Rock varnish coats subaerially exposed rock surfaces on the Messak Settafet plateau (SE Libya, central Sahara). Holocene surfaces host three microlayers formed by different accretion processes that record a climatic transition from a wet environment to progressively more arid conditions. SEM-EDS and optical investigations shed light on the processes leading to the formation of microlaminae, while direct AMS 14C dating on microlayers and relative radiocarbon dating on dark varnished Pastoral–Neolithic stone monuments suggest a reliable chronology for varnish development. The innermost microlayer includes illuvial clay and calcite, incorporated during the Early to Middle Holocene (9200 to 5500 uncal. YBP) under wet environmental conditions. The second microlayer is more typical Mn-rich rock varnish, biomineralized during a phase of growing aridity in the Middle Holocene (6000 to 4000 uncal. YBP). The upper microlayer is composed of mostly aeolian dust, and it dates back to the last hyperarid millennia. A positive correlation between varnish chronological development and climate changes in the Sahara reflects also broad regional control on microlamination deposition.
|Titolo:||Holocene rock varnish on the Messak plateau (Libyan Sahara) : chronology of weathering processes|
|Autori interni:||ZERBONI, ANDREA (Primo)|
|Parole Chiave:||Rock varnish ; Chronology ; Holocene ; Climate change ; Central Sahara|
|Data di pubblicazione:||dic-2008|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.06.010|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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