Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Character, Rates, and Environmental Significance of Holocene Dust Accumulation in Archaeological Hilltop Ruins in the Southern Levant

Version 1 : Received: 16 March 2019 / Approved: 18 March 2019 / Online: 18 March 2019 (09:34:47 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Lucke, B.; Roskin, J.; Vanselow, K.A.; Bruins, H.J.; Abu-Jaber, N.; Deckers, K.; Lindauer, S.; Porat, N.; Reimer, P.J.; Bäumler, R.; Erickson-Gini, T.; Kouki, P. Character, Rates, and Environmental Significance of Holocene Dust Accumulation in Archaeological Hilltop Ruins in the Southern Levant. Geosciences 2019, 9, 190. Lucke, B.; Roskin, J.; Vanselow, K.A.; Bruins, H.J.; Abu-Jaber, N.; Deckers, K.; Lindauer, S.; Porat, N.; Reimer, P.J.; Bäumler, R.; Erickson-Gini, T.; Kouki, P. Character, Rates, and Environmental Significance of Holocene Dust Accumulation in Archaeological Hilltop Ruins in the Southern Levant. Geosciences 2019, 9, 190.

Journal reference: Geosciences 2019, 9, 190
DOI: 10.3390/geosciences9040190

Abstract

Loess was deposited in the Negev during the Pleistocene, but such sediments seem to be missing for the Holocene. This could be due to erosion unless structures such as ruins offered protection. We studied soils developed on archaeological hilltop ruins in the Negev and the Petra region and compared them with local soils, paleosols, geological outcrops, and current dust. The ruin soils in both regions were found to consist of similarly complex mixtures of local and remote sediment sources. They differ from sediments deposited during current dust storms. This seems due to fixation processes: average accretion rates are estimated to ~0.14 mm/a, suggesting that only ~3% of the current dust that can be trapped with dry marble dust collectors is stored in the soils. Vegetation, biocrusts, and/or clast pavements associated with vesicular layers seem to act as sediment-fixing agents. As well, climate might play a role: rain, and in particular one snowstorm in the Petra region brought a high amount of sediment that was more similar to the ruin soils. Wet deposition and snow might catalyze dust deposition and enhance fixation by fostering vegetation and crust formation. Frequent snow during the Pleistocene might be one explanation of enhanced loess deposition.

Subject Areas

loess, Holocene, ruin soil, archaeological sediment, vesicular layer, aeolian dust, biocrusts, clast pavements, climate change, snow

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