Multi-Proxy Approach for Identifying Heinrich Events in Sediment Cores from Hatton Bank (NE Atlantic Ocean)

Sayago-Gil, Miriam; López-González, Nieves; Long, David; Fernández-Salas, Luis Miguel; Durán-Muñoz, Pablo. 2020 Multi-Proxy Approach for Identifying Heinrich Events in Sediment Cores from Hatton Bank (NE Atlantic Ocean). Geosciences, 10 (1), 14.

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A series of six gravity cores has been used to reconstruct the depositional history of Hatton Bank (Rockall Plateau, NE Atlantic Ocean). The cores have been studied for magnetic susceptibility (MS), geochemical composition, grain size distribution, and a semi-quantitative foraminiferal association. Two main interbedded facies have been described: (i) calcareous ooze; and (ii) lithogenous silt. The study reveals prominent peaks from the MS signal, silt, Mg/Ca, Fe/Ca, Al/Ca, and Rare Earth Elements normalised by Continental Crust (REE/CC), which are sensitive indicators for Heinrich events (H1, H2, H3, H4, and H5) and ash layers. These peaks may relate to alternations in dominance of the calcareous and lithogenic facies. The sediment displays a high percentage of carbonate in interglacial layers but is lithogenic-dominated in glacial stages. The layers with prominent lithic-rich and foraminifera-poor sediments (established as Heinrich layers) may be related to a possible palaeoclimatic effect, where freshwater discharged during iceberg melting may have reduced the formation of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). In the study area, the mean sedimentation rates for the last glacial as ~4.2 cm ka−1 and ~1.4 cm ka−1 for the last ~18 ka (interglacial period) have been estimated. Besides this evidence, Fe/Ca and MS peaks may reflect the presence of basalt, either introduced through ice-rafting or transported and redistributed by bottom currents in the study area. Certain indices, including MS and Fe/Ca, are proposed as good proxies for detecting Heinrich events and ash layers in the Hatton Bank sediments and, in consequence, are parameters that can be used to infer strengthened/weakened NADW formation, according to stadials/interstadials. Moreover, we suggest that the northernmost boundary of the area with evidence of Heinrich events may be situated around 57°38′ N in the Hatton–Rockall area, at least for H4, based on the variation of the Mg/Ca and Fe/Ca curves.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 2076-3263
Date made live: 30 Mar 2020 15:30 +0 (UTC)

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