Abstract

The dust accumulations in the permanent snowfields associated with the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and five temperate glaciers were studied to evaluate the contribution of atmospherically transported solids to recent marine sediments. Semiquantitative mineralogical and size analyses of the paniculate matter distinguished between dust components derived from local sources and dust components derived from distant (global) sources. The accumulation rates of the global dust as measured by Pb210 geochronology range from 0.1 to about 1.0 mm per 103 years. Comparison of the accumulation rate, mineralogy, and size distribution of the globally transported dusts with those of adjacent marine sediments of the North and South Pacific and Central Atlantic oceans, suggests that these areas may presently receive as much as 25 to 75 percent of their detrital phases from atmospheric dust fallout.

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