High-resolution sediment echosounder data combined with radiocarbon-dated sediment cores allowed us to reconstruct the Late Quaternary stratigraphic architecture of the Kveithola Trough and surrounding Spitsbergenbanken. The deposits display the successive deglacial retreat of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet. Basal subglacial till indicates that the grounded ice sheet covered both bank and trough during the Late Weichselian. A glaciomarine blanket inside the trough coinciding with laminated plumites on the bank formed during the initial ice-melting phase from at least 16.1 to 13.5 cal ka BP in close proximity to the ice margin. After the establishment of open-marine conditions at around 13.5 cal ka BP, a sediment drift developed in the confined setting of the Kveithola Trough, contemporary with crudely laminated mud, an overlying lag deposit, and modern bioclastic-rich sand on Spitsbergenbanken. The Kveithola Drift shows a remarkable grain-size coarsening from the moat towards the southern flank of the trough. This trend contradicts the concept of a separated drift (which would imply coarser grain sizes in proximity of the moat) and indicates that the southern bank is the main sediment source for the coarse material building up the Kveithola Drift. This depocenter represents, therefore, a yet undescribed combination of off-bank wedge and confined drift. Although the deposits inside Kveithola Trough and on Spitsbergenbanken display different depocenter geometries, time-equivalent grain-size changes imply a region-wide sediment-dynamic connection. We thus relate a phase of coarsest sediment supply (8.8–6.3 cal ka BP) to an increase in bottom current strength, which might be related to a stronger Atlantic Water inflow from the Southeast across the bank leading to winnowing and off-bank export of sandy sediments.

Deglacial to Holocene history of ice-sheet retreat and bottom current strength on the western Barents Sea shelf

Rebesco M;
2017

Abstract

High-resolution sediment echosounder data combined with radiocarbon-dated sediment cores allowed us to reconstruct the Late Quaternary stratigraphic architecture of the Kveithola Trough and surrounding Spitsbergenbanken. The deposits display the successive deglacial retreat of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet. Basal subglacial till indicates that the grounded ice sheet covered both bank and trough during the Late Weichselian. A glaciomarine blanket inside the trough coinciding with laminated plumites on the bank formed during the initial ice-melting phase from at least 16.1 to 13.5 cal ka BP in close proximity to the ice margin. After the establishment of open-marine conditions at around 13.5 cal ka BP, a sediment drift developed in the confined setting of the Kveithola Trough, contemporary with crudely laminated mud, an overlying lag deposit, and modern bioclastic-rich sand on Spitsbergenbanken. The Kveithola Drift shows a remarkable grain-size coarsening from the moat towards the southern flank of the trough. This trend contradicts the concept of a separated drift (which would imply coarser grain sizes in proximity of the moat) and indicates that the southern bank is the main sediment source for the coarse material building up the Kveithola Drift. This depocenter represents, therefore, a yet undescribed combination of off-bank wedge and confined drift. Although the deposits inside Kveithola Trough and on Spitsbergenbanken display different depocenter geometries, time-equivalent grain-size changes imply a region-wide sediment-dynamic connection. We thus relate a phase of coarsest sediment supply (8.8–6.3 cal ka BP) to an increase in bottom current strength, which might be related to a stronger Atlantic Water inflow from the Southeast across the bank leading to winnowing and off-bank export of sandy sediments.
Contourite drift; Barents Sea; Glacial trough
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/4121
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