Exposure dating ( 10 Be, 26 Al) of natural terrain landslides in Hong Kong, China

Roderick J. Sewell, Timothy T. Barrows, S. Diarmad G. Campbell, L. Keith Fifield

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    We successfully apply exposure dating using cosmogenic nuclides to natural terrain landslides in Hong Kong. Forty-five samples from eight landslide sites were exposure dated using 10 Be, and a subset of six samples was also dated using 26 Al. The sites comprised four large, deep-seated landslides featuring well-preserved rock scarps and associated debris lobes; two sites of rock and boulder fall; and two sites where scarps only are preserved. All of the deep-seated landslides gave ages within the last 50,000 yr, and the largest landslide gave an age of ̃32,000 yr. The youngest (̃2000 yr) and oldest (̃57,000 yr) landslide events dated came from the two sites of rock and boulder fall. Exposure ages from the deep-seated landslide scarps generally gave the most internally consistent ages for the landslides. However, only in rare cases did the landslide scarp ages overlap with those of boulders in the associated debris. Generally, boulders in the debris appeared to contain significant inheritance of cosmogenic nuclides from previous exposure and so yielded ages greater than those from the scarps. Surface exposure ages of ̃285,000 yr from boulders in the debris of two deep-seated landslides provide minimum ages considered to represent the original rock surfaces. This study has shown that it is possible to measure exposure ages of surfaces associated with large landslides from 70,000 yr down to a few thousand years old, despite low cosmogenic isotope production rates in Hong Kong due to low latitude and low altitude.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-146
    Number of pages16
    JournalSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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