Source as a controlling factor on the quality and interpretation of sediment magnetic records from the northern North Atlantic

Robert .G. Hatfield, Joseph S. Stoner, Anders E. Carlson, Alberto V. Reyes, Bernard A. Housen

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    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Magnetic properties of eight particle size ranges from nine locations in Iceland and 26 locations in southern Greenland reveal the importance of source variation for our understanding of paleomagnetic and environmental magnetic records in the marine environment. These terrestrial samples show varying degrees of particle size dependence with all samples showing that the silt fraction possesses greater concentrations of ferrimagnetic minerals than either clay or sand. Fine pseudo-single domain (PSD) size magnetic grains dominate the magnetic assemblage of all Icelandic fractions. In contrast, Greenlandic samples possess greater variation in magnetic grain size; only fine silt and clay are as magnetically fine as the Icelandic PSD grains, while Greenlandic silts and sands are dominated by coarser PSD and multi-domain grains. These observations from potential marine sediment sources suggest that the silt size fraction is a likely driver for much of the concentration-dependent parameters derived from bulk magnetic records and that the magnetic grain size of the silt fraction can be used to discriminate between Icelandic and Greenlandic sources. Using these results to examine magnetic grain size records from marine sediment cores collected across the northern North Atlantic suggests that source, not just transport-controlled physical grain-size, has a significant impact on determining the magnetic grain size at a particular location. Homogeneity of magnetic grain size in Icelandic sediments at least partially explains the consistent quality of paleomagnetic records derived from cores surrounding Iceland and their ability to buffer large environmental changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-77
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2013

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