Trace elements and cathodoluminescence of detrital quartz in Arctic marine sediments – a new ice-rafted debris provenance proxy 1Geological Survey of Norway, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
20 Nov 2013
2Natural History Museum of London, London SW7 5BD, UK
3Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
Received: 03 Jul 2013 – Published in Clim. Past Discuss.: 24 Jul 2013Abstract. The records of ice-rafted debris (IRD) provenance in the North Atlantic–Barents Sea
allow the reconstruction of the spatial and temporal changes of
ice-flow drainage patterns during glacial and deglacial periods. In this
study a new approach to characterization of the provenance of detrital
quartz grains in the fraction > 500 μm of marine sediments
offshore of Spitsbergen is introduced, utilizing scanning electron
microscope backscattered electron and cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging,
combined with laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
Based on their micro-inclusions, CL and trace element characteristics, the
investigated IRD grains can be classified into five distinct populations.
Three of the populations are indicative of potential IRD provenance
provinces in the Storfjord area including Barentsøya and Edgeøya. The
results imply that under modern (interglacial) conditions IRD deposition
along the western Spitsbergen margin is mainly governed by the East
Spitsbergen Current controlling the ice-drift pattern. The presence of
detrital quartz from local provinces, however, indicates that variations in
IRD supply from western Spitsbergen may be quantified as well. In this pilot
study it is demonstrated that this new approach applied on Arctic
continental margin sediments bears a considerable potential for the
definition of the sources of IRD and thus of spatial/temporal changes in
ice-flow drainage patterns during glacial/interglacial cycles.
Revised: 05 Oct 2013 – Accepted: 22 Oct 2013 – Published: 20 Nov 2013
Citation: Müller, A. and Knies, J.: Trace elements and cathodoluminescence of detrital quartz in Arctic marine sediments – a new ice-rafted debris provenance proxy, Clim. Past, 9, 2615-2630, doi:10.5194/cp-9-2615-2013, 2013.