Radiometrically determined sedimentary fluxes in the sub-polar North Atlantic during the last 140,000 years

TitleRadiometrically determined sedimentary fluxes in the sub-polar North Atlantic during the last 140,000 years
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMcManus, JF, Anderson, RF, Broecker, WS, Fleisher, MQ, Higgins, SM
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Date PublishedFeb 15
Accession NumberWOS:000072764200003

We have examined the record of sediment input during the last 140000 years in a deep-sea core from 49 degrees 27'N, 22 degrees 16'W in the eastern North Atlantic. Using uranium-series disequilibria to constrain time, we have calculated mass fluxes of total sediment, as well as mass and particle fluxes of major sedimentary components. Sediment accumulation rates were generally lower and relatively constant during broadly defined interglacial intervals, driven primarily by the burial of biogenic material. Accumulation rates were higher and more variable during glacial intervals, and were influenced primarily by terrigenous material. Peaks in bulk mass fluxes were associated with particular episodes (Heinrich events) within the last glacial and during each of the last two deglaciations. The flux of ice-rafted debris, as uniquely identified by coarse detrital fragments, was higher during layers representing each of the glacial Heinrich events, with modest increases during events H3 and H6 and dramatic increases during the others, confirming the widespread interpretation of these layers as episodes of enhanced iceberg delivery. The burial flux of foraminifera was markedly lower during each of the glacial Heinrich events, also confirming the original identification of these layers as barren intervals. Ice-rafting events within marine isotope stage 5 left neither a large detrital nor biogenic flux imprint at our study site. Variations in the burial rates of non-carbonate sediments were largely responsible for overall changes in sediment accumulation throughout the last climate cycle. Ice-rafting was apparently an important delivery mechanism for this terrigenous material. The instantaneous chronometer established here for the last 140000 years in the subpolar North Atlantic allows the transformation of existing and subsequent data from relative values to absolute burial fluxes. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.