Abstract

In situ-produced cosmonuclides result from nuclear reactions between cosmic-rays derived particles and the elements constituting the Earth's surface material. Cosmogenic 10 Be (T1/2 = 1,5Ma) and 26 Al (T1/2 = 0.73 Ma) produced within the quartz mineral fraction of surficial rocks have been used to quantitatively study the emplacement and development of laterites. Depth distributions of in situ-produced 10 Be along quartz veins and soil profiles permit: (1) to clarify mechanisms involved in soil formation and landform evolutions, (2) to quantify burial or denudation rates. Lateral variations of the in situ-produced 10 Be concentration along stone-lines allow to determine whether the stone-line constituting material has an allochthonous or an autochthonous origin, and, in the latter case, to estimate the lateral displacement rates.

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