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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-48
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).
Colluvial deposits as a possible weathering reservoir in uplifting mountains
Sébastien Carretier1, Yves Godderis1, Javier Martinez2, Martin Reich2,3, and Pierre Martinod2,1 1GET, IRD, CNRS, CNES, OMP, UPS, Université de Toulouse, 14 avenue E. Belin, 31400, Toulouse, France
2Department of Geology, FCFM, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
3Andean Geothermal Center of Excellence (CEGA), FCFM, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Abstract. The role of mountain uplift in the global climate over geological times is controversial. At the heart of this debate is the capacity of rapid denudation to drive silicate weathering, a CO2 consumer. Here we present the results of a 3D model that couples erosion and weathering during mountain uplift, in which the weathered material is traced during its stochastic transport from the hillslopes to the mountain outlet. During mountain uplift, the erosion rate increases and the climate cools, which thins the regolith and produces a hump in the weathering rate evolution. Nevertheless, lateral river erosion drives mass wasting and the temporary storage of colluvial deposits on the valley borders. This new reservoir is comprised of fresh material which has a residence time ranging from several years up to several thousand years. During this period, the weathering of colluvium sustains the mountain weathering flux at a significant level. The relative weathering contribution of colluvium depends on the area covered by regolith on the hillslopes. For mountains sparsely covered by regolith during cold periods, colluvium produce most of the simulated weathering flux for a large range of erosion parameters and precipitation rate patterns. In addition to other reservoirs such as deep fractured bedrock, colluvial deposits may help to maintain a substantial and constant weathering flux in rapidly uplifting mountains during cooling periods.

Citation: Carretier, S., Godderis, Y., Martinez, J., Reich, M., and Martinod, P.: Colluvial deposits as a possible weathering reservoir in uplifting mountains, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-48, in review, 2017.
Sébastien Carretier et al.
Sébastien Carretier et al.
Sébastien Carretier et al.

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Short summary
The role of mountain uplift in the global climate over geological times is controversial. Previous soil column models suggest that weathering decreases at high denudation rate. We present the results of a 3D model that couples erosion and weathering, a CO2 consumer during mountain uplift. Our model suggests that the weathering of temporarily stocked colluvium may contribute significantly to the mountain weathering at high denudation rates.
The role of mountain uplift in the global climate over geological times is controversial....
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