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Sediment thicknesses and holocene glacial marine sedimentation rates in three east Greenland fjords (ca. 68°N)

The Journal of Geology
By: , and 

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Abstract

We compared measured and estimated sediment budgets in heavily glaciated fjords in East Greenland. Mass balance calculations and regional glacio-climatic conditions suggest that the sediment flux to the seafloor in Kangerdlugssuaq and Nansen fjords should be dominated by iceberg rafting and not by the rain-out of suspended particulates in meltwater, as the glacier calving flux is estimated at 15 and $2 km^{3}/yr$, compared to meltwater volumes of 4.4 and $1.7 km^{3}/yr$, respectively. Gravity cores in the three fjords indicate that the uppermost 1-2.5 m of sediment consists of diamictons or fine-grained laminated muds. AMS radiocarbon dates on calcareous foramininfera or shells (16 total) indicate sedimentation rates of 110 to 340 cm/ka within the fjords over the last 1 ka, and 10-20 cm/ka during the Holecene on the inner and middle shelf. Annual sediment discharge is around $0.67 \times 10^{6}$ tonnes/yr within the Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord and Trough system, which translates into an average basin-wide rate of denudation of 0.01 mm/yr (0.01 m/ka). Air gun and deep-towed (Huntec) seismic profiling was carried out in Kangerdlugssuaq and Nansen fjords, East Greenland, and showed that sediment fills averaged 500 and 350 m respectively; they consist primarily of acoustically stratified sediments. If the sediment fills are entirely Holocene in age then the required average sediment accumulation rates of 35-50 m/ka are an order of magnitude larger than the $^{14}C $controlled rates of the last 1-2 ka. This raises the possibility that fjord sediments may be by-passed and not always recycled during glacial advances; this will affect sedimentation rates on adjacent shelves and deep-sea areas during successive glaciations

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Sediment thicknesses and holocene glacial marine sedimentation rates in three east Greenland fjords (ca. 68°N)
Series title The Journal of Geology
Volume 102
Issue 6
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 15 p.
First page 669
Last page 683
Country Greenland