Geosciences Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 59–68 | Cite as

Cosmogenic nuclides (10Be and 26Al) erosion rate constraints in the Badain Jaran Desert, northwest China: implications for surface erosion mechanisms and landform evolution

  • Tong Zhao
  • Wenjing LiuEmail author
  • Zhifang Xu
  • Taoze Liu
  • Sheng Xu
  • Lifeng Cui
  • Chao Shi


Both tectonics and climate affect surface erosion and change the landform. Long-term surface erosion rates determined by in situ produced cosmogenic nuclides are useful quantitative constraints for landform evolution in geological time scale. Measurements of cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al in the granitic rocks exposed in the Badain Jaran Desert, give a mean erosion rate of 7.3 ± 2.6 m/Ma, which is an order of magnitude higher than those reported in other extremely arid regions. Tectonic activity is supposed to be the first order control on regional erosion rate by comparing the 10Be erosion rates of arid regions with different precipitation ranges and tectonic activities worldwide. However the higher erosion rates in the Badain Jaran Desert compared with other arid regions within the stable tectonic background were attributed to the wind erosion and periodically warmer and wetter climate since late Pleistocene. Besides, the estimated eroded mass flux of 7.8 × 104 t/y suggests that erosion products of bedrocks in the Badian Jaran Desert only contribute minor desert deposits, which indicates massive exogenous materials input to the desert.

Key words

cosmogenic nuclides Badain Jaran Desert erosion rate erosion mechanisms landform evolution 


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Copyright information

© The Association of Korean Geoscience Societies and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tong Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wenjing Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Zhifang Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Taoze Liu
    • 5
  • Sheng Xu
    • 6
  • Lifeng Cui
    • 5
  • Chao Shi
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.CAS Center for Excellence in Life and PaleoenvironmentBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and Department of GeosciencesPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuiyang, GuizhouChina
  6. 6.Scottish Universities Environmental Research CenterEast KilbrideUK

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