The role of Quaternary ice sheet fluctuations in driving meltwater pulses and ocean circulation pertur-bations is widely acknowledged. What is less clear is the role of these processes in driving changes in past atmospheric dust activity, and possible wider links between dust and climate. Terrestrial windblown dust (loess) deposits along the northern fringe of the European loess belt potentially record past at-mospheric dust emission from regions close to the former Eurasian Ice Sheet (EIS) and provide a means to evaluate the role of ice sheet fluctuations in the past dust cycle. Numerical loess chronologies across this region generally agree on greatly enhanced dust deposition rates during MIS 2, when the EIS reached its maximum extent. Yet, uncertainties over the sources of this material prevent understanding of the precise causes of this greatly enhanced atmospheric dustiness, and any potential link to ice sheet fluc-tuations and climate. In southeast England, loess accumulation dominantly occurred in two phases centered on 25-23.5 ka and 20-19 ka, matching the timing of coalescence of the Fennoscandian and British-Irish ice sheets and specifically advances and retreats of nearby ice lobes in the western North Sea. As such, these deposits provide an ideal test of the role of ice sheet fluctuations in atmospheric dust dynamics. Here we undertake such a test through a detailed provenance study of loess in southeast England and potential dust source sediments across the North Sea region. We group extensive new and published data sets of detrital zircon U-Pb ages from basement rocks and Cenozoic sediments in the North Sea area, which not only provide new insight into both loess source, but also the nature of sediment transport over NW Europe into the North Sea basin more widely. Multi-proxy evidence allows us to unambiguously identify ice sheet derived sediments in the exposed North Sea basin as the dominant source of loess in southeast England, while fluvial sediments delivered by rivers draining Continental Europe possibly contributed additional source material to the first loess accumulation phase. We propose that sudden retreats of the North Sea Lobe released substantial amounts of sediment rich meltwater into the southern North Sea and Channel basins, driving accelerated dust emission, loess deposition and provenance variability in NW Europe during MIS 2. Moreover, we propose that this model of dust activity driven by proglacial sediment availability may be applicable for EIS marginal regions more widely, even where resultant loess cover is rarely preserved due to extensive erosion and reworking along the ice marginal spillway. This implies the role of ice sheets in controlling wider dust emission may be underestimated. In addition to driving changes in ocean circulation through meltwater pulses, ice sheet dynamics in the Quaternary may have also driven substantial and abrupt changes in atmospheric dust activity. This mechanism may in part explain the coupling between dust and climate events widely seen in Quaternary dust sediment records and suggests a possible major role of high latitude dust emission in MIS 2 dustiness across Europe and beyond.(c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Eurasian Ice Sheet derived meltwater pulses and their role in driving atmospheric dust activity: Late Quaternary loess sources in SE England / Baykal, Y; Stevens, T; Bateman, Md; Pfaff, K; Sechi, D; Banak, A; Suica, S; Zhang, Hb; Nie, Js. - In: QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS. - ISSN 0277-3791. - 296:(2022), p. 107804. [10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107804]

Eurasian Ice Sheet derived meltwater pulses and their role in driving atmospheric dust activity: Late Quaternary loess sources in SE England

Stevens, T
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Sechi, D
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The role of Quaternary ice sheet fluctuations in driving meltwater pulses and ocean circulation pertur-bations is widely acknowledged. What is less clear is the role of these processes in driving changes in past atmospheric dust activity, and possible wider links between dust and climate. Terrestrial windblown dust (loess) deposits along the northern fringe of the European loess belt potentially record past at-mospheric dust emission from regions close to the former Eurasian Ice Sheet (EIS) and provide a means to evaluate the role of ice sheet fluctuations in the past dust cycle. Numerical loess chronologies across this region generally agree on greatly enhanced dust deposition rates during MIS 2, when the EIS reached its maximum extent. Yet, uncertainties over the sources of this material prevent understanding of the precise causes of this greatly enhanced atmospheric dustiness, and any potential link to ice sheet fluc-tuations and climate. In southeast England, loess accumulation dominantly occurred in two phases centered on 25-23.5 ka and 20-19 ka, matching the timing of coalescence of the Fennoscandian and British-Irish ice sheets and specifically advances and retreats of nearby ice lobes in the western North Sea. As such, these deposits provide an ideal test of the role of ice sheet fluctuations in atmospheric dust dynamics. Here we undertake such a test through a detailed provenance study of loess in southeast England and potential dust source sediments across the North Sea region. We group extensive new and published data sets of detrital zircon U-Pb ages from basement rocks and Cenozoic sediments in the North Sea area, which not only provide new insight into both loess source, but also the nature of sediment transport over NW Europe into the North Sea basin more widely. Multi-proxy evidence allows us to unambiguously identify ice sheet derived sediments in the exposed North Sea basin as the dominant source of loess in southeast England, while fluvial sediments delivered by rivers draining Continental Europe possibly contributed additional source material to the first loess accumulation phase. We propose that sudden retreats of the North Sea Lobe released substantial amounts of sediment rich meltwater into the southern North Sea and Channel basins, driving accelerated dust emission, loess deposition and provenance variability in NW Europe during MIS 2. Moreover, we propose that this model of dust activity driven by proglacial sediment availability may be applicable for EIS marginal regions more widely, even where resultant loess cover is rarely preserved due to extensive erosion and reworking along the ice marginal spillway. This implies the role of ice sheets in controlling wider dust emission may be underestimated. In addition to driving changes in ocean circulation through meltwater pulses, ice sheet dynamics in the Quaternary may have also driven substantial and abrupt changes in atmospheric dust activity. This mechanism may in part explain the coupling between dust and climate events widely seen in Quaternary dust sediment records and suggests a possible major role of high latitude dust emission in MIS 2 dustiness across Europe and beyond.(c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Eurasian Ice Sheet derived meltwater pulses and their role in driving atmospheric dust activity: Late Quaternary loess sources in SE England / Baykal, Y; Stevens, T; Bateman, Md; Pfaff, K; Sechi, D; Banak, A; Suica, S; Zhang, Hb; Nie, Js. - In: QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS. - ISSN 0277-3791. - 296:(2022), p. 107804. [10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107804]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/300948
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact