Abstract

We couple meteoric 10Be measurements with mass balance analysis of 9Be to estimate the soil residence time (SRT) of a biogeomorphically stable Ultisol in the Southern Piedmont physiographic region of the southeastern United States. We estimate SRT after correcting the meteoric 10Be inventory to account for observed 9Be losses, which indicate that more than half of the 9Be weathered from primary minerals has been leached from the upper 18.3 m of the Ultisol. Our estimates of minimum SRT range between 1.3–1.4 Ma and between 2.6–3.1 Ma under high and low (2.0 and 1.3 × 106 atoms cm−2 yr−1, respectively), estimates of 10Be delivery. Denudation rates of the physiographic region corroborate our estimates. We redefine pedogenic time constraints in the Southern Piedmont, and demonstrate that the assumption of complete meteoric 10Be retention in acidic soil systems cannot always be made; the latter has far-reaching consequences for soil, sediment, river, and ocean research using meteoric 10Be.

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