Quantitative evaluation of soil processes using in situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides

Erik Thorson Brown, Fabrice Colin, Didier L. Bourlès

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides provide a means for quantitative evaluation of a wide range of weathering and sediment transport processes. Although these nuclides have received attention for their power as geochronometers of surface exposure, it may be argued that they are more broadly suited for study of surface processes. In many environments, they may be used to evaluate collapse, erosion, burial, bioturbation, and creep, as well as providing a qualitative basis for distinguishing allochthonous from autochthonous materials. In addition, these nuclides can provide quantitative information on rates of erosion on scales of landforms and drainage basins. Here, we review the systematics of cosmogenic nuclide production within the Earth's surface, and present field examples demonstrating the utilization of in situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides distributions for evaluation of a range of soil evolution processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1171
Number of pages11
JournalComptes Rendus - Geoscience
Issue number16
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Beryllium-10
  • Cosmogenic nuclide
  • Denudation
  • Erosion
  • Soil development
  • Stoneline
  • Weathering


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