Sample records for calcretes

  1. Calcretes in the Thar desert: Genesis, chronology and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    soil feature or as outcrops under a thin aeolian mantle (e.g., Dhir and Kolarkar 1977). At sev- eral locations, the solum over the calcretes was too thin vis-`a-vis calcrete development. This led. Dhir et al (1982) to suggest that their origin could not be purely by pedogenic processes. Courty et al (1987) and later Achyuthan and ...

  2. Calcretes in the Thar desert: Genesis, chronology and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    . The better-developed calcrete horizons occur in pied- monts, interdunes or in areas that have sufficient groundwater. Deep sections in the region show phases of calcrete development in aeolian sand aggradation at ∼150, ∼100, ∼60 and ...

  3. Calcic soils and calcretes in the southwestern United States (United States)

    Bachman, George Odell; Machette, Michael N.


    Secondary calcium carbonate of diverse origins, 'caliche' of many authors, is widespread in the southwestern United States. 'Caliche' includes various carbonates such as calcic soils and products of groundwater cementation. The term 'caliche' is generally avoided in this report in favor of such terms as calcrete, calcic soils, and pervasively cemented deposits. Criteria for the recognition of various types of calcrete of diverse origins include field relations and laboratory data. Calcic soils provide a comprehensive set of characteristics that aid in their recognition in the field. These characteristics include a distinctive morphology that is zoned horizontally and can frequently be traced over tens to hundreds of square kilometers. The major process in the formation of pedogenic calcrete and calic soils is the leaching of calcium carbonate from upper soil horizons by downward percolating soil solutions and reprecipitation of the carbonate in alluvial horizons near the base of the soil profile. The formation of pedogenic calcrete involves many factors including climate, source of carbonate, and tectonic stability of the geomorphic surface on which the calcrete is deposited. Most of the carbonate in pedogenic calcrete is probably derived from windblown sand, dust, and rain. Calcic soils and pedogenic calcretes follow a six-stage sequence morphologic development and is based on a classification devised by Gile, Peterson and Grossman in 1966. The .six morphologic stages of carbonate deposition in soils are related to the relative age of the soil and are as follows: I. The first or youngest stage includes filamentous or faint coatings of carbonate on detrital grains. II. The second stage includes pebble coatings which are continuous; firm carbonate nodules are few to common. III. The third stage includes coalesced nodules which occur in a friable or disseminated carbonate matrix. IV. The fourth stage includes platy, firmly cemented matrix which engulfs nodules

  4. Calcrete-type uranium deposits of Western Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aral, H. [CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, Clayton, Victoria (Australia); CSIRO Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship (Australia); Hackl, R., E-mail: [CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, Waterford, WA (Australia); CSIRO Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship (Australia); Pownceby, M. [CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, Clayton, Victoria (Australia); CSIRO Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship (Australia)


    CSIRO is undertaking advanced mineralogical and elemental characterisation studies of lowgrade and refractory Australian uranium deposits. Of particular interest are the calcrete-type uranium deposits of Western Australia. These deposits are found in playa lake sediments and channels which drain a uranium-rich source. The primary uranium mineral is carnotite. The ore is highly friable and is usually found in association with clayey and calcareous minerals, such as gypsum, dolomite and halite. This paper aims to provide a better understanding of the characteristics and formation of these calcrete-type uranium deposits to assist in the development of new and improved processing routes. (author)

  5. Anthropo-Calcretisation: Human Effects on Calcrete Formation (United States)

    Itkin, Danny


    Calcretes are near-surface terrestrial accumulations of secondary calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that form in soils and permeable rocks in regions of arid to dry-summer subtropical climates. While the formation of calcrete under natural conditions has been extensively studied, no reports of anthropogenically induced calcretisation exist in current literature. Following a detailed study of soil micromorphology at the Binyanei Ha-Uma site (Jerusalem) (Itkin, submitted), it becomes evident that a natural Nari-calcrete (Wieder et al. 1993; Itkin et al. 2012) has been overprinted by a secondary calcretisation, specifically arising from human activity ~2 ka ago (related to the production centre of the Tenth Roman Legion in Jerusalem). I hereby introduce the concept of 'Anthropo-Calcretisation', as the sum of processes, by which human actions lead to the accumulation of pedogenic calcium carbonate. Based on soil micromorphological analysis of the Binyanei Ha-Uma site (Itkin, submitted), and other archaeological sites, two characteristic Anthropo-Calcretisation modes can be discerned. The first pathway, termed 'biogeochemical', is dominated by pedogenic chemical reactions, resulting from soil liming, agriculture, and an unintentional soil contamination by calcined lime. The second pathway, termed 'hydropedological', arises from modified soil-water relations due to man-made reshaping of geomorphological units (e.g., agricultural terraces). Anthropo-Calcretisation can follow either of the pathways, and even include both. The study of Anthropo-Calcrete can be applicable (i) to quantify the extent by which (pre)historic human beings have utilised and affected their environment; (ii) to reconstruct paleoclimate, and (iii) to constrain soil development in time by dating associated archaeological artefacts. Furthermore, Anthropo-Calcrete can be also used as a diagnostic tool for evaluating modern human actions (e.g. soil liming, intentional enrichment of soil biomass, or soil

  6. Molecular systematics and biodiversity of oniscidean isopods in the groundwater calcretes of central Western Australia. (United States)

    Javidkar, Mohammad; Cooper, Steven J B; King, Rachael A; Humphreys, William F; Bertozzi, Terry; Stevens, Mark I; Austin, Andrew D


    Groundwater calcrete aquifers of central Western Australia have been shown to contain a high diversity of stygobiont (subterranean aquatic) invertebrates, with each species confined to an individual calcrete and the entire system resembling a 'subterranean archipelago' containing hundreds of isolated calcretes. Here, we utilised alternative sampling techniques above the water table and uncovered a significant fauna of subterranean terrestrial oniscidean isopods from the calcretes. We explored the diversity and evolution of this fauna using molecular analyses based on one mitochondrial gene, Cytochrome C Oxidase Subunit I (COI), two Ribosomal RNA genes (28S and 18S), and one protein coding nuclear gene, Lysyl-tRNA Synthetase (LysRS). The results from 12 calcretes showed the existence of 36 divergent DNA lineages belonging to four oniscidean families (Paraplatyarthridae, Armadillidae, Stenoniscidae and Philosciidae). Using a combination of phylogenetic and species delimitation methods, we hypothesized the occurrence of at least 27 putative new species of subterranean oniscideans, of which 24 taxa appeared to be restricted to an individual calcrete, lending further support to the "subterranean island hypothesis". Three paraplatyarthrid species were present on adjacent calcretes and these exceptions possessed more ommatidia and body pigments compared with the calcrete-restricted taxa, and are likely to represent troglophiles. The occurrence of stenoniscid isopods in the calcretes of central Western Australia, a group previously only known from the marine littoral zone, suggests a link to the marine inundation of the Eucla basin during the Late Eocene. The current oniscidean subterranean fauna consists of groups known to be subtropical, littoral and benthic, reflecting different historical events that have shaped the evolution of the fauna in the calcretes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Grade, tonnage, and location data for world calcrete-type surficial uranium deposits (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Grade and tonnage data for calcrete-type surficial uranium deposits found in 11 different countries were compiled. Fifty-eight deposits with reported grade and...

  8. Dune associated calcretes, Rhizoliths and Paleosols from the western continental shelf of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Thamban, M.

    calcareous component-dominated layer within micrite layers and abundant micrite cements. These are similar to dune associated calcretes. Cylinders are rhizoliths and show different stages of root calcification. Circular bodies, about 0.15 mm to 0.70 mm...

  9. Assessment of undiscovered resources in calcrete uranium deposits, Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, 2017 (United States)

    Hall, Susan M.; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.


    The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a mean of 40 million pounds of in-place uranium oxide (U3O8) remaining as potential undiscovered resources in the Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. This estimate used a geology-based assessment method specific to calcrete uranium deposits.

  10. The discovery and character of Pleistocene calcrete uranium deposits in the Southern High Plains of west Texas, United States (United States)

    Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Hall, Susan M.


    This report describes the discovery and geology of two near-surface uranium deposits within calcareous lacustrine strata of Pleistocene age in west Texas, United States. Calcrete uranium deposits have not been previously reported in the United States. The west Texas uranium deposits share characteristics with some calcrete uranium deposits in Western Australia—uranium-vanadium minerals hosted by nonpedogenic calcretes deposited in saline lacustrine environments.In the mid-1970s, Kerr-McGee Corporation conducted a regional uranium exploration program in the Southern High Plains province of the United States, which led to the discovery of two shallow uranium deposits (that were not publicly reported). With extensive drilling, Kerr-McGee delineated one deposit of about 2.1 million metric tons of ore with an average grade of 0.037 percent U3O8 and another deposit of about 0.93 million metric tons of ore averaging 0.047 percent U3O8.The west-Texas calcrete uranium-vanadium deposits occur in calcareous, fine-grained sediments interpreted to be deposited in saline lakes formed during dry interglacial periods of the Pleistocene. The lakes were associated with drainages upstream of a large Pleistocene lake. Age determinations of tephra in strata adjacent to one deposit indicate the host strata is middle Pleistocene in age.Examination of the uranium-vanadium mineralization by scanning-electron microscopy indicated at least two generations of uranium-vanadium deposition in the lacustrine strata identified as carnotite and a strontium-uranium-vanadium mineral. Preliminary uranium-series results indicate a two-component system in the host calcrete, with early lacustrine carbonate that was deposited (or recrystallized) about 190 kilo-annum, followed much later by carnotite-rich crusts and strontium-uranium-vanadium mineralization in the Holocene (about 5 kilo-annum). Differences in initial 234U/238U activity ratios indicate two separate, distinct fluid sources.

  11. Mineralogical, geochemical and micromorphological evaluation of the Plio-Quaternary paleosols and calcretes from Karahamzall, Ankara (Central Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Küçükuysal Ceren


    Full Text Available We present the mineralogical, micromorphological, and geochemical characteristics of the paleosols and their carbonates from Karahamzall, Ankara (Central Turkey. The paleosols include calcretes of powdery to nodular forms and alternate with channel deposits. The presence of pedofeatures, such as clay cutans, floating grains, circumgranular cracks, MnO linings, secondary carbonate rims, traces of past bioturbation and remnants of root fragments are all the evidence of pedogenesis. Bw is the most common soil horizon showing subangular-angular blocky to granular or prismatic microstructures. Calcretes, on the other hand, are evaluated as semi-mature massive, nodular, tubular or powdery forms. The probable faunal and floral passages may also imply the traces of life from when these alluvial deposits were soil. The presence of early diagenetic palygorskite and dolomite together with high salinization, high calcification and low chemical index of alteration values are evidence of the formation of calcretes under arid and dry conditions. δ13C compositions of the carbonates ranging from -7.11 ‰ to -7.74 ‰ VPDB are comformable with the world pedogenic carbonates favouring the C4 vegetation; likely δ18O compositions of the carbonates are between -3.97 ‰ and -4.91 ‰ which are compatible with the paleosols formed under the influence of meteroic water in the vadose zone

  12. Distribution of calcretes and gypcretes in southwestern United States and their uranium favorability, based on a study of deposits in Western Australia and South West Africa (Namibia)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlisle, D.; Merifield, P.M.; Orme, A.R.; Kohl, M.S.; Kolker, O.; Lunt, O.R.


    Calcrete, dolocrete, and gypcrete carnotite are abundant in western Australia and Namib Desert, although only a few are of ore grade. The geology of these deposits are described. A genetic classification of calcretes emphasizing uranium favorability was developed, based on the distinction between pedogenic and nonpedogenic processes. Similarities between western Australia and South West Africa give support for the conclusions that lateral transport of U in groundwater is essential to ore deposition and that bedrock barriers or constrictions which narrow the channel of subsurface flow or force the water close to the land surface, greatly favor the formation of uraniferous calcretes. Criteria for uranium favorability deduced from the Australian and South West African studies were applied in a preliminary way to the southern Basin and Range Province of U.S. The procedure is to search for areas in which nonpedogenic calcrete or gypcrete may have developed. A caliche distribution map was compiled from soil survey and field data. Many areas were visited and some of the more interesting are described briefly, including parts of Clark County, Nevada, with occurrences of carnotite in calcrete. (DLC)

  13. Ant-nest ichnofossils in honeycomb calcretes, Neogene Ogallala Formation, High Plains region of western Kansas, U.S.A. (United States)

    Smith, J.J.; Platt, B.F.; Ludvigson, Greg A.; Thomasson, J.R.


    Two new ant-nest trace fossils are described from calcic sandy paleosols of the Neogene Ogallala Formation in western Kansas. The ichnofossils are preserved within and below calcrete beds weathering in positive relief as carbonate-filled casts or as cavities in negative relief. Daimoniobarax ichnogenus nov. is established for burrow systems composed of vertically tiered, horizontally oriented pancake-shaped chambers connected by predominantly vertical and cylindrical shafts ~. 0.8. cm in diameter. Ichnospecies of Daimoniobarax are differentiated based on differences in the plan view outline of chambers, shaft orientation, and junctions between chambers and shafts.Daimoniobarax nephroides ichnospecies nov. is composed of an ~. 24-76. cm long vertical sequence of distinctly lobed chambers (~. 2-20. cm wide and ~. 1. cm high) arranged along sinuous to helical shafts. Chamber shape in plan view ranges from small teardrops to larger kidney- and U-shaped forms. Shafts intersect at chamber edges such that chambers appear to bud from the central shafts. Daimoniobarax nephroides is most similar to the nests of extant seed-harvester ants of the New World genus Pogonomyrmex. Such ants are specialized granivores and prefer sandy soils in arid to semi-arid grassland and desert regions.Daimoniobarax tschinkeli ichnospecies nov. is ~. 30-80. cm in vertical extent. Chambers (~. 2-30. cm wide and ~. 1. cm high) are circular to elongate or pseudopodial in plan view. Vertical shafts are straight to slightly sinuous and intersect most often toward the center of the chambers. The generalized architecture of D. tschinkeli is similar to that of the nests or nest portions of several extant ant genera, though it does not closely resemble any known modern nest.Ant ichnofossils provide valuable information on hidden biodiversity, paleohydrologic regimes, paleopedogenic processes, and paleoclimate during the time of nest occupation. Depth-related changes in chamber size and vertical spacing

  14. Les calcretes et dolocretes de la serie permo-triasique du Haut-Atlas central (Maroc)


    Ben Mlih, Addelouahed; El Youssi, Mohammed; Laadila, Mohamed; El Kochri, Abdeslam


    International audience; Dans le Haut Atlas central (Maroc), le Permo Trias est constitué d'une série rouge détritique. L'ensemble est subdivisé en six formations. La formation F3 correspond à des épandages de dépôts alluviaux de nature gréso conglomératique armés de plusieurs niveaux pédologiques, foyers d'une importante carbonatation diagénétique. Cette épigénie carbonatée a provoqué une forte réduction de la porosité. La morphologie du faciès, la géométrie des corps sédimentaires et l'analy...

