GM2.5

EDI
What’s new with cosmogenic nuclides? Technique developments and applications of cosmogenic nuclides

The introduction of cosmogenic nuclides in quantitative geomorphology and geochronology spurred large developments that transformed them into an essential tool in these fields. Cosmogenic nuclides can be used to provide important information on the exposure ages of features at the surface (e.g. river terraces, fault and landslide scarps, glacial moraines), burial ages of deep deposits, as well as quantitative information on the rates and evolution of surface processes (e.g. erosion, weathering, soil mixing), or even a tool for paleoaltimetry or paleotemperature. Continued technique development and creative applications expand the ways we can use cosmogenic nuclides.

This session explores both technique developments and novel applications of cosmogenic nuclides, inviting projects at any stage from early development to well-established methods applied to novel situations. We invite any type of cosmogenic nuclide technique developments, including new laboratory setup, measurement methods, laboratory techniques for extraction, modelling, or theoretical advancements. All cosmogenic nuclide applications in any field are welcome, and we especially encourage contributions using multiple nuclides, nuclides challenging for their extraction or interpretation (e.g. 3He, 36Ar, in situ 14C), combinations with other geochronology techniques, and other creative applications.

Convener: Sebastien LenardECSECS | Co-conveners: Gerald Raab, Shasta Marrero
Presentations
| Thu, 26 May, 17:00–18:30 (CEST)
 
Room -2.32/33

Session assets

Session materials

Presentations: Thu, 26 May | Room -2.32/33

Chairpersons: Gerald Raab, Sebastien Lenard
17:00–17:01
17:01–17:11
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EGU22-3670
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solicited
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Virtual presentation
Yan Ma, Dewen Zheng, Huiping Zhang, and Jianzhang Pang

Cosmogenic noble gas isotope 21Ne in terrestrial rocks has been used primarily to determine timing and rates of the Earth’s surface evolution. Here we explore the ability of detrital 21Ne as a provenance tracer, considering that Ne isotopes produced in source rocks could be preserved in minerals over geological time and might be predominant in total Ne inventory of sediments sunk in basins. This ability is predicated on potential source terranes of a given stratigraphic section with distinct neon isotopic signatures. Here we analyze neon isotopes of a well-dated Miocene–Pleistocene sedimentary archives in Kuqa foreland basin of southern Tianshan. The data suggest that the neon isotopic signature, which is expressed as εNe and defined in this work as the excess 21Ne/20Ne-ratio relative to atmospheric ratio, is stratigraphically sensitive to changes in local source terranes. This result is compatible with U/Pb provenance analysis and also supported by evidences from sandstone petrography and heavy mineral analysis. Influence of other non-source related 21Ne components in sedimentary archives on sensitivity of εNe has proven to be negligible. Furthermore, the integrated stratigraphic signatures of neon isotope and U/Pb age permit the detection of differential erosion in drainage basin, by which the tectonic or climatic effects on geomorphic evolution could be deciphered.

How to cite: Ma, Y., Zheng, D., Zhang, H., and Pang, J.: Neon isotopic signature applied to detrital provenance assignment in foreland basins, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3670, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3670, 2022.

17:11–17:16
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EGU22-7018
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Presentation form not yet defined
Markus Egli and Alessandra Musso

Soil production and denudation are important and opposing processes that ultimately determine soil formation trajectories and, thus, the landscape. High mountainous areas are geomorphologically active environments and are strongly shaped by the redistribution of sediments and soils. With global warming and the subsequent retreat of glaciers, these processes become increasingly important. New areas having fresh and mostly unweathered glacial till is exposed and soils start to form. The dynamics of soil production and denudation in these high-mountainous landscapes are, however, not yet fully understood. We therefore aimed at exploring the relationship between soil production and denudation at different stages of soil development. This was done by comparing a calcareous and a siliceous soil chronosequence in the central Swiss Alps over the last about 14 kyr. We calculated element mass balances to determine weathering rates and measured short- and long-term erosion rates based on meteoric 239+240Puand10Be. In both chronosequences, the erosion rates were highest in the young soils (on average 5−10 t ha-1 a-1 soil loss). Erosion rates decreased markedly after 3−5 ka of soil development (on average 1−2.5 t ha-1a-1 soil loss) to reach a more or less stable situation after 10−14 ka (on average 0.3–2 t ha-1a-1). Chemical weathering and soil production rates also decreased over time, particularly on the calcareous soil sequence.

