Limestone weathering in Eastern Australia. Part 1: Erosion rates

D. I. Smith*, M. A. Greenaway, C. Moses, A. P. Spate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A traversing microerosion meter (MEM) was used to measure the rates of surface weathering of limestones in southeastern Australia. There were two groups of MEM sites installed in 1978/9. The aim of the experimental design for the first type, the 13 sites at Cooleman Plain and Yarrangobilly Caves, was to obtain erosion rates for limestones of similar lithology exposed under comparable climate conditions. The sites were positioned to measure erosion over a range of microsolutional forms and with exposure to differing forms of erosion, i.e. subaerial, subsoil and instream. The second set, at Ginninderra close to Canberra, consists of nine limestone slabs of differing lithology, collected from different locations but exposed under identical climatic conditions. The number of individual measurement points at each MEM site varied from 24 to 68. There were major differences in erosion rates between subaerial bedrock and instream sites at Yarrangobilly and Cooleman Plain, but no evidence of differential erosion across the micro‐forms. There were differences in the weathering rate for bedrock sites, due to climatic differences, and between the limestone lithologies exposed at Ginninderra. The average rate of erosion for the subaerial bedrock sites at Cooleman Plain and Yarrangobilly over the 13 years was 0·013 mm a−1 and at Ginninderra 0·006 mm a−1. At some of the sites microflora (lichens and mosses) caused problems for field measurement. The weathering processes that contribute to the surface lowering are discussed in the accompanying paper by Moses et al.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-463
Number of pages13
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 1995

Keywords

  • climate change
  • erosion rates
  • karst
  • limestone solution
  • microerosion meter

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Limestone weathering in Eastern Australia. Part 1: Erosion rates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this