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Sediment storage in the Southern Alps of New Zealand: New observations from tracer thermochronology
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, ISSN 0012-821X, E-ISSN 1385-013X, Vol. 493, p. 140-149Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Careful study of the processes transporting sediment across Earth's surface is critical for robust interpretation of the sedimentary record. Here we consider the specific influence of cyclic glaciation on the export of sediment from mountain landscapes to ocean basins. Using detrital apatite fission-track tracer thermochronology, we present new observations of sediment provenance from six large river systems draining the eastern flank of the Southern Alps, New Zealand. Detrital cooling ages in all six rivers reflect erosion of partially-reset and fully-unreset bedrock exposed in lower catchment areas and indicate that sediment is not currently contributed in proportion to long-term (>10(6) yr) erosion patterns. Instead, detrital cooling ages are better explained by either localized erosion along the eastern mountain front or intermontane sediment storage. Of these two alternatives, only intermontane sediment storage is further consistent with suspended sediment flux measurements in eastern rivers. Our observations are consistent with prior interpretations of Holocene sediment retention, and contrast with tracer thermochronology from continental margin deposits indicating sediment was rapidly exported to the continental shelf during the late Pleistocene. Collectively, this evidence argues for a reactive sediment routing system east of the main drainage divide that responds to cyclic glaciation by retaining sediment onshore following deglaciation and evacuating sediment reservoirs offshore during the subsequent glacial advance. Our research demonstrates the importance of intermontane sediment storage on the transmission of high-frequency (similar to 10(4-5) yr) climate signals to offshore sedimentary archives while highlighting a novel approach to detailing sediment provenance in tectonically active mountain ranges.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 493, p. 140-149
Keywords [en]
thermochronology, provenance, fission-track, apatite, Southern Alps, New Zealand
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157640DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.04.016ISI: 000433643200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157640DiVA, id: diva2:1228049
Available from: 2018-06-27 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-06-27Bibliographically approved

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