A 30000 yr record of erosion rates from cosmogenic 10Be in middle European river terraces

M. Schaller, F. von Blanckenburg, A. Veldkamp, L.A. Tebbens, N. Hovius, P.W. Kubik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)


Cosmogenic 10Be in river-borne quartz sand records a time-integrated erosion rate representative of an entire drainage basin. When sequestered in a terrace of known age, paleo-erosion rates may be recovered from the nuclide content of the terrace material. Paleo-erosion rates between 30 and 80 mm/kyr are determined from terrace sediments 200 to 30000 yr in age of the Allier and Dore Rivers, France, and the Meuse (Maas) River, the Netherlands. Erosion rates determined from cosmogenic nuclides on terraces from the Allier River are consistent with rates derived from the sedimentary fill of a lake in the Allier catchment. A strong decrease in cosmogenic nuclide-derived erosion rates from terraces of the Meuse River with Late Pleistocene to Holocene age is observed. The paleo-erosion signal from cosmogenic nuclides records projection of the elevated Late Pleistocene erosion rate into the time-integrated rates derived from Middle European rivers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • geological sedimentation
  • erosion
  • rivers
  • palaeontology
  • climatic change

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