In this work, we utilize a novel application of cosmogenic 21Ne measurements in chert to compare exposure times measured in eroding surfaces in the central Jordanian Plateau with exposure times from chert pebbles transported by the Miocene Hazeva River. The Miocene Hazeva River was a large fluvial system (estimated catchment size > 100 000 km2) that drained the Arabian Plateau and Sinai Peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea during the early-to-mid Miocene. It was established after the rifting of the Red Sea uplifted the Arabian Plateau during the Oligocene. Following late-Miocene-to-early-Pliocene subsidence along the Dead Sea rift, the Hazeva drainage system was abandoned and dissected, resulting in new drainage divides on either side of the rift. We find modern erosion rates derived from cosmogenic 21Ne, 26Al, and 10Be in exposed in situ chert nodules to be extremely slow (between 2-4 mm kyr-1). Comparison between modern and paleo-erosion rates, measured in chert pebbles, is not straightforward, as cosmogenic 21Ne was acquired partly during bedrock erosion and partly during transport of these pebbles in the Hazeva River. However, 21Ne exposure times calculated in Miocene cherts are generally shorter (ranging between 0C59-0 and 242±113 kyr) compared to exposure times calculated in the currently eroding chert nodules presented here (269±49 and 378±76 kyr) and other chert surfaces currently eroding in hyperarid environments. Miocene exposure times are shorter even when considering that they account for bedrock erosion in addition to maintained transport along this large river. Shorter exposure times in Miocene cherts correspond to faster paleo-erosion rates, which we attribute to a combination of continuous surface uplift and significantly wetter climatic conditions during the early-to-mid Miocene.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support. This research has been supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 385/14).
Acknowledgements. This work was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF grant number 385/14 to Ari Matmon) and further supported by the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF travel grant T-2017229 to Michal Ben-Israel). We greatly appreciate the intensive work and insightful comments by Taylor Schildgen, Marissa Tremblay, and an anonymous reviewer. Our gratitude to Yona Geller, Ofir Tirosh, and Yuval Burstyn for laboratory and field assistance. Michal Ben-Israel would like to thank the technical and administrative staff at the Berkeley Geochronology Center for their assistance and support. This work was performed in part under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, United States under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. This is contribution LLNL-JRNL-788357.
© 2020 Author(s).