Depending on the relief and vegetational development, it takes up to 10 ka to reach soil and slope stability. Despite the very high erosion rates, particularly at the start of soil formation, mineral dissolution and transformation reactions are detected and a high rate of organic matter accumulation is measured. Soil production rates reach under such conditions extreme values. In the early stages of soil development, the parent material mainly drives soil formation while at later stages the vegetation becomes more dominant as it promotes surface stability, complex hydrological pathways and chemical weathering that determine water drainage and retention dynamics.

How to cite: Egli, M. and Musso, A.: Soil dynamics at its extremes: insights from cosmogenic and fallout radioactive nuclides, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7018, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7018, 2022.

17:16–17:21
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EGU22-13085
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Ana Carracedo Plumed, Luigia di Nicola, Valerie Olive, and Fin Stuart

The ability to measure cosmogenic 3He from individual detrital mineral grains [1] provides the potential to tease out details of sediment storage and transport that are unavailable from bulk sample analysis, and may, for instance, shed light on the conditions necessary to form economic alluvial placer deposits. While extremely long exposure histories have been measured in detrital grains from unglaciated regions [1], the effect of repeated glacial cycles in removing economically valuable detrital minerals is unknown. Here we report the cosmogenic 3He content of 36 (2-50 mg) native gold grains from the beds of 8 streams in upland Scotland in order to determine their ability to survive glaciation.

Measured 4He concentrations vary from 4 to 299 x 1013 atoms/g these variation on the 4He concentrations may be related to the presence of U and Th in the mineral lattice or U- and Th-rich mineral inclusions. Based on measured Li contents (<1 ppb) the nucleogenic 3He contribution in all samples is negligible. Minimum cosmogenic 3He exposure ages have been determined using production rate of 25 atoms/g/year and assuming no shielding.  33 grains yield exposure ages that are consistent with survival of detrital gold from before the Last Glacial Maximum (i.e > 20 Ka). These grains yield ages up to 4 Ma.   This implies that a significant proportion of the detrital gold has survived several glacial cycles and may have implications for long-term preservation of economic minerals in glaciated regions.

 

[1] O. Yakubovich, F.M. Stuart, A. Nesterenok & A. Carracedo (2019). Chemical Geology 517, 22-33.

How to cite: Carracedo Plumed, A., di Nicola, L., Olive, V., and Stuart, F.: Long-term survival of detrital gold in glaciated landscape based on cosmogenic 3He in detrital grains from Scotland , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13085, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13085, 2022.

17:21–17:26
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EGU22-11019
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Aidan McLean, Mark Dickson, Kevin Norton, Klaus Wilcken, Wayne Stephenson, and Nicola Litchfield

Sequences of Holocene marine terraces are widely used in paleoseismic research to understand the timing and magnitude of earthquakes along tectonically active coastal margins worldwide. But the potential for marine terraces to be destroyed through erosion after uplift can result in incomplete records of paleoseismicity as derived from terrace chronologies, leading to misinterpretations of the paleoseismic history of a region. Here, we present measurements across a unique set of exposed bedrock marine terraces in the north-eastern South Island, NZ, to quantify the ages and erosion rates of the surfaces and produce a new chronology for paleoseismic interpretation. Surface exposure dating and multi-nuclide approaches offer the potential to quantify marine terrace preservation and destruction, potentially elucidating where terraces may be missing or removed from a sequence. Needles Point, Marlborough, NZ exhibits three well defined bare rock marine terraces and a gravel covered shore platform which was recently uplifted ~2.5m in the MW 7.8 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. 10Be-derived ages for the platform surface and terrace 1 (T1) align with known ground surface rupturing earthquakes on the Kekerengu fault. T2 and T3 preserve older events not previously identified, potentially extending the earthquake record in this region. However, other known ground surface rupturing earthquakes on the Kekerengu fault are not preserved as terraces at Needles indicating that the preserved terraces at Needles Point do not therefore represent a full record of local paleoseismicity. As such, estimates of fault throw derived from these terraces would over-estimate earthquake magnitude.

How to cite: McLean, A., Dickson, M., Norton, K., Wilcken, K., Stephenson, W., and Litchfield, N.: Cosmogenic 10Be from uplifted bedrock marine terraces indicates revised Holocene earthquake intensity for northeast South Island, New Zealand, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11019, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11019, 2022.