  15. physico-chemical and stable isotopes

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper details the mineralogical, chemical and stable isotope abundances of calcrete in the Letlhakeng fossil valley. The stable isotope abundances (O and C) of calcretes yielded some values which were tested against the nature of the calcretes – pedogenic or groundwater type. The Kgalagadi (Kalahari) is a vast ...

  16. Mineralogical Appraisal of Sediments of Duricrust Suites and Pans ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A mineralogical investigation of duricrust suites in Letlhakeng valley, and five pans around Jwaneng in Botswana was undertaken in order to know the mineral assemblages and infer on their landscape formation. In Letlhakeng, duricrusts comprised calcretes, silcretes and ferricretes. Calcretes were dominated by the ...

  17. Handbook on surficial uranium deposits. Chapter 3. World distribution relative to climate and physical setting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlisle, D


    This chapter discusses regional controls which affect the world distribution of surficial chemogenic uranium deposits. The most important of these are (1) climate, (2) geomorphology, including physiographic and climatic stability, and (3) provenance, i.e., the weathering terrain from which uranium and associated substances are derived. The three economically important environments are the calcrete environment, simple evaporative environments and paludal environments. Of these three categories, the calcrete uranium environment is probably the most uniquely constrained in terms of regional climate, geomorphic setting, provenance (vanadium as well as uranium) and especially the need for long term stability of both climate and physiography. Purely evaporative deposits, though subject to some of the same kinds of constraints, can also reflect local circumstances and a wider range of climates, physiographic settings, and source terrains. The third category encompassing bogs, marshes and organic-rich playas can form under an even wider range of climates and settings provided only that organic materials accumulate in abundance and are contacted by uranium-bearing waters. For all of these reasons and also because of the great economic importance of the calcrete environment as well as its relative novelty and complexity the discussion in this chapter is focused on calcrete, dolocrete and gypcrete uranium deposits. Objective data are reviewed first follwed by inferences and suggestions. 13 figures.

  18. Management of a Karoo fractured-rock aquifer system – Kalkveld ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Jan 21, 2005 ... 0.8 mg/ℓ was used for rainwater as measured from 26 rainfall events in Bloemfontein. This implies that on average recharge is about 2% of MAP. The presence of calcrete and mineral- ised Ecca shale means that the Cl method should be used with extreme caution in the study area. Where the geology is ...

  19. Growth form and seasonal variation in leaf gas exchange of Colophospermum mopane savanna trees in northwest Botswana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veenendaal, E.M.; Mantlana, K.B.; Pammenter, N.W.; Weber, P.; Huntsman-Mapila, P.; Lloyd, J.


    We investigated differences in physiological and morphological traits between the tall and short forms of mopane (Colophospermum mopane (Kirk ex Benth.) Kirk ex J. Leonard) trees growing near Maun, Botswana on a Kalahari sandveld overlying an impermeable calcrete duricrust. We sought to determine if

  20. Management of a Karoo fractured-rock aquifer system – Kalkveld ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Jan 21, 2005 ... land use; geology (including the distribution of surface calcrete deposits); rainfall; and hydrochemistry. A numerical flow model was constructed for the area to evaluate the impact of increased abstraction on the groundwater resources as well as to evaluate the response of the delineated water management ...

  1. Reconstructing Early Pleistocene (1.3 Ma) terrestrial environmental change in western Anatolia: Did it drive fluvial terrace formation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldkamp, A.; Candy, I.; Jongmans, A.G.; Maddy, D.; Demir, T.; Schoorl, J.M.; Schreve, D.; Stemerdink, C.; Schriek, van der T.


    A terrestrial environmental reconstruction of an Early Pleistocene landscape from western Anatolia is presented. The basis of this reconstruction is a sedimentary stack comprising fluvial and colluvial slope deposits. Contained within this stack is a sequence comprising two massive laminar calcretes

  2. Petrography, mineralogy, and chemistry of calcite-silica deposits at Exile Hill, Nevada, compared with local spring deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaniman, D.T.; Chipera, S.J.; Bish, D.L.


    Chemical, mineralogic, and petrographic analyses of siliceous calcretes from Exile Hill east of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicate that pedogenic processes alone account for the formation of the calcretes. These calcretes have been interpreted by some observers as evidence of seismically triggered eruptions of deep water. Such an origin could have important consequences if Yucca Mountain is developed as an unsaturated site for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. At odds with this hypothesis are the absence of features that should be present at fault-fed springs (e.g., fissure-ridge mounds with microterraces) and the preservation within root casts of delicate pedogenic microfossils, such as calcified filaments and needle-fiber calcites. Mineral-chemical evidence of pedogenic origin is found in heavy-mineral concentrations, reflected in Fe and Sc enrichments. These concentrations, which occur in the most massive of the vein calcretes, require derivation of detritus from a mixture of weathered and eolian materials that occur in the overlying B soil horizons, as opposed to direct incorporation of adjacent unweathered bedrock. Carbonate and silica abundances and accumulation rates are well within the scope of pedogenic processes. Calcium is derived from rainwater or eolian sources, whereas silica is derived in part by dissolution of local volcanic glasses or from dissolution of unstable silica minerals that are abundant in the local tuffs. In contrast with local deposits that are of spring or seep origin, the siliceous calcretes at Yucca Mountain are pedogenic in origin as well as evolution and provide no evidence in support of conjectured spring activity.

  3. Suitability Measurement and Analysis for Fort Bliss Naval Air Facility OLS. Opportune Landing Site Program (United States)


    duri- crusts or pedecretes. Often termed by constituent, calcium carbon - ate deposits become caliche or calcrete, dolomite becomes dolo- crete, gypsum...Caliche is a deposit of calcium carbonate , which acts as a cement with other materials, including gravel, sand, clay, and silt. Caliche occurs...volume of the sample, and is ex- pressed in %Vol. It is important to note that desert soils often have miner- als such as calcium sulfate, which can be

  4. Brief communication: beyond the South African cave paradigm--Australopithecus africanus from Plio-Pleistocene paleosol deposits at Taung. (United States)

    Hopley, Philip J; Herries, Andy I R; Baker, Stephanie Edwards; Kuhn, Brian F; Menter, Colin G


    Following the discovery of the "Taung Child" (Australopithecus africanus) in 1924 in the Buxton-Norlim Limeworks near Taung, the fossil-bearing deposits associated with the Dart and Hrdlička pinnacles have been interpreted as the mined remnants of cave sediments that formed within the Plio-Pleistocene Thabaseek Tufa: either as a younger cave-fill or as contemporaneous carapace caves. When combined with the Plio-Pleistocene dolomitic cave deposits from the "Cradle of Humankind," a rather restricted view emerges that South African early hominins derived from cave deposits, whereas those of east and central Africa are derived from fluvio-lacustrine and paleosol deposits. We undertook a sedimentological and paleomagnetic analysis of the pink-colored deposit (PCS) from which the "Taung Child" is purported to have derived and demonstrate that it is a calcrete, a carbonate-rich pedogenic sediment, which formed on the paleo-land surface. The deposit extends 100 s of meters laterally beyond the Dart and Hrdlička Pinnacles where it is interbedded with the Thabaseek Tufa, indicating multiple episodes of calcrete development and tufa growth. The presence of in situ rhizoconcretions and insect trace fossils (Celliforma sp. and Coprinisphaera sp.) and the distinctive carbonate microfabric confirm that the pink deposit is a pedogenic calcrete, not a calcified cave sediment. Paleomagnetic and stratigraphic evidence indicates that a second, reversed polarity, fossil-bearing deposit (YRSS) is a younger fissure-fill formed within a solutional cavity of the normal polarity tufa and pink calcrete (PCS). These observations have implications for the dating, environment, and taphonomy of the site, and increase the likelihood of future fossil discoveries within the Buxton-Norlim Limeworks. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Possible microbial origin of phosphorites on Error Seamount, northwestern Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Lamboy, M.; Natarajan, R.

    black material (probably organic matter) have also been observed (Fig.2c). The dark phosphate micro- laminations are overlain by and interspersed with "ghost" pellets. Some of the skeletal components identified are filamentous algae, bryozoa... Distinct laminations in the basal parts of the crust mainly reflect the presence of a dark brown pigment, probably organic matter, in the darker layers. Processes/products such as calcrete forma- tion, lichen development and cryptalgal structures...

  6. Paleosols of the upper Paleozoic Sangre de Cristo Formation, north-central New Mexico: Record of early Permian palaeoclimate in tropical Pangaea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence H. Tanner


    During the early Permian, northern New Mexico was situated in a near equatorial position (ca. 4° N. The overall character of the paleosols suggests a persistent warm, semi-humid, seasonal climate throughout most of the interval of deposition during the Wolfcampian, but with episodically increased aridity during formation of the more mature calcretes. No long-term trend of climate change is evident in the stratigraphic section examined for this study.

  7. Evolution of subterranean diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Hydroporini, Bidessini) in the arid zone of Australia. (United States)

    Leys, Remko; Watts, Chris H S; Cooper, Steve J B; Humphreys, William F


    Calcrete aquifers in arid inland Australia have recently been found to contain the world's most diverse assemblage of subterranean diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). In this study we test whether the adaptive shift hypothesis (ASH) or the climatic relict hypothesis (CRH) is the most likely mode of evolution for the Australian subterranean diving beetles by using a phylogeny based on two sequenced fragments of mitochondrial genes (CO1 and 16S-tRNA-ND1) and linearized using a relaxed molecular clock method. Most individual calcrete aquifers contain an assemblage of diving beetle species of distantly related lineages and/or a single pair of sister species that significantly differ in size and morphology. Evolutionary transitions from surface to subterranean life took place in a relatively small time frame between nine and four million years ago. Most of the variation in divergence times of the sympatric sister species is explained by the variation in latitude of the localities, which correlates with the onset of aridity from the north to the south and with an aridity maximum in the Early Pliocene (five mya). We conclude that individual calcrete aquifers were colonized by several distantly related diving beetle lineages. Several lines of evidence from molecular clock analyses support the CRH, indicating that all evolutionary transitions took place during the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene as a result of aridification.

  8. Paleoenvironment of the Ogallala (Neogene) Formation in west-central Kansas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Twiss, P.C.; McCahon, T.J.; Oviatt, C.G. (Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States). Geology Dept.)


    At Lake Scott (Scott County) in west-central Kansas, the Ogallala Formation unconformably overlies the Niobrara Formation (Cretaceous) and forms the bluffs of the north-trending Ladder Creek valley. Two sections (Devil's Backbone, 23 m thick; Suicide Bluff, 45 m thick) contain fluvial sands that grade upward into probable eolian sands. The lower sections contain poorly cemented, moderately sorted, arkosic sand, some mud gravel, and poorly defined fluvial channels. In the lower part of Devil's Backbone, cross-bedded sand is capped by mud drapes. At Suicide Bluff, beds of cross-bedded and better sorted sand occur high in the section. Paleosols and secondary calcite and opal dominate the sections. Pedogenic calcretes with more than 52% CaCO[sub 3] are especially abundant and range up to morphologic Stage VI. The [delta][sup 13]C and [delta][sup 18]O in the calcretes range from [minus]4.8 to [minus]6.5 and [minus]8.2 to [minus]6.7 per mil (PDB), respectively. Opal-A has replaced most rhizoliths of the Ogallala. Silicified fossil seeds (Celtis sp., Biorbia sp.) and probable fossil mammal burrows also occur in the sections. Rhyolitic tephra, about 10 Ma, occurs 12 m below the calcrete caprock of Suicide Bluff. A massive layer of opal occurs about 8 m above the tephra and below a diatomaceous bed. Siliceous cement occurs throughout each section, possibly originating from opal phytoliths, tephra, and/or diatoms. These sections afford the potential for understanding the stratigraphic succession and paleoclimate during the late Miocene to possibly early Pliocene in the central High Plains region.

  9. Uranium in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (phase V, deliverable 81): Chapter N in Second projet de renforcement institutionnel du secteur minier de la République Islamique de Mauritanie (PRISM-II) (United States)

    Fernette, Gregory


    Mauritania has 80 known uranium mineral occurrences and is the current focus of active exploration for uranium by a number of private companies. Seventeen occurrences have had resource estimates published and can be considered as mineral deposits. Fourteen of these are calcrete-type deposits with a total resource of 138.3 million tonnes at an average grade of 331 ppm U3O8. The three bedrock-hosted deposits are granite hosted vein/shear zone type deposits with a total resource of 46.5 million tonnes at a grade of 248 ppm U3O8.

  10. Landscapes in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaretha W. van Rooyen


    Full Text Available A landscape map of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is presented. Mapping is at a finer scale than previous vegetation and habitat maps for the same area. The landscapes were grouped into seven large classes and a total of 20 landscapes were mapped. A description of the terrain morphology, soil and vegetation of each landscape is provided. Landscapes that are focal points for the large animals of the region include the calcrete outcrops, riverbeds and pans. These landscapes cover only about 10% of the total area of the region. This map can be used as basis for park planning, management, research and other applications.

  11. Development of uranium processing at Wiluna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenny, D., E-mail: [Toro Energy Ltd., West Perth, WA (Australia); Dombrose, E. [Metallurgical Support Pty Ltd., Shelley, WA (Australia)


    Toro Energy Ltd. has identified a resource of 20.2 million tonnes at a grade of 548 ppm U{sub 3}O{sub 8} at Wiluna, Western Australia. Calcrete and clay delta formations host the uranium mineral carnotite. Initial studies indicate a mining operation is technically, environmentally and commercially viable. Increase in demand for uranium and a change in State Government policy on uranium mining have lead Toro to proceed with a bankable feasibility study and commence approvals with State and Federal Governments. This paper discusses how Toro arrived at the decision to utilise alkaline heap leach, a process not widely used, and how it is being developed. (author)

  12. Fossil Carder Bee's Nest from the Hominin Locality of Taung, South Africa. (United States)

    Parker, Jennifer F; Hopley, Philip J; Kuhn, Brian F

    The Buxton-Norlim Limeworks southwest of Taung, South Africa, is renowned for the discovery of the first Australopithecus africanus fossil, the 'Taung Child'. The hominin was recovered from a distinctive pink calcrete that contains an abundance of invertebrate ichnofauna belonging to the Coprinisphaera ichnofacies. Here we describe the first fossil bee's nest, attributed to the ichnogenus Celliforma, from the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa. Petrographic examination of a cell lining revealed the preservation of an intricate organic matrix lined with the calcitic casts of numerous plant trichomes-a nesting behaviour unique to the modern-day carder bees (Anthidiini). The presence of Celliforma considered alongside several other recorded ichnofossils can be indicative of a dry, savannah environment, in agreement with recent work on the palaeoenvironment of Plio-Pleistocene southern Africa. Moreover, the occurrence of ground-nesting bees provides further evidence that the pink calcrete deposits are of pedogenic origin, rather than speleogenic origin as has previously been assumed. This study demonstrates the potential value of insect trace fossils as palaeoenvironmental indicators.

