Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aging Africa: Cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa

Date:
August 29, 2014
Source:
Geological Society of America
Summary:
A cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa has been presented by researchers. By measuring beryllium-10 in river sediment samples, they show that south-central South Africa is eroding at the slow rate of about five meters per million years, consistent with rates in other non-tectonically active regions.

September 2014 GSA Today cover image: Iron-rich silcrete mantles beveled quartzite in south-central South Africa. Deep valleys dissect the landscape and steep hillslopes separate the valley bottoms from the flat, gently sloping pediments.
Credit: Image courtesy Paul Bierman

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont-Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa. By measuring beryllium-10 (10Be) in river sediment samples, they show that south-central South Africa is eroding at the slow rate of about five meters per million years, consistent with rates in other non-tectonically active regions.

Related Articles


By measuring 10Be and aluminum-26 (26Al) in exposed quartzites, Bierman and colleagues find that undeformed upland surfaces have changed little since the Pliocene, with minimum exposure ages averaging 1.3 million years and maximum erosion rates averaging 0.34 meters per million years, and no Quaternary movement on faults that displace the quartzite but not the silcrete-mantled pediment surfaces.

10Be measurements in exposed fault scarp samples from the only recognized Quaternary-active fault are consistent with 1.5 m of displacement occurring at 25,000 years ago. They conclude that rates of landscape change on the upland pediment surfaces are an order of magnitude lower than basin-average erosion rates and that, as isostatic response to regional denudation uplifts the entire landscape at several meters per million years, valleys deepen, isolating stable upland surfaces and creating the spectacular relief for which the region is famous.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Geological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul R. Bierman, Ryan Coppersmith, Kathryn Hanson, Johann Neveling, Eric W. Portenga, Dylan H. Rood. A cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southern Africa. GSA Today, 2014; 24 (9): 4 DOI: 10.1130/GSATG206A.1

Cite This Page:

Geological Society of America. "Aging Africa: Cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140829135404.htm>.
Geological Society of America. (2014, August 29). Aging Africa: Cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140829135404.htm
Geological Society of America. "Aging Africa: Cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140829135404.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solar Impulse Departs Myanmar for China

Solar Impulse Departs Myanmar for China

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Myanmar&apos;s second biggest city of Mandalay and heads for China&apos;s Chongqing, the fifth flight of a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prince Charles Touts Importance of 'Earth Hour'

Prince Charles Touts Importance of 'Earth Hour'

AP (Mar. 28, 2015) People across Asia gathered to watch as the lights in their cities went out as part of Earth Hour 2015, an environmental awareness campaign that Prince Charles called a reminder "that together we have the power to change things." (March 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins