Loess records

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Abstract

Loess is aeolian sediment, dominated by silt-sized particles, that is identifiable in the field as a distinct sedimentary body. It covers a significant portion of the land surface of the Earth and as such constitutes one of the most important archives of long-term dust deposition. Large tracts of loess cover Europe, Asia, South America, and North America, and smaller loess bodies are found covering parts of Africa, the Middle East, New Zealand, and Australia. Loess thickness, particle size, and carbonate content decrease downwind from sources, trends that are powerful tools for reconstructing paleowinds. Many loess sections consist of relatively thick deposits of mostly unaltered sediment with intercalated paleosols. Paleosols represent periods of landscape stability when loess deposition ceased or at least slowed significantly. Studies from several continents show that loess in most regions was deposited during glacial periods and paleosols formed during interglacial and interstadial periods.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Loess records
ISBN 978-94-017-8978-3
DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-8978-3_16
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 31 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Mineral dist: a key player in the Earth system
First page 411
Last page 441