An Arctic perspective on dating Mid-Late Pleistocene environmental history.

Alexanderson, Helena, Backman, Jan, Cronin, Thomas M., Funder, Svend, Ingólfsson, Ólafur, Jakobsson, Martin, Landvik, Jon Y., Löwemark, Ludvig, Mangerud, Jan, März, Christian, Möller, Per, O'Regan, Matt and Spielhagen, Robert F. (2014) An Arctic perspective on dating Mid-Late Pleistocene environmental history. Quaternary Science Reviews, 92 . pp. 9-31. DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.09.023.

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To better understand Pleistocene climatic changes in the Arctic, integrated palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic signals from a variety of marine and terrestrial geological records as well as geochronologic age control are required, not least for correlation to extra-Arctic records. In this paper we discuss, from an Arctic perspective, methods and correlation tools that are commonly used to date Arctic Pleistocene marine and terrestrial events. We review the state of the art of Arctic geochronology, with focus on factors that affect the possibility and quality of dating, and support this overview by examples of application of modern dating methods to Arctic terrestrial and marine sequences.

Event stratigraphy and numerical ages are important tools used in the Arctic to correlate fragmented terrestrial records and to establish regional stratigraphic schemes. Age control is commonly provided by radiocarbon, luminescence or cosmogenic exposure ages. Arctic Ocean deep-sea sediment successions can be correlated over large distances based on geochemical and physical property proxies for sediment composition, patterns in palaeomagnetic records and, increasingly, biostratigraphic data. Many of these proxies reveal cyclical patterns that provide a basis for astronomical tuning.

Recent advances in dating technology, calibration and age modelling allow for measuring smaller quantities of material and to more precisely date previously undatable material (i.e. foraminifera for C-14, and single-grain luminescence). However, for much of the Pleistocene there are still limits to the resolution of most dating methods. Consequently improving the accuracy and precision (analytical and geological uncertainty) of dating methods through technological advances and better understanding of processes are important tasks for the future. Another challenge is to better integrate marine and terrestrial records, which could be aided by targeting continental shelf and lake records, exploring proxies that occur in both settings, and by creating joint research networks that promote collaboration between marine and terrestrial geologists and modellers.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000337198400002
Keywords: Arctic; Chronology; Dating methods; Pleistocene; Stratigraphy
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Projects: Transdrift, Laptev Sea System
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2014 08:46
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2016 07:58

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