Late Quaternary climatic events and sea-level changes recorded by turbidite activity, Dakar Canyon, NW Africa.

Pierau, Roberto, Hanebuth, Till J. J., Krastel, Sebastian and Henrich, Rüdiger (2010) Late Quaternary climatic events and sea-level changes recorded by turbidite activity, Dakar Canyon, NW Africa. Quaternary Research, 73 . pp. 385-392. DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2009.07.010.

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The relationship of sea-level changes and short-term climatic changes with turbidite deposition is poorly documented, although the mechanisms of gravity-driven sediment transport in submarine canyons during sea-level changes have been reported from many regions. This study focuses on the activity of the Dakar Canyon off southern Senegal in response to major glacial/interglacial sea-level shifts and variability in the NW-African continental climate. The sedimentary record from the canyon allows us to determine the timing of turbidite events and, on the basis of XRF-scanning element data, we have identified the climate signal at a sub-millennial time scale from the surrounding hemipelagic sediments. Over the late Quaternary the highest frequency in turbidite activity in the Dakar Canyon is confined to major climatic terminations when remobilisation of sediments from the shelf was triggered by the eustatic sea-level rise. However, episodic turbidite events coincide with the timing of Heinrich events in the North Atlantic. During these times continental climate has changed rapidly, with evidence for higher dust supply over NW Africa which has fed turbidity currents. Increased aridity and enhanced wind strength in the southern Saharan–Sahelian zone may have provided a source for this dust.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: turbidite system, sea-level change, palaeoclimate, NW Africa, Heinrich equivalents
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.yqres.2009.07.010
ISSN: 0033-5894
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2010 12:25
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2016 10:28

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