Controls on long-term denudation rate of carbonate terrains in the Eastern Mediterranean

Hashemi K., Sarıkaya M. A., Wilcken K. M., Öztürk M. Z.

Quaternary Science Reviews, vol.321, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 321
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2023.108351
  • Journal Name: Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Compendex, INSPEC, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Carbonate, Central Anatolian Plateau, Central Taurids, Chlorine-36, Climate, Cosmogenic nuclides, Denudation rate, Precipitation
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Quantifying denudation rates under different climatic and tectonic settings is fundamental to understanding landscape evolution. Carbonate rocks may respond differently to climatic and tectonic forcings than other rock types because of their tendency to dissolve congruently. Yet, there is little information on the long-term denudation rate of carbonates and their controlling factors in different settings. Here, we present the first long-term denudation rates for carbonates in the south of the Central Anatolian Plateau. We quantified the outcrop denudation rates using in-situ cosmogenic 36Cl measured in 13 rock samples to evaluate spatial variations and potential controls on the style and rate of denudation. 36Cl-derived denudation rates range from 1.92 ± 0.31 to 45.77 ± 3.91 mm/ka. On the plateau, denudation rates are strongly correlated with precipitation and are lower than the theoretical maximum dissolution rates predicted assuming zero evaporation, implying that climate exerts the major control on carbonate denudation. These results indicate that chemical weathering is the prevalent denudation style. The denudation pattern shows spatial variability with a decreasing trend from SW to NE consistent with climate zones. High-to-moderate denudation rates occur in the continental climate, while the lowest denudation rates occur in the arid plateau interior. In the Mediterranean coastal region, measured denudation rates are higher than the predicted maximum dissolution rates, reflecting the mechanical removal of overlying rock or soil. The low denudation rates in the plateau interior indicate a slowly evolving landscape with an arid climate. The physical properties of rocks showed the weakest control on carbonate denudation. In the Central Taurides, significant infiltration of surface runoff resulted in strong subsurface karstification at the expense of surface drainage. This process caused disequilibrium between uplift and denudation and resulted in the preservation of high-elevation topography. Therefore, in the actively uplifting plateau margin, the influence of tectonics on carbonate denudation has been interfered with the impact of precipitation and subsurface karstification.