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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Eolian contribution to soil development on Cretaceous limestones in Greece as evidenced by oxygen isotope composition of quartz

Chitoshi Mizota, Minoru Kusakabe, Masami Noto
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1, P. 41-46, 1988


Four red-colored soils and associated underlying Cretaceous limestones in Greece were analysed for content, particle-size distribution and oxygen isotope composition of quartz. Very low content of quartz in the limestones and lack of correspondence between the particle-size distribution of quartz in the soils and that in the limestones suggest that the overlying soils did not develop entirely from the weathering residuum of the underlying limestones. The particle-size of soil quartz decreases with increasing elevation of the sample sites. Soils developed at a lower altitude (∼50 m, A.S.L.) are likely to have accumulated coarse-grained eolian quartz winnowed from local beach sands when the sea level was lowered during the glacial period. The range of δ18O values from +17.6 to +19.3‰ obtained for the aerosol-sized quartz (1-10 μm in diameter) is characteristic of eolian dusts in the Northern Hemisphere, indicating its derivation from a well-mixed source of quartz of diverse origins. Such a restricted range of δ18O values contrasts notably with the wider range of δ18O values of quartz from the underlying limestones (+19.6 to +27.5‰). It is concluded that long-travelled Sahara dusts, together with a local eolian contribution are responsible for the soil development on the Cretaceous limestones in Greece.

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