Shape of pebbles as an indicator of climatic changes during the Quaternary in Makhtesh Ramon, Negev, Israel

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Abstract

Nearly 8000 pebbles were analyzed in Makhtesh Ramon in an attempt to use pebble shape as a lithostratigraphic tool and to explain the differences between morphometric indices of the pebbles for the different alluvial terraces. According to the values of morphometric indices, two groups of alluvial units were distinguished. The first group is characterized by the lower values of indices. It corresponds with the Holocene alluvium (stream, flood plain and the terrace I), and to the terraces III (8-10m) and V (18-20m above river bed). Lithological and pollen analyses show that the accumulation of the alluvium of the first group corresponds with arid climatic conditions with an annual precipitation of less than 200mm. The highest values of morphometric indices were found in the alluvium of terraces of the second group: II (506m), IV (13-15m), and VI (25-30m). The alluvium of this group contains calcic paleosols and pollen spectra reflecting recurring periods of wetter semi-arid climate in the past with annual rainfall exceeding 200-300mm. Thus, particle shape may be used not only as a lithostratigraphic tool, but also as an additional paleoclimatic indicator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalZeitschrift fur Geomorphologie
Volume42
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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