Processes influencing differences in Arctic and Antarctic trough mouth fan sedimentology
Published:January 01, 2019
Jenny Gales, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Rob Larter, Jan Sverre Laberg, Martin Melles, Sara Benetti, Sandra Passchier, 2019. "Processes influencing differences in Arctic and Antarctic trough mouth fan sedimentology", Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive, D.P. Le Heron, K.A. Hogan, E.R. Phillips, M. Huuse, M.E. Busfield, A.G.C. Graham
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Trough mouth fans (TMFs) are sediment depocentres that form along high-latitude continental margins at the mouths of some cross-shelf troughs. They reflect the dynamics of past ice sheets over multiple glacial cycles and processes operating on (formerly) glaciated continental shelves and slopes, such as erosion, reworking, transport and deposition. The similarities and differences in TMF morphology and formation processes in the Arctic and Antarctic regions remain poorly constrained. We analyse the dimensions and geometries of 15 TMFs from Arctic and Antarctic margins and the grain size distribution of 82 sediment cores centred on them. We compare the grain size composition of sub- and proglacial diamictons deposited on the shelves and glacigenic debris flows deposited on the adjacent TMFs and find a significant difference between Arctic and Antarctic margins. Antarctic margins show a coarser grain size composition for both glacigenic debris flows and shelf diamictons. This significant difference provides insight into high-latitude sediment input, transportation and glacial–interglacial regimes. We suggest that surface runoff and river discharge are responsible for enhanced fine-grained sediment input in the Arctic compared with the Antarctic.
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Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary and Geophysical Archive
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Understanding the sedimentary and geophysical archive of glaciated margins is a complex task that requires integration and analysis of disparate sedimentological and geophysical data. Their analysis is vital for understanding the dynamics of past ice sheets and how they interact with their neighbouring marine basins, on timescales that cannot be captured by observations of the cryosphere today. As resources, sediments deposited on the inner margins of glaciated shelves also exhibit resource potential where more sand-dominated systems occur, acting as reservoirs for both hydrocarbons and water. This book surveys the full gamut of glaciated margins, from deep time (Neoproterozoic, Ordovician and Carboniferous–Permian) to modern high-latitude margins in Canada and Antarctica. This collection of papers is the first attempt to deliberately do this, allowing not only the similarities and differences between modern and ancient glaciated margins to be explored, but also the wide spectrum of their mechanisms of investigation to be probed. Together, these papers offer a high-resolution, spatially and temporally diverse blueprint of the depositional processes, ice sheet dynamics, and basin architectures of the world’s former glaciated margins; a vital resource in advancing understanding of our present and future marine-terminating ice sheet margins.