  13. Fossil Carder Bee's Nest from the Hominin Locality of Taung, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer F Parker

    Full Text Available The Buxton-Norlim Limeworks southwest of Taung, South Africa, is renowned for the discovery of the first Australopithecus africanus fossil, the 'Taung Child'. The hominin was recovered from a distinctive pink calcrete that contains an abundance of invertebrate ichnofauna belonging to the Coprinisphaera ichnofacies. Here we describe the first fossil bee's nest, attributed to the ichnogenus Celliforma, from the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa. Petrographic examination of a cell lining revealed the preservation of an intricate organic matrix lined with the calcitic casts of numerous plant trichomes-a nesting behaviour unique to the modern-day carder bees (Anthidiini. The presence of Celliforma considered alongside several other recorded ichnofossils can be indicative of a dry, savannah environment, in agreement with recent work on the palaeoenvironment of Plio-Pleistocene southern Africa. Moreover, the occurrence of ground-nesting bees provides further evidence that the pink calcrete deposits are of pedogenic origin, rather than speleogenic origin as has previously been assumed. This study demonstrates the potential value of insect trace fossils as palaeoenvironmental indicators.

  14. Troglofauna in the vadose zone: comparison of scraping and trapping results and sampling adequacy

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    Stuart Halse


    Full Text Available Most sampling of troglofauna occurs in caves but troglofauna species are widespread across the vadose zone in Western Australia in iron ore deposits and calcretes. Other than in karstic calcrete, the subterranean spaces in the Western Australian vadose zone are small and often of similar size to the troglofauna inhabiting them. Here we describe how troglofauna can be sampled in the vadose zone using a technique called scraping, in which a haul net is dropped down a hole drilled for geological exploration. We analysed of the results of 10,895 sampling events in which both the scraping and trapping techniques were used. In the Pilbara region of Western Australia, where most of the fieldwork occurred, scraping collected approximately three-quarters more troglofaunal animals than trapping and more than twice as many troglofauna species per sample. Most orders of troglofauna were collected in greater numbers by scraping than trapping. However, the yields from both troglofauna sampling techniques are low and, even when the results of both techniques are combined to constitute a single unit of sample effort, the currently prescribed effort for environmental impact assessment will document only about half the species present at a site. It is suggested that a larger number of samples should be collected.

  15. First Use of an Airborne Thermal Infrared Hyperspectral Scanner for Compositional Mapping (United States)

    Kirkland, Laurel; Herr, Kenneth; Keim, Eric; Adams, Paul; Salisbury, John; Hackwell, John; Treiman, Allan


    In May 1999, the airborne thermal infrared hyperspectral imaging system, Spatially Enhanced Broadband Array Spectrograph System (SEBASS), was flown over Mon-non Mesa, NV, to provide the first test of such a system for geological mapping. Several types of carbonate deposits were identified using the 11.25 microns band. However, massive calcrete outcrops exhibited weak spectral contrast, which was confirmed by field and laboratory measurements. Because the weathered calcrete surface appeared relatively smooth in hand specimen, this weak spectral contrast was unexpected. Here we show that microscopic roughness not readily apparent to the eye has introduced both a cavity effect and volume scattering to reduce spectral contrast. The macroroughness of crevices and cobbles may also have a significant cavity effect. The diminished spectral contrast is important because it places higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) requirements for spectroscopic detection and identification. This effect should be factored into instrumentation planning and interpretations, especially interpretations without benefit of ground truth. SEBASS had the required high SNR and spectral resolution to allow us to demonstrate for the first time the ability of an airborne hyperspectral thermal infrared scanner to detect and identify spectrally subtle materials.

  16. Spectral pathways for exploration of secondary uranium: An investigation in the desertic tracts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, India (United States)

    Bharti, Rishikesh; Kalimuthu, R.; Ramakrishnan, D.


    This study aims at identifying potential zones of secondary uranium enrichment using hyperspectral remote sensing, γ-ray spectrometry, fluorimetry and geochemical techniques in the western Rajasthan and northern Gujarat, India. The investigated area has suitable source rocks, conducive past-, and present-climate that can facilitate such enrichment. This enrichment process involves extensive weathering of uranium bearing source rocks, leaching of uranyl compounds in groundwater, and their precipitation in chemical deltas along with duricrusts like calcretes and gypcretes. Spatial distribution of groundwater calcretes (that are rich in Mg-calcite) and gypcretes (that are rich in gypsum) along palaeochannels and chemical deltas were mapped using hyperspectral remote sensing data based on spectral absorptions in 1.70 μm, 2.16 μm, 2.21 μm, 2.33 μm, 2.44 μm wavelength regions. Subsequently based on field radiometric survey, zones of U anomalies were identified and samples of duricrusts and groundwater were collected for geochemical analyses. Anomalous concentration of U (2345.7 Bq/kg) and Th (142.3 Bq/kg) are observed in both duricrusts and groundwater (U-1791 μg/l, Th-34 μg/l) within the palaeo-delta and river confluence. The estimated carnotite Solubility Index also indicates the secondary enrichment of U and the likelihood of occurrence of an unconventional deposit.

  17. Arcillas fibrosas anómalas en encostramientos y sedimentos superficiales: características y génesis (Esquivias, Cuenca de Madrid

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    Bustillo, M. A.


    Full Text Available Mineralogy, chemical composition and textures of silcretes, calcretes/palustrine limestones and argillaceous beds are studied to consider the features and the genesis of fibrous-clay minerals. The mineralogy, petrology and geochemical studies were carried out by X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, and, scanning (SEM and transmission (TEM electron microscopy with dispersive analysis (EDS. Sepiolite and palygorskite were found in the argillaceous beds and silcretes while only palygorskite was found in the calcretes/palustrine limestones. The chemical compositions of sepiolite and palygorskite are anomalous. The sepiolite shows Mg/Al relations lower than the standard, and the palygorskite higher than standard. Smectites occurs in the argillaceous beds, and the dissolution of these smectites can generate appropriated cations for the formation of sepiolite and palygorskite. The absence of smectites in the silcretes and calcretes/palustrine limestones could suggest that the fibrous clay minerals were formed by direct precipitation from interstitial water of these rocks. Part of the palygorskite included in the calcretes/palustrine limestones formed latter than calcite, and its formation could have been favored by the dissolution of the calcite. The silcretes are mainly constituted of opal-CT, palygorskite and sepiolite. They are formed by silicification of the calcrete/ palustrine limestones and the palygorskite is the relic of these host rocks. Opal CT and sepiolite are neoformed minerals which were produced during the silicification, or after, by aging from a magnesium rich-silica gel.

    Se estudian silcretas, calcretas/calizas palustres y niveles arcillosos de zonas continentales superficiales con objeto de caracterizar la mineralogía de las arcillas fibrosas, su composición química y las condiciones de formación. La caracterización mineralógica, petrológica y geoquímica se realiza con difracción de Rayos X (DRX, microscopía

  18. Miocene fluvial systems and palynofloras at the southwestern tip of Africa: Implications for regional and global fluctuations in climate and ecosystems (United States)

    Roberts, David L.; Sciscio, Lara; Herries, Andy I. R.; Scott, Louis; Bamford, Marion K.; Musekiwa, Chiedza; Tsikos, Harilaos


    High amplitude climate fluctuations have been inferred from marine isotope data in the early Neogene, but few well documented terrestrial records exist from this era to gauge the effects of these high latitude events on continental climates and ecosystems. The extensive, three-dimensional exposures of Miocene fluvial and fluvio-lacustrine sediments in the Rondeberg clay pit near Cape Town provide a unique window on this era. Palaeomagnetic data suggests that the deposits accumulated over a period of west coast, the Arrisdrift vertebrate fossil assemblage in Early-Middle Miocene terrace deposits of the Orange River indicate a tropical climate but possibly less humid than in the south, with more open vegetation patterns. The presence of pedogenic calcretes and gypcretes in the deposits suggests periodic extremes of aridity not seen in south; the current pronounced north-aridity gradient from humid temperate to hyper-arid may have had its inception in the earlier Miocene.

  19. The origin and history of alteration and carbonatization of the Yucca Mountain ignimbrites. Volume I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szymanski, J.S.


    This document contains Volume I of the report entitled The Origin and History of Alteration and Carbonatization of the Yucca Mountain Ignimbrites by Jerry S. Szymanski and a related correspondence with comments by Donald E. Livingston. In the Great Basin, the flow of terrestrial heat through the crust is affected in part by the flow of fluids. At Yucca Mountain, the role of fluids in crustal heat transport is manifested at the surface by youthful calcretes, sinters, bedrock veins, hydrothermal eruption breccias and hydrothermal alteration. This report discusses evidence for recent metasomatism high in the stratigraphic section at Yucca Mountain. Over the last several hundred years, episodes of calcite emplacement contemporaneous with local mafic volcanism have occurred at intervals that are not long in comparison with the isolation time required for a High-Level Radioactive Waste repository.

  20. Commentary on the state of knowledge of the origins of the Yucca Mountain calcite veins. Special report number 17, Contract number 94/96.0003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Archambeau, C.


    This report is a compilation of papers and a letter providing technical information on the origin and geochemistry of calcite veins and calcretes in the vicinity of the Yucca Mountain repository. The information is presented to demonstrate that these deposits may be ``thermogenic`` in origin with some alteration by pedogenic processes. The papers present isotope ratios of uranium, strontium, and carbon to support the claims for a hydrothermal source. The letter provides a critical review of a previous paper presented at the 64th Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste. The report makes an attempt to emphasize the need to review this possible origin because it has dramatic implications on the geologic history, paleo-ground water levels, and integrity of the repository.

  1. Impact of grazing intensity on seasonal variations in soil organic carbon and soil CO2 efflux in two semiarid grasslands in southern Botswana. (United States)

    Thomas, Andrew D


    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an important source of organic carbon, and affect a range of ecosystem functions in arid and semiarid environments. Yet the impact of grazing disturbance on crust properties and soil CO(2) efflux remain poorly studied, particularly in African ecosystems. The effects of burial under wind-blown sand, disaggregation and removal of BSCs on seasonal variations in soil CO(2) efflux, soil organic carbon, chlorophyll a and scytonemin were investigated at two sites in the Kalahari of southern Botswana. Field experiments were employed to isolate CO(2) efflux originating from BSCs in order to estimate the C exchange within the crust. Organic carbon was not evenly distributed through the soil profile but concentrated in the BSC. Soil CO(2) efflux was higher in Kalahari Sand than in calcrete soils, but rates varied significantly with seasonal changes in moisture and temperature. BSCs at both sites were a small net sink of C to the soil. Soil CO(2) efflux was significantly higher in sand soils where the BSC was removed, and on calcrete where the BSC was buried under sand. The BSC removal and burial under sand also significantly reduced chlorophyll a, organic carbon and scytonemin. Disaggregation of the soil crust, however, led to increases in chlorophyll a and organic carbon. The data confirm the importance of BSCs for C cycling in drylands and indicate intensive grazing, which destroys BSCs through trampling and burial, will adversely affect C sequestration and storage. Managed grazing, where soil surfaces are only lightly disturbed, would help maintain a positive carbon balance in African drylands.

  2. Stable isotope distribution in continental Maastrichtian vertebrates from the Haţeg Basin, South Carpathians (United States)

    Bojar, Ana-Voica; Csiki, Zoltan; Grigorescu, Dan


    The oxygen isotopic compositions of biogenic apatite from crocodiles, turtles and dinosaurs, and their relationship to climate and physiology have been evidenced by several studies (Barrick and Showers, 1995; Kolodny et al., 1996; Barrick et al., 1999; Fricke and Rogers, 2000; Stoskopf et al., 2001; Straight et al., 2004; Amiot et al., 2007). To date, few attempts have been made to correlate the enamel d13C to dietary resources of dinosaurs (Bocherens et al., 1988; Stanton Thomas and Carlson, 2004; Fricke and Pearson, 2008; Fricke, et al., 2008). One additional complication is that for dinosaurs, the d18O of enamel phosphate depends on both body water and variations in body temperature. Several studies addressed the issue of endothermy vs. ectothermy of fossil vertebrates by studying inter- and intra-bone and enamel isotopic variability (Barrick and Showers, 1994, 1995; Barrick et al., 1996; 1998; Fricke and Rogers, 2000). More recent investigations provided evidence for inter-tooth temporal variations and related them to seasonality and/or changes in physiology (Straight et al., 2004; Stanton Thomas and Carlson, 2004). The main objectives of this study are to extract palaeoclimatic information considering, beside lithofacial characteristics and the isotopic distribution of carbonates formed in paleosols, the stable isotope composition of vertebrate remains from the Haţeg Basin. We also sampled several teeth along their growth axis in order to get further information about growth rates and the amplitude of isotopic variation. Located in the South Carpathians in Romania, the Haţeg Basin contains a thick sequence of Maastrichtian continental deposits yielding a rich dinosaur and mammalian fauna. Stable isotope analyses of both calcretes and dinosaur, crocodilian and turtle remains from two localities (Tuştea and Sibişel) were integrated in order to reconstruct environmental conditions during the Maastrichtian time and to gain further insights into the metabolism

  3. Late Quaternary landscape evolution in the Great Karoo, South Africa: Processes and drivers. (United States)

    Oldknow, Chris; Hooke, Janet; Lang, Andreas


    major increase in the palaeo-water table, enhanced vegetation productivity and led to the formation of extensive calcified root-mats. Soil micromorphological evidence from this calcrete unit and burial of T2 by up to 1.5 m of alluvium (T3) indicates subsequent aridification, but depth of channel entrenchment was retarded by the blanketing effect of the underlying calcrete. The final terrace (T4) is much younger (Late Holocene), reflecting slow aggradation in a wetland setting. Wider segments of valley preserve a 'cut and fill' phase intermediate in age between regional T3 and T4 which appears to be a function of varying alluvial preservation potential. The research demonstrates that phases of alluviation and pedogenesis in these valleys reflect a complex interplay between Late Quaternary climate change and autogenic-feedbacks relating to abrupt changes in sediment supply and connectivity.

