Cause and implications of rock varnish microchemical laminations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rock varnish is a dark coating composed mostly of clays and manganese and iron oxides1 that accretes on rock surfaces in all terrestrial environments2. Perry and Adams3 first observed micron-scale manganese-rich and manganese-poor (relatively iron-rich) layers in varnish and proposed that these may be related to unspecified environmental changes. Electron microprobe analyses reported here suggest that Mn:Fe ratios vary systematically with depth in varnishes on K/Ar-dated volcanic rocks from the Coso and Cima volcanic fields, eastern California, and on talus flatirons in the Negev Desert, Israel. These microchemical laminations probably reflect past fluctuations in the level of aeolian alkalinity, and possibly climatic change. This new indicator of terrestrial environmental change may be of importance to research on geomorphology, archaeology, palaeoclimatology, and Quaternary studies in arid environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-770
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume310
Issue number5980
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

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rock varnish
lamination
manganese
environmental change
iron
talus
arid environment
archaeology
electron probe analysis
alkalinity
geomorphology
coating
volcanic rock
desert
clay
climate change
rock
varnish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Cause and implications of rock varnish microchemical laminations. / Dorn, Ronald.

In: Nature, Vol. 310, No. 5980, 1984, p. 767-770.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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