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Chemical weathering associated with tafoni at Papago Park, central Arizona

by Sean W. Campbell
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms ()

Abstract

Papago Park, Arizona, is a pediment-inselberg complex that hosts a variety of well developed tafoni and alveolar weathering forms. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the nature of chemical weathering associated with the tafoni using backscatter electron microscopy (BSE) and quantitative wavelength dispersive X-ray analysis (WDS). Calcium-rich and iron-rich coatings occur on the outer shells of the tafoni. Calcium carbonate precipitation within mineral microfractures occurs on the underside of the tafoni. Chemical weathering of primary mineral grains provides a source of material found in the coatings. The WDS analyses show a near-complete lack of salt-forming elements.

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