  4. Occurrence of Arsenic in Soils and Paleosols of the Claromecó River Basin, Southern Pampean Plain (Argentina) (United States)

    Sosa, N. N.; Datta, S.; Zarate, M.; Porfido, C.; Spagnuolo, M.; Terzano, R.


    The Chacopampean plain is an extended flatland characterized by high As within sediments and drinking waters. The volcanic glass shards, normally present as a major constituent of the Chacopampean plain sediments, are classically considered the main source of As. Nevertheless, thick volcanic ash layers and Fe-Mn (Al) oxy-hydroxides are also contemplated as a reasonable source of As. In order to understand the main source of As in the Claromecó river basin (southern Chacopampean plain) sediments, paleosols, present-day soils and groundwaters were sampled. Three sedimentological units were identified: a deeper early Pliocene fluvial unit (mean sediment As 4.6 mg/kg), a shallower late Pleistocene fluvial unit (mean As 11.6mg/kg) and Holocene Loess (mean As 2.5 mg/kg). Two types of paleosols were characterized: a Pliocene pedogenic calcrete (mean As 3.6 mg/kg) and a Late Pleistocene hydromorphic paleosol (mean As 16.5 mg/kg). The present-day soils were taken into account where mean As is 10.5 mg/kg. Although mean values for each unit are quite different, statistical analyses (ANOVA) reveal no statistically significant difference between As concentrations within the various sedimentological units. However, the hydromorphic paleosols and present day soils show a statistically significant difference from the rest of the units. In these pedogenetic units, the highest As concentrations are located in the Fe-Mn(Al) oxy-hydroxide phases (nodules and rhizo-concretions) as shown by sequential extractions and µ-XRF analysis. From this context, Pliocene pedogenic calcrete shows low content of oxy-hydroxides and therefore low As. Additionally, As concentrations in waters (mean As 78.42 µg/L) shows higher values in shallower groundwaters coinciding with Pleistocene paleosols. This preliminary study highlights that the sediment deposition may not necessarily represent a systematic control in the As concentrations even though an increment from the Pliocene to the Holocene in

  5. Diapiric uplift of an MIS 3 marine deposit in SW Spain: Implications for Late Pleistocene sea level reconstruction and palaeogeography of the Strait of Gibraltar (United States)

    Gracia, F. J.; Rodríguez-Vidal, J.; Cáceres, L. M.; Belluomini, G.; Benavente, J.; Alonso, C.


    In the Bay of Cádiz (SW Spain) an Upper Pleistocene beach deposit (31.5 ka BP) has been recognised at about 1-3 m above m.s.l. The deposit is affected by a set of joints and fractures filled by calcretes and other subaerial sediments, dated at 19.9 ka BP. Deformation and uplift of this level is related to the moderate activity of a diapiric structure. The resulting uplift produced local emersion of the deposit and a transition from marine to continental conditions during the Late Quaternary. The deformational style and tectonic location of the deposit argue against strong vertical motion. Regional comparisons between this diapir and other similar and coeval structures near the zone suggest a vertical uplift of about 25 m. Therefore, between 30 and 20 ka BP the sea level can be supposed to have been placed near to its present-day position, probably less than 30 m below. These results confirm other regional data indicating that during MIS 3 several relative sea level rises took place, reaching heights of only several tens of metres below the present m.s.l. The palaeogeographical implications of these results include the existing controversy about the possible crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar by Neanderthals between ca 40 and 30 ka. The palaeogeographical reconstruction of the Strait for this period suggests that its width and depth were very similar to the present ones.

  6. Geochemistry and mineralogy of the Oligo-Miocene sediments of the Valley of Lakes, Mongolia. (United States)

    Richoz, Sylvain; Baldermann, Andre; Frauwallner, Andreas; Harzhauser, Mathias; Daxner-Höck, Gudrun; Klammer, Dietmar; Piller, Werner E


    The Valley of Lakes is approximately a 500-km elongate depression in Central Mongolia, where Eocene to Miocene continental sediments are long known for their outstanding fossil richness. The palaeontological record of this region is an exceptional witness for the evolution of mammalian communities during the Cenozoic global cooling and regional aridification. In order to precisely elucidate the climatic evolution of the region, we studied the mostly siliciclastic sediments with several levels of paleosols for their sedimentology, mineralogy, major and trace element composition and δ13C and δ18O composition. The obtained results show that temperate hydrothermal fluids induced a strong illitization of the fluvial and lacustrine sediments. This finding contradicts the current conceptual view that the fine fraction of the sediments is of aeolian origin. Moreover, the diagenetic growth of illite resulted in a strong overprinting of the sediments and, subsequently, largely disturbed the pristine mineralogical and geochemical composition of the sediments that could have carried any palaeo-climatic information. An exception is the δ13C (and δ18O) isotope values of authigenic carbonate found in calcrete horizons that still record the ambient climatic conditions prevailing during paleosol formation. Our novel δ13C and δ18O record suggests an early Oligocene aridification in Central Asia at ∼31 Ma, whereas the Oligocene glacial maximum shows no increase in aridification. A second, regional-scale aridification occurs at ~25 Ma and corresponds to a late Oligocene marked mammalian turnover in the Valley of Lakes sediments.

  7. Quaternary history of the Kiseiba Oasis region, southern Egypt (United States)

    Maxwell, Ted A.; Haynes, C. Vance; Nicoll, Kathleen; Johnston, Andrew K.; Grant, John A.; Kilani, Ali


    Kiseiba Oasis and depression are located in southern Egypt between the Selima Sand Sheet to the west and the Nile to the east, an important area that hosted Late Cenozoic drainage, Middle Pleistocene lakes, and numerous Paleolithic and Neolithic cultural sites. A synthesis of orbital data, field surveying and near-surface stratigraphy provides new insights into the Quaternary history of this region. Shuttle Imaging Radar data show a complex of fluvial channels that are due to stringers of surficial fluvial lag, subsurface fluvial deposits, and areas of deep alluvium. Three topographic surfaces are described: 1) the Atmur El-Kibeish, above 230 m elevation, which displays a linear pattern of light radar returns, possibly formed from northeast drainage; 2) the Acheulean Surface, at 200 m elevation, that has dark radar patterns resulting from thick alluvium bounded by pebble sand and calcrete strata, and 3) the Kiseiba Surface, below 190 m, that has a complex series of surface and subsurface fluvial and aeolian sediments. Initial drainage from the Early through Middle Pleistocene was to the northeast, which may have lasted through the Last Interglacial. Later reworking of sediments during the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene resulted in topographic inversion, with any subsequent local drainage on the Kiseiba Surface to the southwest, towards the Kiseiba Scarp.

  8. Opsin transcripts of predatory diving beetles: a comparison of surface and subterranean photic niches (United States)

    Tierney, Simon M.; Cooper, Steven J. B.; Saint, Kathleen M.; Bertozzi, Terry; Hyde, Josephine; Humphreys, William F.; Austin, Andrew D.


    The regressive evolution of eyes has long intrigued biologists yet the genetic underpinnings remain opaque. A system of discrete aquifers in arid Australia provides a powerful comparative means to explore trait regression at the genomic level. Multiple surface ancestors from two tribes of diving beetles (Dytiscidae) repeatedly invaded these calcrete aquifers and convergently evolved eye-less phenotypes. We use this system to assess transcription of opsin photoreceptor genes among the transcriptomes of two surface and three subterranean dytiscid species and test whether these genes have evolved under neutral predictions. Transcripts for UV, long-wavelength and ciliary-type opsins were identified from the surface beetle transcriptomes. Two subterranean beetles showed parallel loss of all opsin transcription, as expected under ‘neutral’ regressive evolution. The third species Limbodessus palmulaoides retained transcription of a long-wavelength opsin (lwop) orthologue, albeit in an aphotic environment. Tests of selection on lwop indicated no significant differences between transcripts derived from surface and subterranean habitats, with strong evidence for purifying selection acting on L. palmulaoides lwop. Retention of sequence integrity and the lack of evidence for neutral evolution raise the question of whether we have identified a novel pleiotropic role for lwop, or an incipient phase of pseudogene development. PMID:26064586

  9. Micromorphology of Paleosols of the Marília Formation and their Significance in the Paleoenvironmental Evolution of the Bauru Basin, Upper Cretaceous, Southeastern Brazil

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    Márcio Luiz da Silva

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Deduction of associated paleoenvironments and paleoclimate, definition of the chronosequence of paleosols, and paleogeographic reconstruction have become possible through the application of micromorphology in paleopedology. Micromorphology has also been useful in recognition of weathering processes and definition of minerals formed in succession. In this respect, the objective of this study was to identify the development of pedogenic processes and discuss their significance in the paleoclimate evolution of the Marília Formation (Maastrichtian of Bauru Basin. Three sections of the Marília Formation (A1, A2, and A3 were described, comprising nine profiles. Micromorphologic al analysis was carried out according to the specialized literature. In the Marília Formation, the paleosols developed in sandstones have argillic (Btkm, Bt and carbonate (Bk horizons with different degrees of cementation, forming mainly calcretes. The evolution of pedogenic processes, in light of micromorphological analysis, evidenced three moments or stages for the genesis of paleosols with Bkm, Btk, and Bt horizons, respectively. In the Maastrichtian in the Bauru Basin, the paleosols with Bkm are older and more arid environments, and those with Bt were formed in wetter weather, but not enough to lead to the genesis of enaulic-related distributions, typical of current Oxisols.

  10. The preservation of the Agoudal impact crater, Morocco, under a landslide: Indication of a genetic link between shatter cones and meteorite fragments (United States)

    Nachit, Hassane; Abia, El Hassan; Bonadiman, Costanza; Di Martino, Mario; Vaccaro, Carmela


    Geological studies and tomographic profiles of a locality nearby the Agoudal village (Morocco) showed the presence of a single impact crater, 500-600 m diameter, largely hidden by a limestone block, 220 m long and 40 m deep. The site was interpreted as a landslide that followed the fall of a cosmic body. The Agoudal impact crater was not affected by intense erosion. The lack of an evident impact structure, as well as the sporadic distribution of impactites and their limited occurrence, can be explained by a complex geological framework and by recent tectonics. The latter is the result of the sliding of limestone block, which hides almost two-thirds of the crater's depression, and the oblique fall of the meteoroid on sloping ground. In addition, some impact breccia dikes sharply cut the host rock in the Agoudal impact structure. They do not show any genetic relationship with tectonics or hydrothermal activity, nor are they related to any karst or calcrete formations. Altogether, the overlapping of the meteorite strewn field (11 km long and 3 km wide) with the area of occurrence of shatter cones and impact breccias, together with the presence of meteorite fragments (shrapnel) ejected from the crater, the presence of shatter cones contaminated by products of iron meteorites and the presence of impact breccias that contain meteorite fragments of the same chemical composition of the Agoudal meteorite indicate that the fall of this meteorite can be responsible for the formation of the impact structure.

  11. The contributions of Donald Lee Johnson to understanding the Quaternary geologic and biogeographic history of the California Channel Islands (United States)

    Muhs, Daniel R.


    Over a span of 50 years, native Californian Donald Lee Johnson made a number of memorable contributions to our understanding of the California Channel Islands. Among these are (1) recognizing that carbonate dunes, often cemented into eolianite and derived from offshore shelf sediments during lowered sea level, are markers of glacial periods on the Channel Islands; (2) identifying beach rock on the Channel Islands as the northernmost occurrence of this feature on the Pacific Coast of North America; (3) recognizing of the role of human activities in historic landscape modification; (4) identifying both the biogenic and pedogenic origins of caliche “ghost forests” and laminar calcrete forms on the Channel Islands; (5) providing the first soil maps of several of the islands, showing diverse pathways of pedogenesis; (6) pointing out the importance of fire in Quaternary landscape history on the Channel Islands, based on detailed stratigraphic studies; and (7), perhaps his greatest contribution, clarifying the origin of Pleistocene pygmy mammoths on the Channel Islands, due not to imagined ancient land bridges, but rather the superb swimming abilities of proboscideans combined with lowered sea level, favorable paleowinds, and an attractive paleovegetation on the Channel Islands. Don was a classic natural historian in the great tradition of Charles Darwin and George Gaylord Simpson, his role models. Don’s work will remain important and useful for many years and is an inspiration to those researching the California Channel Islands today.

  12. Latest extension of the Laujar fault in a convergence setting (Sierra Nevada, Betic Cordillera) (United States)

    Martínez-Martos, Manuel; Galindo-Zaldívar, Jesus; Sanz de Galdeano, Carlos; García-Tortosa, Francisco Juan; Martínez-Moreno, Francisco José; Ruano, Patricia; González-Castillo, Lourdes; Azañón, José Miguel


    The present-day relief of the Betic Cordillera formed since the Late Miocene through the regional N-S to NW-SE Africa-Eurasia convergence that developed large folds. The Laujar Fault Zone is a south-dipping E-W oriented structure located at the northern boundary of the Alpujarran Corridor Neogene intramontane basin, which separates Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Gador antiforms, in the Internal Zones of the Betic Cordillera. The fault zone acted in a first stage as a dextral strike-slip fault. Currently it moves as a normal fault evidenced by striated calcretes, also in agreement with regional continuous GPS (CGPS) data that support the hypothesis of an active N-S extension in the fault area. In order to analyse the deep geometry of the Laujar Fault Zone, we combined several geophysical techniques (gravity, magnetic, electric resistivity tomography and audio-magnetotelluric data) with field geological observations. Fault surfaces seem to join at a southward-dipping shallow detachment level, including faults covered by the sedimentary infill. The fault zone was developed in a previously weakened area by wrench faults parallel to the Alpujarran Corridor. The recent normal activity of this fault zone may be a consequence of a change in the Africa-Eurasia convergence orientation, which implies a decrease in the N-S compression component. This structure along the southern limb of Sierra Nevada antiform evidences the gravitational collapse of previously thickened crust in a regional compressional context simultaneous to metamorphic core uplift.

