Final deglaciation of the Malin Sea through meltwater release and calving events

Serena Tarlati, S. Benetti, Louise Callard, Colm Ó Cofaigh, P Dunlop, Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, Robin Edwards, Katrien J J Van Landeghem, Margot Saher, Richard Chiverrell, Derek Fabel, Steven Moreton, Sally Morgan, Chris D Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the last glacial maximum, the British–Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) extended to the shelf edge in the Malin Sea between Ireland and Scotland, delivering sediments to the Donegal Barra Fan (DBF). Analysis of well-preserved, glacially derived sediment in the DBF provides new insights on the character of the BIIS final deglaciation and palaeoenvironmental conditions at the Younger Dryas. Chaotic/laminated muds, ice-rafted debris (IRD)-rich layers and laminated sand–mud couplets are interpreted as respectively mass transport deposits, plumites and turbidites of BIIS-transported sediments. Peaks in IRD, constrained by radiocarbon dating to after 18 cal ka BP, indicate discrete intervals of iceberg calving during the last stages of deglaciation. Glacially derived sedimentation on the slope occurred until c. 16.9 cal ka BP. This is interpreted as the last time the ice sheet was present on to the shelf, allowing glacial meltwater to reach the fan. Bioturbated and foraminifera-rich muds above glaciomarine sediments are interpreted as interglacial hemipelagites and contourites, with the presence of Zoophycos suggesting restoration of bottom currents at the transition between stadial and interstadial conditions. During the Younger Dryas, Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sinistral abundances and an isolated peak in IRD indicate the temporary restoration of cold conditions and the presence of icebergs in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-133
Number of pages17
JournalScottish Journal of Geology
Volume56
Issue number2
Early online date6 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding ST acknowledges Ulster University’s Vice-Chancellor Research Scholarship for support to her PhD 2014–17. This research was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/J007196/1 ‘BRITICE-

Funding Information:
CHRONO’. The work was supported by the NERC Radiocarbon Facility Allocation No. 1722.0613 and 1878.1014.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank the officers and crew of the RRS James Cook for their help with data acquisition. We also thank Stephen Livingstone, Kasper Weilbach, Riccardo Arosio, Catriona Purcell, Zoe Roseby and Elke Hanenkamp for their scientific support on the JC106 Leg 2 cruise. The authors wish to acknowledge support from the School of Radiology at Ulster University for the X-radiographs acquisition, the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Radiocarbon Facility (NRCF-East Kilbride) and the commercial analytical laboratory Beta Analytic for the radiocarbon dating. Thanks to Ruth Plets and William Austin for the discussion during the PhD viva and all comments they provided to an earlier version of the manuscript included in ST’s thesis. Also thanks to the SJG reviewers and editors for their comments, which helped in improving the manuscript and allowed us the time to do so.

Funding Information:
Funding ST acknowledges Ulster University?s Vice-Chancellor Research Scholarship for support to her PhD 2014?17. This research was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/J007196/1 BRITICECHRONO?. The work was supported by the NERC Radiocarbon Facility Allocation No. 1722.0613 and 1878.1014.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • deglaciation
  • marine terminating ice sheet
  • ice rafted debris
  • Meltwater
  • Plumites
  • Younger Dryas

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