Terrace pediments in Makhtesh Ramon, Central Negev, Israel

Joseph Plakht, Natalia Patyk-Kara, Nina Gorellkova

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    Terrace pediments occupy approximately 30 per cent of the bottom of the Makhtesh Ramon erosional cirque in the central Negev Desert, Israel. River terraces and terrace pediments are genetically connected landforms, where each terrace pediment corresponds with a fluvial terrace of the same relative height. A pediment and river terrace constitute a geomorphic pair and should be regarded as chronometrically synchronous morphological elements. The formation of the terrace pediment staircases is controlled mainly by local base level changes. The present-day configuration and overall morphology of Makhtesh Ramon formed in the early stages of its development by both stream erosion and subsequent pedimentation. Less significantly, modification by intermittent erosion alternating with periods of stability, resulted in deepening of the Makhtesh Ramon bottom. The present-day stepped relief throughout the Makhtesh valley is, thus, a composite feature. The overall rate of terrace pediment formation in Makhtesh Ramon ranges from 0.05 to 0.10 mm a-1.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-39
    Number of pages11
    JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


    • Base level
    • Israel
    • Luminescence dating
    • Rock varnish
    • Staircases
    • Terrace pediment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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