  13. Moessbauer and magnetic studies of parent material from argentine pampas soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bidegain, J. C. [Laboratorio de Entrenamiento Multidisciplinario para la Investigacion Tecnologica (Argentina); Bartel, A. A. [Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (Argentina); Sives, F. R.; Mercader, R. C., E-mail: [Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas (Argentina)


    In order to establish a correlation between the different types of soils using hyperfine and magnetic parameters as climatic and environmental proxies, we have studied the differentiation of soil developed around 38.5{sup o} south latitude, in the central Pampas of Argentina, by means of Moessbauer spectroscopy and environmental magnetism. The soils transect (climosequence) investigated stretches from the drier west (around 64{sup o} W) to the more humid east (at around 59{sup o} W) in the Buenos Aires Province, covering a distance of 600 km. The soils studied developed during recent Holocene geologic times in a landscape characterized by small relict plateaus, slopes and depressions, dunes and prairies. The parent material consists of eolian sandy silts overlying calcrete layers. The low mean annual precipitation in the western parts of the region gives rise to soils without B-horizons, which limits the agricultural use of land. The preliminary results show an increase of the paramagnetic Fe{sup 3+} relative concentration from west to east in the soils investigated. Magnetite is probably mainly responsible for the observed enhancement in the susceptibility values. The magnetic response of the parent material is similar to that of the loess part of the previously investigated loess-paleosol sequences of the Argentine loess plateau.

  14. Karst Aquifer Recharge: Comments on Somaratne, N. Characteristics of Point Recharge in Karst Aquifers. Water 2014, 6, 2782–2807

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    Adrian D. Werner


    Full Text Available The article “Characteristics of Point Recharge in Karst Aquifers, Water 6: 2782–2807” by N. Somaratne evaluates various recharge estimation techniques applied to four limestone aquifers in South Australia. Somaratne [1] concludes that methods based on watertable fluctuations, groundwater modelling and water budgets are independent of recharge processes, and are therefore superior to the chloride mass balance (CMB approach for karst aquifers. The current comment offers alternative interpretations from existing field measurements and previous literature, in particular for the Uley South aquifer, which is the focus of much of the article by Somaratne [1]. Conclusions regarding this system are revised, partly to account for the misrepresentation of previous studies. The aeolianite sediments of Uley South are mostly unconsolidated or poorly consolidated, and dissolution features in the calcrete capping provide point infiltration into a predominantly unconsolidated vadose zone, whereas Somaratne’s [1] findings require that the system comprises well-developed conduits in otherwise low-conductivity limestone. Somaratne’s [1] assertion that the basic premise of CMB is violated in Uley South is disputable, given strong evidence of relatively well-mixed groundwater arising from mostly diffuse recharge. The characterization of karst aquifer recharge should continue to rely on multiple techniques, including environmental tracers such as chloride.

  15. Metallogenic evolution of uranium deposits in the Middle East and North Africa deposits (United States)

    Howari, Fares; Goodell, Philip; Salman, Abdulaty


    This paper is briefly involved in classification and distributions of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) uranium deposits. The study of these mineral systems can significantly contribute to our further understanding of the metallogeny of known and poorly explored deposits. This provides contribution to, and further enhancement of, current classifications and metallogenic models of uranium systems, allowing researchers to emphasize on unknown or poorly studied mineral systems found in MENA. The present study identified eight metallogenic types of uranium associated with: 1) the Archean rocks and intra-cratonic basins, 2) the Pan-African granites and rhyolites which are characterized by igneous activity, 3) Phanerozoic (Paleozoic) clastics, these deposits are the sedimentological response to Pan African magmatism, 4) Mesozoic (basal) clastics type e.g. Nubia sandstones which are characterized by uranium minerals, 5) regional sedimentary phosphate deposits which are categorized as geosynclinal, or continental margin deposits, on the shelf of the Tethys Ocean, 6) Cenozoic Intracratonic Felsic Magmatism of the Tibesti and Hoggar, and the sandstone U deposits of adjoining Niger. These are similar to the Pan-African magmatism metallogenic, 7) Calcretes, and 8) Resistate minerals which are often enriched in rare earth elements, sometimes including uranium. They are thus sometimes considered as U resources but poorly explored in the MENA region. These metallogenic types are described and discussed in the current paper.

  16. Braidplain, floodplain and playa lake, alluvial-fan, aeolian and palaeosol facies composing a diversified lithogenetical sequence in the permian and triassic of South Devon (England) (United States)

    Mader, Detlef

    The Permian and Triassic of South Devon (England) are a continental red bed sequence of very diversified lithogenetical composition. Within the thick series, the distribution of the main depositional environments being fluvial braidplain, fluvial floodplain and playa lake, alluvial fan, aeolian dune and calcrete palaeosol changes repeatedly in both horizontal and vertical direction. Significant sedimentary milieus such as aeolian dunes and calcrete palaeosols occur repeatedly within the succession, but are also lacking in several parts of the sequence. Fluvial braidplain deposits comprise conglomerates, sandstones, intraformational reworking horizons and mudstones and originate in channels and overbank plains of a braided river system. Conglomerates and sandstones are formed by migration of bars and spreading out of sheets during infilling of streams and aggradation of flats. Gravel is often enriched as lag pockets or veneers within steeper scour holes and kolk pots or on the plane floor of the watercourse. Finer-grained sandstones and mudstones are laid down by suspension settling in stagnant water bodies such as small lakes in the overbank area and residual pools in interbar depressions during low-stage or waning-flow in active channels or in abandoned streams. Spectacular bioturbation features in some sandstones with both horizontal tubes and vertical burrows testify to the colonization of the sediments at the bottom of the rivers with declining discharge and transport capacity. Intraformational reworking horizons with ghost-like remnants of degraded sandstones, mudstones and pedogenic carbonates document partially severe condensation of the sequence by removal of some facies elements from the depositional record. The occasionally occurring gravel-bearing mudstones or silty-clayey sandstones represent products of high-energy water surges overspilling the channel banks and transporting sandy and gravelly bed-load in limited amounts beyond the levee wall. The

  17. Génesis y evolución de los caliches miocenos del sureste de la depresión del Duero

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    Armenteros, I.


    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to describe and to study the genesis of the fossil calcretes (caliches interbedded in Miocene alluvial-fan sediments bordering the pre-Tertiary basament in the North of Segovia Province. Four types of crusts have been distinguished: brechic, massive, vertically laminated and horizontally laminated, the two later types being differentiated by their position relative to the bedding surfaces. Massive crusts show a variety of discrete carbonate components (pisoids, ooids and peloids embedded in a fine-grained matrix. Erosion of crusts and incorporation of the newly-formed fragments into a different horizon undergoing caliche-forming processes are common. "In situ" rosette like colonies and disengaged prisms of MICROCODIUM have been found. Many features, including basal elongation of the accretion laminae of pisoids and existence vadose cements, suggest that calcretes formed in vadose zones of calcimorph soil profiles under a warm climate with well-marked dry season, X-ray analysis show the existence of diagenetic pali,gorskite that, presumibly, formed before the intense precipitation of calcite in the soil profile that resulted in mature crusts, Afterwards, partial silicification as well as dolomitization to pseudosparite took place.

    El objeto de este trabajo es el estudio descriptivo y genético de los caliches fósiles situados en sedimentos de abanicos aluviales miocenos que orlan el zócalo preterciario de Honrubia Pradales (norte de la provincia de Segovia. Se reconocen cuatro tipos de costras: bréchica, masiva, laminada vertical y laminada horizontal, y las dos últimas se diferencian por su posición respecto al plano de estratificación. La costra masiva presenta una serie de elementos formados "in situ" (pisoides, ooides y peloides destacados en una matriz. Es frecuente la erosión de una costra y la inclusión de los fragmentos resultantes a un nuevo nivel que va a sufrir el proceso de costrificación, Se

  18. Reconstructing late Quaternary palaeosol development and landscape connectivity from combined soil magnetic, geochemical and micromorphological analyses: insights from the Wilgerbosch River, Great Karoo, South Africa. (United States)

    Oldknow, Chris; Hooke, Janet; Oldfield, Frank


    The characteristics, spatial and temporal patterns and drivers of Quaternary climate change across South Africa remain contentious principally due to the paucity of dated proxy records. River and fan terrace palaeosols may offer an important addition to analysis of spatially pervasive geomorphological landforms (palaeolake shorelines, terraces, dunes) conventionally used to reconstruct patterns of palaeoenvironmental change. In the Great Karoo, alluvial and colluvial exposures in the Wilgerbosch River and several of its tributaries have revealed up to five late Quaternary terraces of varying thickness, extent and pedogenic overprinting which may be of palaeoenvironmental significance. A combination of geochronology (OSL and radiocarbon), soil micromorphology, geochemistry (XRF, XRD) and soil magnetic proxies on both bulk (0-63 μm) and particle size extracts (0-4 and 32-63 μm) from major terrace palaeosols was used in order to establish: 1) changing sediment fluxes and pathways; 2) the characteristics and drivers of palaeosol formation; and 3) evaluate the suitability of these terrace palaeosols as indicators of palaeoenvironmental change. The results are used to test a conceptual model of landscape connectivity. Colluvial (slopewash, head deposits) sedimentation on the valley floors occurred around the time of the LGM due to enhanced regolith production through physical weathering. Soils overprinting these deposits (T1) are goethite-rich attesting to reducing conditions. Incision into T1 resulted in an extensive channel network forming. High concentrations of mafic minerals (Fe, Cr, Ca, Ti) and enhanced ferrimagnetism (XLF > 80) in the 32-63 μm fraction indicated connectivity with slope colluvium proximal to weathering dolerite tors. Fluvial aggradation (T2) occurred as a complex response to this phase of connectivity and terminated in the Late Glacial period (around 17±2.5 ka). The development of a rhizogenic calcrete overprinting T2 indicated an elevated

  19. Variations in the uranium isotopic compositions of uranium ores from different types of uranium deposits (United States)

    Uvarova, Yulia A.; Kyser, T. Kurt; Geagea, Majdi Lahd; Chipley, Don


    Variations in 238U/235U and 234U/238U ratios were measured in uranium minerals from a spectrum of uranium deposit types, as well as diagenetic phosphates in uranium-rich basins and peraluminous rhyolites and associated autunite mineralisation from Macusani Meseta, Peru. Mean δ238U values of uranium minerals relative to NBL CRM 112-A are 0.02‰ for metasomatic deposits, 0.16‰ for intrusive, 0.18‰ for calcrete, 0.18‰ for volcanic, 0.29‰ for quartz-pebble conglomerate, 0.29‰ for sandstone-hosted, 0.44‰ for unconformity-type, and 0.56‰ for vein, with a total range in δ238U values from -0.30‰ to 1.52‰. Uranium mineralisation associated with igneous systems, including low-temperature calcretes that are sourced from U-rich minerals in igneous systems, have low δ238U values of ca. 0.1‰, near those of their igneous sources, whereas uranium minerals in basin-hosted deposits have higher and more variable values. High-grade unconformity-related deposits have δ238U values around 0.2‰, whereas lower grade unconformity-type deposits in the Athabasca, Kombolgie and Otish basins have higher δ238U values. The δ234U values for most samples are around 0‰, in secular equilibrium, but some samples have δ234U values much lower or higher than 0‰ associated with addition or removal of 234U during the past 2.5 Ma. These δ238U and δ234U values suggest that there are at least two different mechanisms responsible for 238U/235U and 234U/238U variations. The 234U/238U disequilibria ratios indicate recent fluid interaction with the uranium minerals and preferential migration of 234U. Fractionation between 235U and 238U is a result of nuclear-field effects with enrichment of 238U in the reduced insoluble species (mostly UO2) and 235U in oxidised mobile species as uranyl ion, UO22+, and its complexes. Therefore, isotopic fractionation effects should be reflected in 238U/235U ratios in uranium ore minerals formed either by reduction of uranium to UO2 or chemical

  20. What do we really know about early diagenesis of non-marine carbonates? (United States)

    De Boever, Eva; Brasier, Alexander T.; Foubert, Anneleen; Kele, Sándor


    Non-marine carbonate rocks including cave, spring, stream, calcrete and lacustrine-palustrine sediments, are susceptible to early diagenetic processes. These can profoundly alter the carbonate fabric and affect paleoclimatic proxies. This review integrates recent insights into diagenesis of non-marine carbonates and in particular the variety of early diagenetic processes, and presents a conceptual framework to address them. With ability to study at smaller and smaller scales, down to nanometers, one can now observe diagenesis taking place the moment initial precipitates have formed, and continuing thereafter. Diagenesis may affect whole rocks, but it typically starts in nano- and micro-environments. The potential for diagenetic alteration depends on the reactivity of the initial precipitate, commonly being metastable phases like vaterite, Ca-oxalates, hydrous Mg-carbonates and aragonite with regard to the ambient fluid. Furthermore, organic compounds commonly play a crucial role in hosting these early transformations. Processes like neomorphism (inversion and recrystallization), cementation and replacement generally result in an overall coarsening of the fabric and homogenization of the wide range of complex, primary microtextures. If early diagenetic modifications are completed in a short time span compared to the (annual to millennial) time scale of interest, then recorded paleoenvironmental signals and trends could still acceptably reflect original, depositional conditions. However, even compact, non-marine carbonate deposits may behave locally and temporarily as open systems to crystal-fluid exchange and overprinting of one or more geochemical proxies is not unexpected. Looking to the future, relatively few studies have examined the behaviour of promising geochemical records, such as clumped isotope thermometry and (non-conventional) stable isotopes, in well-constrained diagenetic settings. Ongoing and future in-vitro and in-situ experimental approaches will

  1. Phytosociology of the farm Haribes in the Nama-Karoo biome of southern Namibia

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    Ben J. Strohbach


    Full Text Available Limited historic vegetation data (prior to the 1980s are available for Namibia. Finding such historic data at Haribes prompted a follow-up survey of the vegetation. We present a classification of the recent data in this paper as a first step towards comparing the two data sets. Six new associations (three with two subassociations each are formally described. The landscape at Haribes is dominated by a pan with surrounding hummock dunes. The pan supports the Lycio cinereum – Salsoletum, whilst on the hummock dunes the Salsolo – Tetragonietum schenckii can be found. The surrounding plains and escarpment can be divided into three landforms: the torras with the Monsonio umbellatae – Boscietum foetidae, the ranteveld with the Acacio senegal – Catophractetum alexandri (and two subassociations and calcrete ridges with the Zygophylo pubescentis – Leucosphaeretum bainesii. Dry river beds on the farm support two subassociations of Anthephoro pubescentis – Ziziphodetum mucronatae. The area covered by each dominant landform has been calculated after being mapped. The composition and diversity of the associations are briefly compared to other known vegetation descriptions within the Nama-Karoo. Since November 2011, Haribes has been used as a resettlement farm. This may result in the overutilisation of the limited grazing resources, to the extent that the present, fairly dense Acacio senegal – Catophractetum alexandri of the ranteveld is feared to become degraded to resemble the Monsonio umbellatae – Boscietum foetidae of the torras.Conservation implications: This paper describes six plant associations of the Nama-Karoo biome in arid southern Namibia. The information presented forms a baseline description, which can be used for future monitoring of the vegetation under altered land use.