17:26–17:31
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EGU22-11561
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Lea Courtial-Manent, Anta-Clarisse Sarr, Arthur Schwing, Toinette Gasnier, Jean-Louis Mugnier, Julien Carcaillet, Ludovic Ravanel, and Jean-François Buoncristiani

Rockwall erosion due to rockfalls is one of the most efficient erosion processes in the highest parts of mountain ranges. It is therefore important to quantify this erosion to understand the long-term evolution of mountainous topography. In this study, we analyze how the 10Be concentration of supraglacial debris can be used to quantify the rockwall erosion in a glacierized catchment. We first analyse the cascade of processes that move a block from a rockwall to a supraglacial location and propose a quantitative estimate of the number of rockfalls statistically mixed in a supraglacial sand sample. This model incorporates the extent of the rockwall, a power law distribution of the volume of the rockfalls and the mean glacial transport velocity.

In the case of 10 glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif, the 10Be concentrations obtained from 45 supraglacial samples vary from 92 ±3 to 1.69 ± 0.3 × 104 atoms g-1.

Our analysis suggests that part of the 10Be concentration dispersion is related to an insufficient number of amalgamated rockfalls that does not erase the stochastic nature of the rockwall erosion. In the latter case, the concentration of several collected samples is averaged to increase the number of statistically amalgamated rockfalls.

Variable and robust 10Be-derived rockwall retreat rates are obtained for 25 distinct rockfall zones in the Mont Blanc massif and vary from 0.07 ±0.01 to 4.33 ±1.2 mm.a-1. These retreat rates depend mainly on the slope angle, orientation and thermal regime (presence/absence of permafrost in particular).

How to cite: Courtial-Manent, L., Sarr, A.-C., Schwing, A., Gasnier, T., Mugnier, J.-L., Carcaillet, J., Ravanel, L., and Buoncristiani, J.-F.: Rockwall erosion in high mountain areas: Estimation from in situ-produced 10Be concentrations measured on supraglacial clasts (Mont Blanc massif, France), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11561, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11561, 2022.

17:31–17:36
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EGU22-5671
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Virtual presentation
Luigia Di Nicola, Domokos Györe, Doug Hamilton, and Finlay Stuart

Cosmogenic Ne is used to record timing and rates of surface processes on the Earth and Moon and the time of meteorite release from parent bodies. Precise determination of neon isotopes in rocks and minerals has improved in the last ten years largely as a consequence of developments in mass spectrometry and associated electronics.  In this presentation we will report the performance of an ARGUS VI mass spectrometer tuned for cosmogenic Ne determinations from both extra-terrestrial and terrestrial material. The instrument is connected to an automated laser gas extraction and purification system and has several advantages over off-the-shelf instrumentation. The remote operation of sample heating, gas purification, separation and isotope analysis increases sample throughput, and the exact repetition of the procedures and overnight determination of calibrations and blank measurements improves data quality, facilitates determination of isobaric interferences and eases trouble shooting. The low static volume results in high sensitivity, while the stable electronics and multi-collection allows high precision Ne isotope determinations in terrestrial and extra-terrestrial samples that are significantly smaller than typically analysed to date.

Two analytical protocols are applied depending on sample Ne concentration. Multi-collection Faraday mode is used for extra-terrestrial material. This yields a 4-fold improvement in the overall uncertainty of the Ne isotope ratios (0.5%) compared to that obtained using 5-10x larger samples in peak-jumping mode on our workhorse instrument. Cosmogenic Ne determinations in 20-30 mg of terrestrial material are made using the compact discrete dynode detector in peak-jumping.  Replicate analysis of CREU-1 quartz yields reproducibility of ±3.7% (1σ), comparable to the data quality for 5-10x more material.  In addition to instrument performance characterisation, we will summarise data from studies of terrestrial and extra-terrestrial material that demonstrate routine capability.

How to cite: Di Nicola, L., Györe, D., Hamilton, D., and Stuart, F.: Improved cosmogenic Ne measurements using ThermoFisher ARGUS VI, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5671, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5671, 2022.

