Sediment yield exceeds sediment production in arid region drainage basins

E. M. Clapp*, P. R. Bierman, A. P. Schick, J. Lekach, Y. Enzel, M. Caffee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


We use 10 Be and 26 Al to determine long-term sediment generation rates, identify significant sediment sources, and test for landscape steady state in Nahal Yael, an extensively studied, hyperarid drainage basin in southern Israel. Comparing a 33 yr sediment budget with 33 paired 10 Be and 26 Al analyses indicates that short-term sediment yield (113-138 t · km -2 · yr -1 ) exceeds long-term sediment production (74 ± 16 t · km -2 · yr -1 ) by 53%-86%. The difference suggests that the basin is not in steady state, but is currently evacuating sediment accumulated during periods of more rapid sediment generation and lower sediment yield. Nuclide data indicate that (1) sediment leaving the basin is derived primarily from hillslope colluvium, (2) bedrock weathers more rapidly beneath a cover of colluvium than when exposed, and (3) long-term erosion rates of granite, schist, and amphibolite are similar.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)995-998
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmogenic
  • Erosion rates
  • Nahal Yael
  • Sediment generation rates


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