  2. Microcodium: An extensive review and a proposed non-rhizogenic biologically induced origin for its formation (United States)

    Kabanov, Pavel; Anadón, Pere; Krumbein, Wolfgang E.


    Microcodium has been previously described as a mainly Cenozoic calcification pattern ascribed to various organisms. A review of the available literature and our data reveal two peaks in Microcodium abundance; the Moscovian-early Permian and the latest Cretaceous-Paleogene. A detailed analysis of late Paleozoic and Cenozoic examples leads to the following new conclusions. Typical Microcodium-forming unilayered 'corn-cob' aggregates of elongated grains and thick multilayered (palisade) replacing structures cannot be linked to smaller-grained intracellular root calcifications, as became widely accepted after the work of Klappa [Klappa, C.F., 1979. Calcified filaments in Quaternary calcretes: organo-mineral interactions in the subaerial vadose environment. J. Sediment. Petrol. 49, 955-968.] Typical Microcodium is recognized from the early Carboniferous (with doubtful Devonian reports) to Quaternary as a biologically induced mineralization formed via dissolution/precipitation processes in various aerobic Ca-rich soil and subsoil terrestrial environments. Morphology and δ13C signatures of Microcodium suggest that neither plants, algae, or roots and root-associated mycorrhiza regulate the formation of these fossil structures. Non-recrystallized Microcodium grains basically consist of slender (1.5-4 μm) curved radiating monocrystalline prisms with occasionally preserved hyphae-like morphology. Thin (0.5-3 μm) hypha-like canals can also be observed. These supposed hyphae may belong to actinobacteria. However, thin fungal mycelia cannot be excluded. We propose a model of Microcodium formation involving a mycelial saprotrophic organism responsible for substrate corrosion and associated bacteria capable of consuming acidic metabolites and CaCO 3 reprecipitation into the Microcodium structures.

  3. Late Pliocene and Quaternary Eurasian locust infestations in the Canary Archipelago (United States)

    Meco, J.; Muhs, D.R.; Fontugne, M.; Ramos, A.J.; Lomoschitz, A.; Patterson, D.


    The Canary Archipelago has long been a sensitive location to record climate changes of the past. Interbedded with its basalt lavas are marine deposits from the principal Pleistocene interglacials, as well as aeolian sands with intercalated palaeosols. The palaeosols contain African dust and innumerable relict egg pods of a temperate-region locust (cf. Dociostaurus maroccanusThunberg 1815). New ecological and stratigraphical information reveals the geological history of locust plagues (or infestations) and their palaeoclimatic significance. Here, we show that the first arrival of the plagues to the Canary Islands from Africa took place near the end of the Pliocene, ca. 3Ma, and reappeared with immense strength during the middle Late Pleistocene preceding MIS (marine isotope stage) 11 (ca. 420ka), MIS 5.5 (ca. 125ka) and probably during other warm interglacials of the late Middle Pleistocene and the Late Pleistocene. During the Early Holocene, locust plagues may have coincided with a brief cool period in the current interglacial. Climatically, locust plagues on the Canaries are a link in the chain of full-glacial arid-cold climate (calcareous dunes), early interglacial arid-sub-humid climate (African dust inputs and locust plagues), peak interglacial warm-humid climate (marine deposits with Senegalese fauna), transitional arid-temperate climate (pedogenic calcretes), and again full-glacial arid-cold climate (calcareous dunes) oscillations. During the principal interglacials of the Pleistocene, the Canary Islands recorded the migrations of warm Senegalese marine faunas to the north, crossing latitudes in the Euro-African Atlantic. However, this northward marine faunal migration was preceded in the terrestrial realm by interglacial infestations of locusts. ??? Locust plagues, Canary Islands, Late Pliocene, Pleistocene, Holocene, palaeoclimatology. ?? 2010 The Authors, Lethaia ?? 2010 The Lethaia Foundation.

  4. Rasgos morfologicos y petrologicos del paleokarst de la unidad superior del mioceno de la cuenca de Madrid

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    Cañaveras, J. C.


    Full Text Available In the Madrid Basin, especially in the Southem part (Mesa de Ocaña, the Miocene- Pliocene stratigraphic boundary is defined by a paleokarst sculpted on the Miocene limestones. The development of the paleokarst was completed in three main successive stages. The first one was initiated when the lacustrine sedimentary complex, settled in the basin during the Turolian, dried out. Although the water table dropped, it was still close to the surface, as indicated by the location of sub-horizontal caves in the limestone formation. The proximity of the water table favored an encroachment of vegetation into the unlithified sediment. Conduits related to the plant roots, together with the horizontal caves, represent the most prominent dissolution features of the resulting «uncovered» karst. The second stage of karstification took place after the limestones folded. It was characterized by the formation of calcretes, which exhibit typical fabrics (laminar, pisoliths, etc., on the previous profiles, providing evidence of a dry climatic stage. Karstic profiles scovered by calcretes~w ere buried by a Pliocene river system. In the south zone of the Mesa de Ocaña, far away of the fluvial complex, a third episode of karstification has been verified. This episode is defined by the accumulation of soils, basically in the synclines, which caused the dissolution and brecciation of the substrate, as it is reflected in a third type of profiles, called «brechoides». These features are consistent with a humid climate. Finally, al1 types of karst were buried by a laminar calcrete formed at the latest Pliocene. Therefore, the polyphase development of the paleokarstic surface lasted almost al1 the Pliocene. Nevertheless, figures on the order of lo5 years are envisaged as reliable to assess the duration of the first phase, the only one evenly affecting the limestone formations.En la Cuenca de Madrid y, especialmente, en la zona sur (Mesa de Ocaña, la

  5. Mineralogia de paleossolos da Formação Marília e seu significado na evolução ambiental do Maastrichtiano da Bacia Bauru, sudeste do Brasil

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    Márcio Luiz da Silva

    Full Text Available RESUMO: Solos e paleossolos refletem complexa inter-relação entre sedimentação, erosão e não-deposição. A análise dos constituintes mineralógicos de paleossolos é fundamental para a reconstituição dos fatores, processos e ambientes no qual esses se formaram. O reconhecimento de determinadas assembléias mineralógicas podem revelar as condições ambientais durante a pedogênese e através da análise quantitativa se torna possível constatar variação vertical ao longo dos perfis de paleossolos, identificando horizontes com maior concentração mineral ou lixiviação, apontando indiretamente processos ambientais que dominavam no decorrer da evolução pedogenética. O objetivo desse trabalho foi discutir o significado das fases minerais e sua quantificação na evolução ambiental e no grau de desenvolvimento dos paleossolos da Formação Marília, Maastrichtiano da Bacia Bauru. Foram descritas três seções (A1, A2, A3 da Formação Marília. A mineralogia foi determinada através da difratometria de raios-x e para a quantificação mineral foi utilizado o método de refinamento Rietveld. Os calcretes da Formação Marília são predominantemente pedogênico, com minerais autigênicos em sua maioria. A variação do teor de quartzo, calcita, paligorskita e esmectita, a micromorfologia e a diversidade de horizontes subsuperficiais (Bkm, Btkm, Bt demonstraram que os paleossolos se desenvolveram em condições gerais semiáridas, com episódios de maiores taxas de precipitação, umidade, lixiviação e dessilicação.

  6. Diagenetic origin of ironstone crusts in the Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt (United States)

    Afify, A. M.; Sanz-Montero, M. E.; Calvo, J. P.; Wanas, H. A.


    In this paper, a new interpretation of the ironstone crusts of the Bahariya Formation as late diagenetic products is provided. The siliciclastic Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation outcropping in the northern part of the Bahariya Depression (Western Desert, Egypt) is subdivided into three informal units that are mainly composed of thinly laminated siltstone, cross-bedded and massive sandstone, fossiliferous sandstone/sandy limestone and variegated shale. Abundant ironstone crusts occur preferentially within its lower and upper units but are absent in the middle unit. The ironstone crusts show selective replacement of carbonate components, including calcretes, by iron oxyhydroxides. More permeable parts of the terrigenous beds such as burrow traces, subaerial exposure surfaces, concretionary features and soft-sediment deformation structures led to heterogeneous distribution of the iron oxyhydroxides. A variety of diagenetic minerals, where goethite and hematite are the main end-products, were characterized by mineralogical analysis (XRD), petrography and SEM observation, and geochemical determinations (EMPA). Other diagenetic minerals include Fe-dolomite/ankerite, siderite, manganese minerals, barite, silica, illite/smectite mixed-layer, and bitumen. These minerals are interpreted to be formed in different diagenetic stages. Some minerals, especially those formed during eodiagenesis, show features indicative of biogenic activity. During burial, dolomite and ankerite replaced preferentially the depositional carbonates and infilled secondary porosity as well. Also during mesodiagenesis, the decomposition of organic matter resulted in the formation of bitumen and created reducing conditions favorable for the mobilization of iron-rich fluids in divalent stage. Telodiagenesis of the Cenomanian Bahariya deposits took place during the Turonian-Santonian uplift of the region. This resulted in partial or total dissolution of Fe-dolomite and ankerite which was concomitant to

  7. Lithofacies and particle-size characteristics of late Quaternary floodplain deposits along the middle reaches of the Ganga river, central Ganga plain, India (United States)

    Kanhaiya, S.; Singh, B. P.; Tripathi, Maya; Sahu, Sagrika; Tiwari, Veena


    Floodplains are flat areas lining both sides of most rivers. They are commonly inundated during high flood events and are important sites of biodiversity and human occupation and cultivation. Big city centers such as Kanpur, Allahabad, Mirzapur and Varanasi are situated on the bank of the Ganga river in central Ganga plain, India. Cliffed embankments occur on the left side of the Ganga river around the village of Jhusi, Allahabad district and Adalpura, Mirzapur district, and on the right side around the town of Jajmau, Kanpur district, around the village of Sirsa, Allahabad district, around the town of Ramnagar, Varanasi district and the village of Tanda, Chandauli district. These cliff sections were studied to determine facies types and grain-size variations along and across the cliff sections in order to elucidate the mechanism of particle transportation and sedimentation on the floodplains. It was found that the majority of the facies are composed of extremely silty and very silty slightly sandy mud, and extremely silty and very silty sandy mud, a few consisting of slightly clayey silt. Both groundwater horizons and intercalated pedogenic calcretes in the muddy facies suggest pedogenesis under arid to semiarid climatic conditions during their development. Grain-size analyses show that mean particle size ranges from 4.23-6.53 phi (coarse to fine silt). Sorting (standard deviation) shows a range of 1.57-2.94 phi, indicating that all the samples are poorly to very poorly sorted. Skewness ranges from 0.09-0.88 (near-symmetrical to very fine skewed). Kurtosis varies from 0.75-1.54, with a few exceptions indicating mesokurtic to very leptokurtic size distributions. Plots of mean grain size vs. sorting suggest that sedimentation took place in a quiet fluvial environment in the course of numerous discharge episodes. Channel and floodplain deposits of the Ganga river are clearly distinguished in these plots. Furthermore, a plot of the coarsest percentile against the

  8. Morphogenèse, climat et sociétés dans la plaine de Sfax (Tunisie depuis le Pléistocène supérieur : l'exemple du bassin versant de l'oued Chaâl-Tarfaoui

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    Noômène Fehri


    Full Text Available À travers une démarche chronologique et une approche géomorpho-historico-archéologique, cet article est une synthèse sur les rapports entre la morphogenèse, les variations climatiques et les sociétés humaines depuis le Pléistocène supérieur jusqu'à nos jours.Dans le bassin versant de l'oued Chaâl-Tarfaoui, le Pléistocène supérieur est représenté par un niveau sableux à concrétions calcaires. À l'Holocène, le remaniement de ces sables essentiellement éoliens accumulés, selon toute vraisemblance, à la fin du Würm par des vents de secteur Nord, génère deux nappes alluviales majeures : une basse nappe alluviale holocène pré-romaine (préhistorique ? et une très basse nappe alluviale holocène historique post-romaine. Les crues exceptionnelles de 1969 ont édifié une troisième nappe mais d'une épaisseur moins importante que les précédentes.This paper is a synthesis of relations between morphogenetic activity, climatic changes and human societies from Upper Pleistocene up to now, using a chronological and geomorpho-historico-archaeological approach.In wadi Chaâl-Tarfaoui catchment, Upper Pleistocene formations are sandy with nodular calcretes very probably wind blown at the end of Würmian period by southward winds. During Holocene they were removed by runoff into two main alluvial formations. The older one is the low Holocene historic pre-roman (prehistoric ? formation and the younger one is the very low Holocene historic post-roman formation. A third formation has been deposited by 1969 exceptional floods. It is thinner than the previous formations.

  9. The role of major forest fires on rock physical decay in a Mediterranean environment (United States)

    Shtober-Zisu, Nurit; Tessler, Naama; Tsatskin, Alexander; Greenbaum, Noam


    Massive destruction of carbonate rocks occurred on the slopes of Mt. Carmel (Israel), during a severe forest fire in 2010. The bedrock surfaces exhibited extensive exfoliation into flakes and spalls covering up to 80%-100% of the exposed rocks; detached boulders were totally fractured or disintegrated. The fire affected six carbonate units—various types of chalk, limestone, and dolomite. The burned flakes show a consistent tendency towards flatness, in all lithologies, as 85%-95% of the flakes were detached in the form of blades, plates, and slabs. The extent of the physical disruption depends on rock composition: the most severe response was found in the chalk formations which are covered by calcrete (Nari crusts). These rocks reacted by extreme exfoliation, at an average depth of 7.7 to 9.6 cm and a maximum depth of 20 cm. Scorched and blackened faces under the upper layer of spalls provide strong evidence that chalk breakdown took place at an early stage of the fire. The extreme response of the chalks can be explained by the laminar structure of the Nari, which served as planes of weakness for the rock destruction. Three years after the fire, the rocks continue to exfoliate and break down internally. As the harder surface of the Nari was removed, the more brittle underlying chalk is exposed to erosion. These flakes seem to play an important role in reforming the soil after the fire, especially by increasing the coarse particles percentage. These, in spite of the absence of vegetation cover, improve soil infiltration and percolation rates and cause long-term changes to the hydrological regime. It is difficult to estimate the frequency of high-intensity fires in the Carmel region over the past 2-3 million years, as well as the extension and density of the vegetation. It is even harder to assess the frequency of fires (and the destruction) of a single rock outcrop. Our findings show that rock outcrop may lose even 20 cm of its thickness in a single fire. This

  10. Coarse-Grained Tsunami Deposits in the Canary Islands: Evidence of the Tsunamigenic Potential of Volcanic Flank Failures (United States)

    Austin-Giddings, W. D.; Tappin, D. R.; McGuire, W. J.


