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  Geochemical data on rock weathering along an erodosequence
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von Blanckenburg, F.1, Author              
Schuessler, J. A.1, Author              
Bouchez, Julien1, Author              
Frings, P.1, Author              
Uhlig, D.1, Author              
Oelze, M.2, Author              
Frick, Daniel A.1, Author              
Hewawasam, Tilak1, Author              
Dixon, Jean1, Author              
Norton, Kevin3, Author              
13.3 Earth Surface Geochemistry, 3.0 Geochemistry, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, ou_146037              
23.1 Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry, 3.0 Geochemistry, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, ou_146040              
3Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, ou_persistent13              


Free keywords: river water, vegetation, vegetation chemical composition
 Abstract: We provide geochemical background data on the partitioning and cycling of elements between rock, saprolite, soil, plants, and river dissolved and solid loads from at three sites along a global transect of mountain landscapes that differ in erosion rates – an “erodosequence”. These sites are the Swiss Central Alps, a rapidly-eroding post-glacial mountain belt; the Southern Sierra Nevada, USA, eroding at moderate rates; and the slowly-eroding tropical Highlands of Sri Lanka. The backbone of this analysis is an extensive data set of rock, saprolite, soil, water, and plant geochemical data. This set of elemental concentrations is converted into process rates by using regolith production and weathering rates from cosmogenic nuclides, and estimates of biomass growth. Combined, they allow us to derive elemental fluxes through regolith and vegetation. The main findings are: 1) the rates of weathering are set locally in regolith, and not by the rate at which entire landscapes erode; 2) the degree of weathering is mainly controlled by regolith thickness. This results in supply-limited weathering in Sri Lanka where weathering runs to completion, and kinetically-limited weathering in the Alps and Sierra Nevada where soluble primary minerals persist; 3) these weathering characteristics are reflected in the sites’ ecosystem processes, namely in that nutritive elements are intensely recycled in the supply-limited setting, and directly taken up from soil and rock in the kinetically settings; 4) contrary to common paradigms, the weathering rates are not controlled by biomass growth; 5) at all sites we find a deficit in river solute export when compared to solute production in regolith, the extent of which differs between elements but not between erosion rates. Plant uptake followed by litter erosion might explain this deficit for biologically utilized elements of high solubility, and rare, high-discharge flushing events for colloidal-bound elements of low solubility. Our data and the new metrics have begun to serve for calibrating metal isotope systems in the weathering zone, the isotope ratios of which depend on the flux partitioning between the compartments of the Critical Zone. We demonstrate this application in several isotope geochemical companion papers with associated datasets from the same samples. All samples are assigned with International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSN), a globally unique and persistent Identifier for physical samples. The IGSNs are provided in the data tables and link to a comprehensive sample description in the internet.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 20212021
 Publication Status: Finally published
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: Potsdam : GFZ Data Services
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.5880/GFZ.3.3.2021.001
 Degree: -



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