17:36–17:41
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EGU22-10824
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Allie Balter-Kennedy, Joerg Schaefer, Roseanne Schwartz, Laura Penrose, Jennifer Lamp, and Gisela Winckler

We have developed a method for routine processing of pyroxenes for cosmogenic 10Be analyses, offering a multi-nuclide (3He/10Be) approach for mafic terranes. Analyzing multiple cosmogenic nuclides from the same rock/mineral (most commonly, 26Al/10Be and 10Be/21Ne in quartz) enables quantification of complex exposure histories, including burial times, and erosion and denudation rates. This requires measurement of at least two cosmogenic nuclides whose production ratios and systematics are well known. For example, in quartz-bearing lithologies, the 26Al-10Be pair is routinely used because the production ratio of ~7 is relatively well constrained. In mafic lithologies, the 3He-10Be pair is a viable candidate for multi-nuclide studies because 3He is routinely measured in pyroxenes, and preliminary studies demonstrate that beryllium extraction from pyroxene grains is possible. Despite the potential of this nuclide pair, there is not yet a simple method for extracting beryllium from pyroxenes given that this mineral has high elemental concentrations and retains meteoric 10Be within the crystal lattice. 

Here, we present a method for beryllium extraction from pyroxenes, modified from the extraction method in quartz, that will enable routine use of the 3He-10Be pair. We demonstrate that hydrofluoric acid leaching not only allows for separation of large amounts of clean pyroxene, even from fine-grained lithologies such as Ferrar Dolerite, but also successfully removes meteoric 10Be. The addition of a simple precipitation step prior to ion exchange chromatography adequately reduces the cation load, allowing us to proceed with the same beryllium extraction chemistry used for quartz. Together, this approach allows for routine processing for 10Be analyses in pyroxene. Using our 10Be measurements, we present a preliminary 10Be production rate in pyroxene, referenced to 3He, for the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, meaning that the 3He-10Be pair can already be used to evaluate complex exposure histories. With this result, we are optimistic that the presented extraction method opens new opportunities for multi-nuclide applications in mafic lithologies. 

How to cite: Balter-Kennedy, A., Schaefer, J., Schwartz, R., Penrose, L., Lamp, J., and Winckler, G.: 10Be analysis in pyroxene - a method for routine chemical extraction, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10824, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10824, 2022.

17:41–17:46
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EGU22-12050
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Virtual presentation
Christopher Lüthgens, Stephanie Neuhuber, Ágnes Novothny, and Zsófia Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger

Applications of in situ produced cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al for age determination of rock surfaces and sediments use quartz containing lithologies, because these nuclides are produced and retained within the crystal lattice of this mineral. To be able to calculate reliable ages, it is essential to work with pure quartz grains. The most problematic contaminant is the mineral feldspar for three reasons: 1) 10Be and 26Al can also be produced in feldspar but at a different production rate 2) feldspar contains copious amounts of Al and can thus contribute stable Al (27Al) in high amounts 3) it is ubiquitous and often intergrown with quartz. This leads to problems during sample processing and during Accelerator Mass Spectrometry  measurement where the rare nuclide 26Al may reach its detection limit.

During sample processing the crushed and sieved rock samples are subject of physical (magnetic-, shape- and density separation) and chemical (leaching in acids) cleaning steps in order to remove all minerals (e.g. feldspars, mica, amphiboles, etc.) and have the quartz grains concentrated and purified. If the sample is sufficiently clean (i.e. the Al content is below 200 ppm) the purified quartz can enter total dissolution as the next step of nuclide extraction.

Several methods are used to check the mineralogical composition and the quality of the purified quartz sample. 1) Optical investigation using a binocular microscope, 2) X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of mineralogy, 3) Al content analysis after digestion and element detection as high Al content is indicative of the presence of Al containing minerals like feldspars or mica within the pure quartz fraction.

Each of those methods has individual limitations. Optical investigation may be hindered by the etched surface and quartz may look surprisingly similar to feldspar after etching. XRD has its detection limit at c. 5%, and with respect to Al content analysis, some quartz-types may naturally contain larger amounts of Al. Besides, chemical analysis as well as XRD – if not available in house – may have a long waiting time and high costs.

Here we report first results of exploring the potential of luminescence as a fast and cost-efficient alternative method to determine the content of contaminant feldspars in quartz as infrared stimulation only excites feldspars, but not quartz. The experimental setup consists of a parallel analysis of the samples using XRD to detect the bulk mineralogy, element analysis by ICP-OES analysis, and luminescence analyses, in order to develop a short, efficient luminescence measurement sequence reliably detecting feldspar contamination in samples for cosmogenic dating. While some results are promising for individual samples, the results for other samples are still ambiguous. The respective data will be presented at the conference.

