Character, rates, and environmental significance of holocene dust accumulation in archaeological hilltop ruins in the southern levant

Bernhard Lucke, Joel Roskin, Kim André Vanselow, Hendrik J. Bruins, Nizar Abu-Jaber, Katleen Deckers, Susanne Lindauer, Naomi Porat, Paula J. Reimer, Rupert Bäumler, Tali Erickson-Gini, Paula Kouki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Loess accumulated in the Negev desert during the Pleistocene and primary and secondary loess remains cover large parts of the landscape. Holocene loess deposits are however absent. This could be due low accumulation rates, lack of preservation, and higher erosion rates in comparison to the Pleistocene. This study hypothesized that archaeological ruins preserve Holocene dust. 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. Seven statistically modeled grain size end-members were identified and demonstrate that the ruin soils in both regions consist of mixtures of local and remote sediment sources that differ from dust compositions deposited during current storms. This discrepancy is attributed to fixation processes connected with sediment-fixing agents such as vegetation, biocrusts, and/or clast pavements associated with vesicular layers. Average dust accretion rates in the ruins are estimated to be ~0.14 mm/a, suggesting that ~30% of the current dust that can be trapped with dry marble dust collectors has been stored in the ruin soils. Deposition amounts and grain sizes do not significantly correlate with wind intensity. However, precipitation may have contributed to dust accretion. A snowstorm in the Petra region delivered a significantly higher amount of sediment than rain or dry deposition. Snowfall dust had a unique particle size distribution relatively similar to the ruin soils. Wet deposition and snow might catalyze dust deposition and enhance fixation by fostering vegetation and crust formation. More frequent snowfall during the Pleistocene may have been an important mechanism of primary loess deposition in the southern Levant.

LanguageEnglish
Article number190
Number of pages60
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Holocene
dust
loess
Pleistocene
soil
fixation
grain size
accretion
sediment
snowstorm
rate
vegetation
wet deposition
dry deposition
erosion rate
marble
paleosol
pavement
accumulation rate
clast

Keywords

  • Aeolian dust
  • Archaeological sediment
  • Biocrusts
  • Clast pavements
  • Climate change
  • Holocene
  • Loess
  • Ruin soil
  • Snow
  • Vesicular layer

Cite this

Lucke, Bernhard ; Roskin, Joel ; Vanselow, Kim André ; Bruins, Hendrik J. ; Abu-Jaber, Nizar ; Deckers, Katleen ; Lindauer, Susanne ; Porat, Naomi ; Reimer, Paula J. ; Bäumler, Rupert ; Erickson-Gini, Tali ; Kouki, Paula. / Character, rates, and environmental significance of holocene dust accumulation in archaeological hilltop ruins in the southern levant. In: Geosciences (Switzerland). 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 4.
@article{3b096342224f4b49bd7442821b1f2f53,
title = "Character, rates, and environmental significance of holocene dust accumulation in archaeological hilltop ruins in the southern levant",
abstract = "Loess accumulated in the Negev desert during the Pleistocene and primary and secondary loess remains cover large parts of the landscape. Holocene loess deposits are however absent. This could be due low accumulation rates, lack of preservation, and higher erosion rates in comparison to the Pleistocene. This study hypothesized that archaeological ruins preserve Holocene dust. 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. Seven statistically modeled grain size end-members were identified and demonstrate that the ruin soils in both regions consist of mixtures of local and remote sediment sources that differ from dust compositions deposited during current storms. This discrepancy is attributed to fixation processes connected with sediment-fixing agents such as vegetation, biocrusts, and/or clast pavements associated with vesicular layers. Average dust accretion rates in the ruins are estimated to be ~0.14 mm/a, suggesting that ~30{\%} of the current dust that can be trapped with dry marble dust collectors has been stored in the ruin soils. Deposition amounts and grain sizes do not significantly correlate with wind intensity. However, precipitation may have contributed to dust accretion. A snowstorm in the Petra region delivered a significantly higher amount of sediment than rain or dry deposition. Snowfall dust had a unique particle size distribution relatively similar to the ruin soils. Wet deposition and snow might catalyze dust deposition and enhance fixation by fostering vegetation and crust formation. More frequent snowfall during the Pleistocene may have been an important mechanism of primary loess deposition in the southern Levant.",
keywords = "Aeolian dust, Archaeological sediment, Biocrusts, Clast pavements, Climate change, Holocene, Loess, Ruin soil, Snow, Vesicular layer",
author = "Bernhard Lucke and Joel Roskin and Vanselow, {Kim Andr{\'e}} and Bruins, {Hendrik J.} and Nizar Abu-Jaber and Katleen Deckers and Susanne Lindauer and Naomi Porat and Reimer, {Paula J.} and Rupert B{\"a}umler and Tali Erickson-Gini and Paula Kouki",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "24",
doi = "10.3390/geosciences9040190",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
journal = "Geosciences",
issn = "2076-3263",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "4",