    Coarse-grained, polymict deposits draping hillslopes at high elevations on ocean island volcanoes have been variously interpreted as sourced from sea-level high-stands and tsunamis, their origin is thus controversial. Here, we present a detailed facies analysis of coarse-grained, fossiliferous sediments located at Agaete, on the north-west coast of Gran Canaria. Previously interpreted as the result of a sea-level high-stand, these deposits have recently been re-interpreted as sourced from a tsunami resulting from a volcano flank collapse. The tsunami deposit occurs at several locations in the Agaete valley, up to 188 m a.s.l. and two kilometres inland from the coast. The sediments comprise two reverse graded units, separated by a soil horizon with calcrete. The units are up to 2 m in thickness and contain a diverse assemblage of volcanic clasts, large beachrock boulders and a marine fauna that includes planktic, shallow and deep-water benthic foraminifera. The base of the lower unit is erosional and truncates plant roots and contains large soil clasts up to 1.5m in diameter. The upper unit is finer grained and is more extensive. At one location the lower unit comprises prograding beds that are interpreted as alluvial. The alternative 'high-stand' interpretation of the coarse-grained deposit is here discounted because of the absence of supporting geomorphological features such as a marine terrace and/or a wave cut platform, the composition of the sediments and their altitude. A tsunami origin is therefore proposed. Gran Canaria is in its post-shield erosional stage of development and has experienced limited vertical uplift of ~40-50 m over the past 1.75 Ma. Thus uplift cannot account for the occurrence of the sediments at elevations of 188 m a.s.l. The Güimar lateral collapse on the neighbouring island of Tenerife (~800ka) has been cited as a possible source. U/Pb dating of the deposits is currently being undertaken.

  11. Lower Eocene alluvial paleosols (Willwood Formation, Northwest Wyoming, U.S.A.) and their significance for paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and basin analysis (United States)

    Bown, Thomas M.; Kraus, M.J.


    gley mottles, increase in numerical proportion and thickness of red versus orange coloration, and increase in abundance of calcrete glaebules indicate better drained soils and probably drier climate in late Willwood time. This drying is believed to be related to creation of rain shadows and spacing of rainfall (but not necessarily decrease in absolute rainfall) due to progressive tectonic structural elevation of the mountainous margins of the Bighorn Basin.

  12. Radial patterns of bitumen dykes around Quaternary volcanoes, provinces of northern Neuquén and southernmost Mendoza, Argentina (United States)

    Cobbold, Peter R.; Ruffet, Gilles; Leith, Leslie; Loseth, Helge; Rodrigues, Nuno; Leanza, Hector A.; Zanella, Alain


    geochemically of low grade. In contrast, a large crosscutting bitumen dyke is of higher grade and formed later. At other localities, near basement faults, bitumen dykes have cap-rocks of hydrothermal calcrete. Other dykes or their wall rocks contain hydrothermal minerals. Finally, some dykes splay upward towards the current land surface. We conclude that (1) the bitumen dykes formed during volcanic activity in Pliocene-Pleistocene times, and that (2) heat advection by hydrothermal fluids helped to generate oil, which migrated upwards or downwards from the source rock and filled intrusive veins, before solidifying to bitumen, by loss of volatile elements. This unconventional hydrocarbon system may have significant implications for regional exploration in the foothills of the Andes.

  13. Los depósitos aluviales del paleógeno basal en el sector suroriental de la Cuenca del Duero (provincia de Segovia: evolución y minerales de la arcilla característicos

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    Garzón, M. G.


    Full Text Available This paper deals with the detritic facies which represents the prearcosic cycle and the lowermost part of the arcosic cycle (Paleogene in age outcropping in the southeastern margin of the Duero Basin. On the basis of geological mapping and lithological correlation, four lithostratigraphic units, which also presents different clay minerals associations, have been distinguished: Unit T.1.1., composed by clays and quartzose sands, in which the c1ay mineral association is illite + kaolinite; unit T.1.2., of quartzose sands with ferruginous paleosoils, with smectite as the main clay mineral; unit T.2.1., of polimictic conglomerates, arcosic sands and clays, with frequent calcrete profiles and palygorskite is the most abundant mineral; unit T.2.2., composed by arcosic sands with duricrust levels resembling those of the previous unit, and with smectite and illite as the main clay minerals. The first and second units are transitional and they keep a genetic relationship corresponding lo a «First Depositional Sequence», which is large scale coarsening upwards and represents a prograding evolution from a distal braided system (T.1.1. to a proximal one (T.1.2. of humid alluvial fans. Units T.2.1. and T.2.2. belong to a «Second Depositional Sequence», which is large scale fining and reflects the transition from proximal (T.2.1. to medial (T.2.2. parts of arid to semiarid alluvial fans. From the mineralogical and sedimentological study it may be concluded that, during the deposits of these materials, an important climatic change took place. During the sedimentation of T.1.1., climate was warm and wet producing a clay mineral association (illite + kaolinite tipical of well drained areas. Unit T.1.2. represents a more arid climate with seasonal fluctuations and long dry periods, yielding smectite as the main clay mineral. Nevertheless, the more drastic change towards arid conditions took place during the sedimentation of the «Second Depositional

  14. Analysis of a intra-Carixian clay horizon into carbonate platform of the Ouarsenis (Algeria): composition, dynamic and paleo-climatic implication

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    Benhamou, M.; Salhi, A. [Oran Univ., Faculte des Sciences de la Terre et de l' Amenagement du Territoire, Dpt. de Geologie (Algeria)


    During the Late Sinemurian a carbonate platform has developed on the Ouarsenis area (external Tell o f the Algerian Alpine belt) with setting deposits of the Kef Sidi Amar Carbonate Formation. A first maximum flooding materialized by a brachiopods (Zeilleriids) layer, is occurring during the Late Carixian. The Late Carixian deepening has been followed by a sea-level fall documented by several meters incisions filled by transgressive breccia and conglomerates. After this episode, this material was sealed by a pedogenic bed (0,05 to 0,20 m) which corresponds to a yellow clay deposit containing well rounded particles interpreted as pedo-genetic globules. These corpuscles are composed of reddish and hardened clay, corroded quartz grains, rhombic and zoned dolomite crystals and ankerite, monocrystalline and xeno-morphous detrital quartz grains (1-2 mm). The observed characteristics allow to recognize a typical calcrete. They are the result of pedo-genetic diagenesis developed inside the phreatic water-table near the surface: this is an alteration profile. The mineralogic fraction has been analyzed by X-Ray which show results of association clay mineral as a predominance of illite (85%) and mixed-layer illite-montmorillonite (I-M, 10%) associated with a low ration of chlorite (5%) and kaolinite trace (1%). This mineralogic clay association indicates a shallow water (hydro-morphic zone). Among these clay minerals, the illite reveals the precious indications in a source area. In this case, it comes from the decomposition of the schist paleo-relief located in the internal domain. This rock was transformed by acid leaching (action of the sour humus) into kaolinite with the presence of the quartzification. The origin of the mixed-layer clay I-M (10%) is the result of the active pedogenesis. The simultaneous presence of the illite, chlorite, kaolinite and the mixed-layer clay I-M seems to be result from the erosion exercised on the alteration product or arenitisation of the

  15. Shrub patterns and surface hydrological fluxes in a semiarid hillslope (United States)

    Svoray, Tal; Sela, Shai; Assouline, Shmuel


    Climate-vegetation interactions and feedbacks are the subject of many studies and recently, the rainfall-plant-soil interplay in the hillslope scale is in the foci of ecohydrology. As most of the models in this scale rely on synthetic environments, there is a need for studies that use remotely sensed and in-situ data to examine the effect of hillslope hydrological processes on ecosystem functioning and plant population spread in a more realistic manner. A major problem is the difficulty encountered in simulating water budget and measuring vegetation at the individual level. In this research, a typical hillslope was chosen offering variations in slope decline and orientation, soil depth and vegetation cover, at the LTER Lehavim site in the center of Israel (31020' N, 34045' E). The annual rainfall is 290 mm, the soils are brown lithosols and arid brown loess and the dominant rock formations are Eocenean limestone and chalk with patches of calcrete. The vegetation is characterized by scattered dwarf shrubs (dominant species Sarcopoterium spinosum) and patches of herbaceous vegetation, mostly annuals, are spread between rocks and dwarf shrubs. Eight areal photographs of the slope, between the years 1978-2005, were acquired, georeferenced and shrub cover was estimated based on supervised classification of the airphotos. An extensive spatial database of soil hydraulic and environmental parameters (e.g. slope, radiation, bulk density, soil depth) was measured in the field and interpolated to continuous maps using geostatistical techniques and physically-based modeling. This spatio-temporal database was used to characterize 1187 spatial cells serving as an input to a numeric hydrological model (Hydrus 1D) solving the flow equations to predict soil water content at the single storm and seasonal scales. The model was verified by sampling soil moisture at 63 random locations at the research site, during three consecutive storms in the 2008-09 rainy seasons. The results show

  16. Genesis of petroduric and petrocalcic horizons in Latinamerica volcanic soils (United States)

    Quantin, Paul


    -arid climate. A complex soil profile of petrocalcic Phaeozem, derived from 4 pyroclastic layers, shows among its successive horizons: in layer 3 the 'upper cangahua' with petrocalcic features and in layer 4 the 'lower cangahua' with hard fragipan properties. The features of the petrocalcic cangahua differ from a Mexican fragipan (Hidalgo & al 1997) by: a hard calcrete, higher alkalinity, stability in water after HCl and NaOH treatment, 2-4% of 'free silica'. The macro and micro-morphology shows: the laminar calcite crust, at the top of cangahua, with alternate micrite-sparite layers; downwards, microcalcite infillings in the voids of a prismatic structure, invading the groundmass by epigenesis of clay sheets, together whith microcrystalline opal. From these data this scenario is inferred: after a former weathering of volcanic glass to form a clayey matrix, as well amorphous silica and microcalcite coatings and infillings, then a second process, perhaps due to drier climate, produced the laminar crust formation, by invasion of microcalcite in the matrix. Conclusion. The petrocalcic horizon in Ecuador was produced by two processes: from a former phase of weathering giving a fragic horizon to a second producing the accumulation of calcite and some opal over and inside the matrix, due to climate change. The petroduric horizon in Mexico, is the product of a very complex soil transformation, from a former clayey Nitisol, through four successive processes: clay eluviation-illuviation, alternate redoximorphy, clay degradation, finally a progressive silicification over and inside the groundmass, probably due to pedoclimate change. References F. Elsass, D. Dubroeucq & M. Thiry. 2000. Clay Minerals, 35, 477-489. C. Hidalgo, P. Quantin & F. Elsass. 1997. Memorias del III Simposio Internacional sobre Suelos volcanicos endurecidos (Quito 1996), p. 65-72. - P. Quantin & C. Zebrowski. 1997. idem, p. 29-47.- J.P. Rossignol & P. Quantin. 1997. idem, p. 73-82.

  17. Sedimentología y petrología de los abanicos aluviales y facies adyacentes en el Neogeno de Paracuellos de Jarama (Madrid

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    Alonso, M.


    Full Text Available Lateral and vertical variations of middle Miocene lithofacies (Lower and Intermediate Units of the Miocene of the Madrid Basin have been analyzed in the Paracuellos de Jarama area, near Madrid. A complete transition from medial to distal alluvial fan facies and palustrinelshaltow 1acustrine deposits can be observed. This sedimentary evolution is inferred from the detailed sedimentological. analysis carried out in each of the previously defined lithostratigraphic units: a1 Green shale and dolomite Unit, a2 Brown clays, arkosic and carbonate Unit; these two units are linked together into a Lower Group. b Coarse Arkosic Unit (Upper Group. Facies relationsbips within the Lower Group show a lateral change pattern between alluvial fan deposits, and palustrine deposits. Also the former ones gradually prograde over the palustrine deposits, as deduced from vertical evolution in the southernmost parts of the area. Upper Group represents a sudden progradation of the alluvial fan systems, that extensively overlie the distal facies observed in the Lower Group.
    Wide development of calcretes, sepiolite deposits, and nodular chert is an outstanding feature in the most distal parts of the alluvial fan bodies. They are studied in some detail provided the scarcity of well described examples of facies relationships in the kinds of deposits.

    Se estudia en este trabajo la variación lateral y vertical de las litofacies del Mioceno medio (Unidades Inferior e Intermedia en el área de Paracuellos de Jarama, próxima a Madrid, quedando representada en este área una transición completa entre depósitos de facies medias de abenícos aluviales y depósitos de ámbitos palustres. Estas conclusiones se extraen a partir del análisis sedimentológico realizado en cada una de las unidades previamente definidas: a Unidad de arcillas verdes y carbonatos y Unidad de arcillas pardas, arcillas y carbonatos en el Conjunto Inferior; b Unidad de

  18. Past and present vegetation ecology of Laetoli, Tanzania. (United States)

    Andrews, Peter; Bamford, Marion


    -Croton-Lepidotrichilia; and, finally, recent ash falls have produced immature alkaline soils with calcrete formation and short grass vegetation. All of these vegetation associations have been modified by human disturbance to greater or lesser degrees, and we have attempted to allow for this both by basing the associations on the least modified areas and by predicting how the associations, or parts of associations, have been altered by human action. Past land forms at Laetoli have been based on the geology and geomorphology of the area. Past vegetation patterns were estimated by superimposing present distributions of plant associations on equivalent landforms in the past, assuming similar climate to the present. This indicates the overall pattern of vegetation at Laetoli to have been a mosaic of low and tall deciduous woodlands and with riverine woodland and forest associations along water courses. Low woodlands would have been dominated by Acacia species, and tall woodlands by Combretum-Albizia species, with increasing increments of montane species, such as Croton species, to the east of the area. Riverine woodlands would have been dominated by Acacia-Euclea species, with wetter associations (downriver or linked with spring activity) supporting gallery forest with Ficus, Celtis, and Croton species. These are all species associations common in the area today, and with landforms little changed in the past, and assuming similar climate, there is every reason to predict that they would have been present in the past. Moreover, Pliocene environments lack the human disturbance that has destroyed much of the present day vegetation. Presence of woodlands is supported by fossil wood attributed to several of the tree species present in the area today and by similarities in the mammalian community structure between past and present. Having established the pattern for Pliocene vegetation based on climatic variables existing today, we then predict the effects of past variations in climate.

