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57 - Aridisols in the Southern Levant Deserts and their Palaeoclimate Implications

from Part V: - Quaternary Geomorphology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2017

Yehouda Enzel
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ofer Bar-Yosef
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Summary

We add insights to the unresolved question of summer rainfall in the Levant’s deserts during Quaternary. Our studies indicate that winter rainfall regime hyperarid deserts (<75 mm yr-1) lack any sign of calcic horizons on alluvial surfaces and gypsic and salic-petrosalic horizons characteeize Reg soils. Under summer rainfall, hyperarid deserts are richer in calcic soil horizons, even under driest conditions. Vegetation under summer rainfall responds fast to rare intensive localized convective rainfall. This allows short-term, root-zone respiration and dissolution of small amount but noticeable calcium carbonate and transporting it <20-30 cm down the soil profile. This does not occur in winter rainfall regime. i.e., lack of secondary pedogenic CaCO3 in the southern Negev and the gypsic-saline reg soils, indicate a total absence of summer rains, at least since the early Pleistocene. This, in turn indicates that summer, African or Indian monsoon rains may have not reached as far north as the southern Negev.
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Quaternary of the Levant
Environments, Climate Change, and Humans
, pp. 521 - 530
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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