature of increasing vegetation cover. This indicates a vegetation induced non-linear relationship with denudation rates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 489, p. 111-122
Keywords [en]
denudation, hillslope, climate, biota, cosmogenic nuclide, Chile
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156648DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.02.026ISI: 000430767500012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156648DiVA, id: diva2:1213944
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-06-05 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved

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