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49 - Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Signatures of Pedogenic Carbonates in Arid and Extremely Arid Environments in the Levant

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

Pedogenic carbonate is widely used in the study of palaeoenvironments to address topics such as the evolution and spread of vegetation types, tectonic evolution of mountain ranges, Quaternary climate and the geologic carbon cycle. The most useful pedogenic carbonate palaeoenvironmental proxies developed thus far involve carbon and oxygen stable isotope geochemistry. The carbon isotopic composition of pedogenic carbonate is related to soil CO2, which is a function of atmospheric and biologically respired CO2. The latter is correlated with the proportion of C3 and C4 plant photosynthetic pathway.  The oxygen isotopic composition of soil carbonates is controlled by the temperature and by the isotopic composition of soil water. In this chapter, we summarize signatures of pedogenic and pseudo-pedogenic carbonate oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions in arid and extremely arid environments in the Levant in general and in the Negev, Israel in particular. Then we demonstrate (a) how sensitive these proxies are to present-day climatic conditions, and (b) how useful these proxies are as paleoclimate indicators.
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Chapter
Information
Quaternary of the Levant
Environments, Climate Change, and Humans
, pp. 423 - 432
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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