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Late Quaternary environmental and climate history of Rauer Group, East Antarctica

Berg, Sonja; Wagner, Bernd; Cremer, Holger; Leng, Melanie J.; Melles, Martin. 2010 Late Quaternary environmental and climate history of Rauer Group, East Antarctica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 297 (1). 201-213. 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.08.002

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Abstract/Summary

The Rauer Group is an archipelago in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. The ice-free islands and the surrounding shallow marine areas provide valuable archives for the reconstruction of the late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental and climatic history of the region. Two sediment records from two marine inlets of Rauer Group have been studied for their sedimentological, geochemical, and biological characteristics. Radiocarbon ages from one of the inlets indicate ice-free conditions within the last glacial cycle, probably during the second half of Marine Isotope Stage 3. Subsequent ice sheet coverage of Rauer Group during the Last Glacial Maxiumum (LGM) can be inferred from a till layer recovered in one of the basins. The inlets became ice-free prior to 11,200 cal yr BP, when biogenic sedimentation started. Deglacial processes in the catchments, however, influenced the inlets until ~ 9200 cal yr BP as evidenced by the input of minerogenic material. Marine productivity under relatively open water conditions indicates an early Holocene climate optimum until 8200 cal yr BP, which is followed by a cooler period with increased sea ice. Warmer conditions are inferred for the mid Holocene, when both basins experienced an input of freshwater between ~ 5700–3500 cal yr BP, probably due to ice-sheet melting and increased precipitation on the islands. Neoglacial cooling in the late Holocene since c. 3500 cal yr BP is reflected by an increase in sea ice in both inlets.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.08.002
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0031-0182
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 23 Sep 2010 14:16
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/11242

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