  19. Estimation of groundwater recharge via deuterium labelling in the semi-arid Cuvelai-Etosha Basin, Namibia. (United States)

    Beyer, Matthias; Gaj, Marcel; Hamutoko, Josefina Tulimeveva; Koeniger, Paul; Wanke, Heike; Himmelsbach, Thomas


    The stable water isotope deuterium ((2)H) was applied as an artificial tracer ((2)H2O) in order to estimate groundwater recharge through the unsaturated zone and describe soil water movement in a semi-arid region of northern central Namibia. A particular focus of this study was to assess the spatiotemporal persistence of the tracer when applied in the field on a small scale under extreme climatic conditions and to propose a method to obtain estimates of recharge in data-scarce regions. At two natural sites that differ in vegetation cover, soil and geology, 500 ml of a 70% (2)H2O solution was irrigated onto water saturated plots. The displacement of the (2)H peak was analyzed 1 and 10 days after an artificial rain event of 20 mm as well as after the rainy season. Results show that it is possible to apply the peak displacement method for the estimation of groundwater recharge rates in semi-arid environments via deuterium labelling. Potential recharge for the rainy season 2013/2014 was calculated as 45 mm a(-1) at 5.6 m depth and 40 mm a(-1) at 0.9 m depth at the two studied sites, respectively. Under saturated conditions, the artificial rain events moved 2.1 and 0.5 m downwards, respectively. The tracer at the deep sand site (site 1) was found after the rainy season at 5.6 m depth, corresponding to a displacement of 3.2 m. This equals in an average travel velocity of 2.8 cm d(-1) during the rainy season at the first site. At the second location, the tracer peak was discovered at 0.9 m depth; displacement was found to be only 0.4 m equalling an average movement of 0.2 cm d(-1) through the unsaturated zone due to an underlying calcrete formation. Tracer recovery after one rainy season was found to be as low as 3.6% at site 1 and 1.9% at site 2. With an in situ measuring technique, a three-dimensional distribution of (2)H after the rainy season could be measured and visualized. This study comprises the first application of the peak displacement method using a

  20. Stress Patterns Across South Africa: Something Amiss? (United States)

    Andreoli, Marco; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Delvaux De Fenffe, Damien; Durrheim, Ray; Fagereng, Ake; Heidbach, Oliver; Van Der Merwe, Nielen; Saalmann, Kerstin; Saunders, Ian; Hodge, Matthew; Logue, Andrew; Malephane, Hlompho; Muaka, Joseph J.


    To mitigate the uncertainties in assessing the geohazards and rock conditions that affect the nuclear, mining (including hydrocarbon extraction) and civil engineering activities in South Africa, the authors are working to improve the data coverage concerning the present day stress field. In principle, this implies constraining the principal compressive stresses (σ1>σ2>σ3) or at least the maximum horizontal compressive stress (σH) because knowledge of these parameters may determine the reactivation potential of known faults, or the behaviour of large excavations and wells. By contrast, much of the subcontinent is under-represented in the World Stress Map database. For this reason we have taken a number of steps, firstly by installing a compact Trillium seismic sensor at Stofkloof (Namaqualand; adjacent to the Vaalputs low and intermediate level radioactive waste disposal facility) and 1-sec sensors at Aggeneys and Koffiemeul (Bushmanland). All stations are equipped with Reftek data loggers and powered by solar panels. The data from these stations will be integrated with data from the national network to obtain focal mechanism solutions for seismic events in the Northern Cape - southernmost Namibia region (also known as the Grootvloer cluster). These neotectonic stress tensors are then combined with σH parameters obtained from calliper logs of off-shore wells and from the geometry of joints, faults and sheared fractures in palaeosols (Bushmanland), soils and calcrete (NW Free State) and aeolianites (southern Cape). We also include underground rock engineering phenomenological observations and measurements, and data in the public domain. Our data consistently indicate a NNW-SSE oriented σH (Wegener Stress Anomaly or WSA) that prevails across most of central, southern and western South Africa, Namibia up to the Ruacana hydroelectric power plant at the Angola border. However, in the Congo basin, a few earthquake focal mechanisms suggest rotation of the regional

  1. Spatiotemporal evolution of water content at the rainfall-event scale under soil surface sealing conditions (United States)

    Sela, S.; Svoray, T.; Assouline, S.


    Surface water content dynamics rules the partitioning between infiltration, runoff, and evaporation fluxes. Extending the knowledge on factors controlling top-soil water content temporal stability (TS) is needed to calibrate and validate various remote sensing technologies. Spatiotemporal evolution of water content is highly non-linear, being affected by various factors at different spatial and temporal scales. In semi-arid climates, this evolution is significantly affected by the formation of surface seals, shown in previous studies to significantly reduce both infiltration and evaporation fluxes from the soil. The drying regime in a natural sealed soil system exerts a sharp contrast in the soil profile - a very dry seal is superimposed on top of a wetter soil layer. One question is thus, whether seal layers contribute to or destroy temporal stability of top soil water content at the hillslope scale. To address this question, a typical hillslope (0.115 km2) was chosen at the LTER Lehavim site in the south of Israel (31020' N, 34045' E) offering different aspects and a classic geomorphologic banding. The annual rainfall is 297 mm, the soils are brown lithosols and arid brown loess and the dominant rock formations are Eocenean limestone and chalk with patches of calcrete. The vegetation is characterised by scattered dwarf shrubs (dominant species Sarcopoterium spinosum) and patches of herbaceous vegetation, mostly annuals, are spread between rocks and dwarf shrubs. An extensive spatial database of soil hydraulic and environmental parameters (e.g. slope, radiation, bulk density) was measured in the field and interpolated to continuous maps using geostatistical techniques and physically based modelling. To explore the effect of soil surface sealing, Mualem and Assouline [1989] model describing the change in hydraulic parameters resulting from soil seal formation were applied. This spatio-temporal database was used to characterise 8240 spatial cells (3X3m2) serving as

  2. Pseudospherulitic fibrous calcite from the Quaternary shallow lacustrine carbonates of the Farafra Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt: A primary precipitate with possible bacterial influence (United States)

    Wanas, H. A.


    Pseudospherulitic fibrous calcite (PFC) has been found as a major constituent (85-90%) within thin massive limestone beds of the Quaternary mudflat-shallow lacustrine facies association (1.5-2 m thick) that forms part of combined facies associations of the Quaternary clastic-carbonate unit (25-30 m thick) at Bir-Karawein area in the Farafra Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. The thin massive limestone beds (2-5 cm thick) are devoid of pedogenic features and marine fossils. They form a rhythmic cyclic succession with thin massive mudrocks (5-10 cm thick). The mudflat-shallow lacustrine facies association herein occurs within a depositional sequence of distal alluvial-floodplain (6-12 m thick) and palustrine (1.5-4.5 m thick) facies associations. The PFC is a composed of loosely packed rounded to sub-rounded single low-Mg-calcite crystals (150-250 μm-sized) with intracrystalline fibrous microfabric marked by fibers (150-250 μm long and 10-20 μm wide) radiating from the center of the individual crystals and displaying irregular internal growth with lobate pattern. The PFC crystals show non-planar to highly irregular intercrystalline boundaries. Under SEM, the individual crystal fibers group of PFC form ellipsoid to sub-globular bodies. Each PFC crystal exhibits successive zones of thick non-luminescence and thin brightly orange to dull luminescence. The matrix (10-15%) between the PFC crystals is mainly a honeycomb-like smectite. The PFC is postulated to be a primary precipitate. This concept is reached because the PFC: (i) does not display the criteria of typical Microcodium structures, root-calcification, speleothem structures, calcite spherulites of laminar calcretes, and calcitization of precursor dolomite or aragonite, (ii) possesses homogenous compositional and textural characteristics, and (iii) occurs within limestone beds that lie in between impermeable massive mudrock beds that dampen diagenesis. A role for possible bacterial contribution in crystallization of

  3. Sequestration of Soil Carbon as Secondary Carbonates (Invited) (United States)

    Lal, R.


    Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center The Ohio State University Columbus, OH 43210 USA Abstract World soils, the major carbon (C) reservoir among the terrestrial pools, contain soil organic C (SOC) and soil inorganic C (SIC). The SIC pool is predominant in soils of arid and semi-arid regions. These regions cover a land area of about 4.9x109 ha. The SIC pool in soils containing calcic and petrocalcic horizons is estimated at about 695-748 Pg (Pg = 1015 g = 1 gigaton) to 1-m depth. There are two types of carbonates. Lithogenic or primary carbonates are formed from weathering of carbonaceous rocks. Pedogenic or secondary carbonates are formed by dissolution of CO2 in the soil air to form carbonic acid and precipitation as carbonates of Ca+2 or Mg+2. It is the availability of Ca+2 or Mg+2 from outside the ecosystem that is essential to sequester atmospheric CO2. Common among outside sources of Ca+2 or Mg+2 are irrigation water, aerial deposition, sea breeze, fertilizers, manure and other amendments. The decomposition of SOC and root respiration may increase the partial pressure of CO2 in the soil air and lead to the formation of HCO_3^- upon dissolution in H20. Precipitation of secondary carbonates may result from decreased partial pressure of CO2 in the sub-soil, increased concentration of Ca+2, Mg+2 and HCO_3^- in soil solution, and decreased soil moisture content by evapotranspiration. Transport of bicarbonates in irrigated soils and subsequent precipitation above the ground water (calcrete), activity of termites and other soil fauna, and management of urban soils lead to formation of secondary carbonates. On a geologic time scale, weathering of silicate minerals and transport of the by-products into the ocean is a geological process of sequestration of atmospheric CO2. Factors affecting formation of secondary carbonates include land use, and soil and crop management including application of biosolids, irrigation and the quality of irrigation water

  4. Scale, thresholds and connectivity: sediment pathways and delivery from the patch to the catchment scale (United States)

    Cammeraat, L. H.


    Geomorphological processes including soil erosion are active in specific spatio-temporal domains and lead eventually to various emerging soil properties and landscape structures which are evidently also scale dependent. In this study the scale and threshold dependency of landscapes will be compared involving three different landscapes from the temperate, Mediterranean and semi-arid Sahelian geo-ecosystems, especially with regard to the connectivity of water and sediment redistribution. The dominant processes and feed-backs interwoven with soil erosion processes will be discussed from a hierarchical theory type of approach. However, current processes are almost always affected by the presence of inherited soil and landscape properties that might be formed under very different climatological conditions than those that are dominant today. Another important factor in these processes is the role of animals and plants. It will be shown that in all discussed geo-ecosystems plants and animals can be seen as geo-ecosystem engineers and are also important at broader scales with respect to runoff generation and sediment transport. For the temperate zone a case study from the cuesta landscape of the Paris Basin will be discussed, showing that fine scale, soil physico-chemical processes, soil animal and vegetation related processes lead to the emergence of partial areas and also play an important role in the formation of the cuestas itself. For the Mediterranean a case study is discussed where vegetation pattern heterogeneity determines water and sediment distribution from the patch to the sub-catchment scale leading to the emergence of either sheetwash generated slopes (pediments) or concentrated flow generated slopes (gullies), but where inherited landscape elements such as pediments with calcretes strongly affect runoff generation and the availability of sediments and hence have a strong impact on the sediment redistribution and measured erosion rates that strongly vary with

  5. Ediacaran stromatolites and intertidal phosphorite of the Salitre Formation, Brazil: Phosphogenesis during the Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event (United States)

    Caird, R. A.; Pufahl, P. K.; Hiatt, E. E.; Abram, M. B.; Rocha, A. J. D.; Kyser, T. K.


    of hydrothermal veins range from - 4.7‰ to - 3.0‰ (mean = - 4.2‰) reflecting equilibration with temperatures > 80 °C. δ13C values are between - 7.0‰ and + 5.6‰ (mean = - 1.8‰,). Late lateritic weathering produced calcretes with δ18O values between - 3.3‰ and - 1.3‰, and δ13C values from - 9.2‰ to - 8.0‰ (mean values are - 1.8‰ and - 8.7‰, respectively). Petrographic analysis, generally low δ18O, and high δ13C values suggest hydrothermal dolomitization and remobilization of P led to secondary phosphate mineralization of intertidal stromatolite biostromes to produce economic phosphorite. Collectively, these results suggest that the benthic P-cycle in the Neoproterozoic was more complex than previously surmised and emphasize the multifaceted significance of microbial, paleoenvironmental, and diagenetic processes that allowed phosphorite to accumulate on the São Franciscan craton. Such information further elucidates attributes of the onset of Earth's second major phosphogenic episode, which is roughly coincident with the Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event (NOE) and the evolution of multicellular animals.

  6. Petroduric and 'petrosepiolitic' horizons in soils of Namaqualand, South Africa Horizontes petrodúricos y "petrosepiolíticos" en suelos de Namaqualand, Suráfrica Horizontes petrodúricos e “petrosepiolíticos” em solos de Namaqualand, África do Sul

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    Michele Louise Francis


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    Indurated, light-coloured 'sepiocrete' horizons have been found in Namaqualand Calcisols and Durisols. These horizons resembled calcrete but were non- to only mildly calcareous, resisted slaking in acid and alkali, and often broke with a conchoidal fracture. The presence of elevated quantities of sepiolite in the bulk-soil was confirmed by XRD analysis. The degree of induration in some these horizons suggested cementation by silica, and so in this paper the slaking properties, bulk chemistry, mineralogy and micromorphology of these horizons are compared with the typical silica-cemented, reddish-brown petroduric/duripan (dorbank encountered in the region. 'Sepiocrete' horizons are chemically, mineralogically and morphologically distinct from the petrocalcic and petroduric horizons with which they are commonly associated. Micromorphology of the petroduric horizons revealed prominent illuviation in the form of oriented clay parallel to grains and crescent coatings on voids, a red matrix due to iron oxides, and translucent, isotropic amorphous silica coatings on grains and voids. In the 'sepiocrete' horizons, sepiolite appeared as a matrix of interlocking, sub-parallel fibres while the amorphous material was localised. The amorphous material was silica-rich with prominent aluminium and lesser magnesium; light brown under plane polarised light; not completely isotropic and had a lower birefringence than the sepiolite. The calcite was usually micritic, but also appeared as loose granules and as elongate crystals in a sepiolite matrix. The presence of the laminar Si-Al -rich areas on the sections suggested at the least localised duric properties and so mutual reinforcement of sepiolite and silica is possible. However, the 'sepiocrete' horizons did not meet the slaking requirements of the petroduric (dorbank horizons and are distinct in appearance to the typical petroduric horizons in the region. They contained