}

Lucke, B, Roskin, J, Vanselow, KA, Bruins, HJ, Abu-Jaber, N, Deckers, K, Lindauer, S, Porat, N, Reimer, PJ, Bäumler, R, Erickson-Gini, T & Kouki, P 2019, 'Character, rates, and environmental significance of holocene dust accumulation in archaeological hilltop ruins in the southern levant', Geosciences (Switzerland), vol. 9, no. 4, 190. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9040190

Character, rates, and environmental significance of holocene dust accumulation in archaeological hilltop ruins in the southern levant. / Lucke, Bernhard; Roskin, Joel; Vanselow, Kim André; Bruins, Hendrik J.; Abu-Jaber, Nizar; Deckers, Katleen; Lindauer, Susanne; Porat, Naomi; Reimer, Paula J.; Bäumler, Rupert; Erickson-Gini, Tali; Kouki, Paula.

In: Geosciences (Switzerland), Vol. 9, No. 4, 190, 24.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Character, rates, and environmental significance of holocene dust accumulation in archaeological hilltop ruins in the southern levant

AU - Lucke, Bernhard

AU - Roskin, Joel

AU - Vanselow, Kim André

AU - Bruins, Hendrik J.

AU - Abu-Jaber, Nizar

AU - Deckers, Katleen

AU - Lindauer, Susanne

AU - Porat, Naomi

AU - Reimer, Paula J.

AU - Bäumler, Rupert

AU - Erickson-Gini, Tali

AU - Kouki, Paula

PY - 2019/4/24

Y1 - 2019/4/24

N2 - Loess accumulated in the Negev desert during the Pleistocene and primary and secondary loess remains cover large parts of the landscape. Holocene loess deposits are however absent. This could be due low accumulation rates, lack of preservation, and higher erosion rates in comparison to the Pleistocene. This study hypothesized that archaeological ruins preserve Holocene dust. 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. Seven statistically modeled grain size end-members were identified and demonstrate that the ruin soils in both regions consist of mixtures of local and remote sediment sources that differ from dust compositions deposited during current storms. This discrepancy is attributed to fixation processes connected with sediment-fixing agents such as vegetation, biocrusts, and/or clast pavements associated with vesicular layers. Average dust accretion rates in the ruins are estimated to be ~0.14 mm/a, suggesting that ~30% of the current dust that can be trapped with dry marble dust collectors has been stored in the ruin soils. Deposition amounts and grain sizes do not significantly correlate with wind intensity. However, precipitation may have contributed to dust accretion. A snowstorm in the Petra region delivered a significantly higher amount of sediment than rain or dry deposition. Snowfall dust had a unique particle size distribution relatively similar to the ruin soils. Wet deposition and snow might catalyze dust deposition and enhance fixation by fostering vegetation and crust formation. More frequent snowfall during the Pleistocene may have been an important mechanism of primary loess deposition in the southern Levant.

AB - Loess accumulated in the Negev desert during the Pleistocene and primary and secondary loess remains cover large parts of the landscape. Holocene loess deposits are however absent. This could be due low accumulation rates, lack of preservation, and higher erosion rates in comparison to the Pleistocene. This study hypothesized that archaeological ruins preserve Holocene dust. 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. Seven statistically modeled grain size end-members were identified and demonstrate that the ruin soils in both regions consist of mixtures of local and remote sediment sources that differ from dust compositions deposited during current storms. This discrepancy is attributed to fixation processes connected with sediment-fixing agents such as vegetation, biocrusts, and/or clast pavements associated with vesicular layers. Average dust accretion rates in the ruins are estimated to be ~0.14 mm/a, suggesting that ~30% of the current dust that can be trapped with dry marble dust collectors has been stored in the ruin soils. Deposition amounts and grain sizes do not significantly correlate with wind intensity. However, precipitation may have contributed to dust accretion. A snowstorm in the Petra region delivered a significantly higher amount of sediment than rain or dry deposition. Snowfall dust had a unique particle size distribution relatively similar to the ruin soils. Wet deposition and snow might catalyze dust deposition and enhance fixation by fostering vegetation and crust formation. More frequent snowfall during the Pleistocene may have been an important mechanism of primary loess deposition in the southern Levant.

KW - Aeolian dust

KW - Archaeological sediment

KW - Biocrusts

KW - Clast pavements

KW - Climate change

KW - Holocene

KW - Loess

KW - Ruin soil

KW - Snow

KW - Vesicular layer

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065441994&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/geosciences9040190

DO - 10.3390/geosciences9040190

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - Geosciences

T2 - Geosciences

JF - Geosciences

SN - 2076-3263

IS - 4

M1 - 190

ER -