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40Ar/39Ar hornblende provenance clues about Heinrich event 3 (H3)

posted on 21.06.2016, 11:22 by Greg E. Downing, Sidney R. Hemming, Anne Jost, Martin Roy

Iceberg discharges into the North Atlantic are important sources of fresh water, and the sediments they deposit can provide constraints on which sectors of different ice sheets were contributing icebergs. 40Ar/39Ar ages of sand-sized hornblende grains provide useful constraints on IRD (ice-rafted detritus) source areas.

Heinrich events are intervals of anomalously high percentages of IRD in marine sediment cores of the North Atlantic IRD belt. In contrast to the others, Heinrich event 3 (H3) records a significantly lower flux of IRD. This study compares 40Ar/39Ar hornblende age distributions from the interval around and including H3 in giant gravity core EW9303-GGC31 from Orphan Knoll, in the southern part of the Labrador Sea, with piston core V28-82 in the eastern part of the North Atlantic IRD belt. Collectively, these results confirm that H3 represents a Hudson Strait IRD event, but that it was smaller than during H1, H2, H4 and H5, and therefore comprises only a small fraction of the detritus at the eastern North Atlantic location of V28-82. These results support a previously published interpretation of across-strait ice flow during H3 at Hudson Strait.