This study was supported by the following projects: OMAA 105ou4, NKFIH 124807.

How to cite: Lüthgens, C., Neuhuber, S., Novothny, Á., and Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Z.: Development of a new rapid method for quartz purity control by luminescence for cosmogenic nuclide dating, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12050, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12050, 2022.

17:46–17:51
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EGU22-12056
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Virtual presentation
Toshiyuki Fujioka, Leticia Miguens, Javier Iglesias, Fernando Jiménez, María Isabel Sarró, and Josep María Parés

Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (or National Research Centre on Human Evolution, CENIEH) is located in Burgos, northern Spain. The centre is dedicated to human evolution research worldwide, including Atapuerca, a world heritage archaeological site where the oldest human fossil in Europe to date have been discovered. To support the needs of characterising geological and sedimentological context of archaeological sites, the institute also features a wide range of geological analysis (e.g., Laser diffraction grain size analyser, XRD, XRF, Raman Spectroscopy, SEM, Micro CT, Digital mapping and 3D analysis) and geochronology laboratories (including palaeomagnetism, OSL, ESR and U-series). In 2020, a new cosmogenic nuclide dating research line has initiated to strengthen the existing geochronological capabilities in the centre, particularly, at timescales of early-mid Pleistocene and beyond. To date, we have established a procedure for routine quartz separation and 10Be-26Al extraction. Current projects include 10Be-26Al burial/isochron dating of cave deposits, fluvial terraces and artefacts in the context of archaeological and landscape evolution research. In this paper, we present a general setup of the laboratory, its capacity and current projects as well as future prospective.

How to cite: Fujioka, T., Miguens, L., Iglesias, J., Jiménez, F., Sarró, M. I., and Parés, J. M.: New cosmogenic nuclide dating laboratory in CENIEH, Spain, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12056, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12056, 2022.

17:51–17:56
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EGU22-11507
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Sebastien Lenard, Maarten Lupker, Irene Schimmelpfennig, Vincent Godard, Clement Desormeaux, Negar Haghipour, Georges Aumaître, Karim Keddadouche, and Fawzi Zaidi

Geomorphologists classically compute denudation rates from in situ cosmogenic 10Be concentrations. A major assumption is that denudation rates remain steady during the 10Be integration time scale. But early 14C-10Be data we presented last year at this conference suggested that this is hardly tested in environments slowly deformed by tectonics, with integration time covering thousands of years, and erosion rates from 10 to 100 mm/ky.

Here, we extended our 14C-10Be dataset to test recent and substantial shifts in denudation. 14C is more sensitive than 10Be to recent and short-term changes in denudation, because of a shorter half-life (5,700 y versus 1.4 My). Studies (Hippe, 2017; Mudd, 2017; Skov et al., 2019; Hippe et al., 2021) have discussed this application of coupled 14C - 10Be measurements.

We carried out in situ 14C measurements on river sand which has available 10Be date (Desormeaux et Al., 2021). The studied mountain range is called Massif Central and is west of the European Alp foreland, in southern France. Elevation is ~700 m on average, with an elevated low-relief surface and a steep escarpment along the Cevennes Fault bordering the Alp foreland. The area has a homogeneous lithology rich in quartz. Past glaciations were of limited extent. There is little space for sediment storage, thin soils, no dams, and presently limited anthropic activity. Massif Central is only impacted by slow tectonic deformation. Landslides are very rare but erosion processes are active.

Our new 14C results combined with Desormeaux et al., 2021's 10Be data confirm the substantial 14C-10Be disequilibrium. 14C apparent denudation rates are several times higher than 10Be denudation rates. We explore four end-members which could explain such a disequilibrium. This exploration suggests that only major and recent events in denudation could produce such a disequilibrium, and that the landscape we presently see is rather transient than steady.

How to cite: Lenard, S., Lupker, M., Schimmelpfennig, I., Godard, V., Desormeaux, C., Haghipour, N., Aumaître, G., Keddadouche, K., and Zaidi, F.: In situ 14C-10Be disequilibrium suggests a recent and major denudation event of French Massif Central, despite slow tectonic deformation., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11507, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11507, 2022.

17:56–18:30