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Unraveling complex exposure-burial histories of bedrock surfaces under ice sheets by integrating cosmogenic nuclide concentrations with climate proxy records
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (paleoglaciologi/paleoglaciology)
2008 (English)In: Geomorphology, Vol. 99, no 1-4, 139-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The production, accumulation, and decay of cosmogenic radionuclides in rock surfaces subjected to episodes of exposure and burial by ice results in nuclide concentrations in present day rock surfaces that can be used to address a variety of questions in glacial geomorphology and Quaternary geology. Of particular importance is the fact that these nuclide concentrations reflect both the timing of initial exposure of the rock surface and the chronology of subsequent exposure, burial, and erosion episodes. For landscapes where geomorphic evidence indicates that little/no erosion occurred, constraining the timing of initial exposure and the number of phases of exposure and burial that a rock surface has been subjected to is possible using multiple cosmogenic radionuclide concentrations combined with proxies for the timing and duration of periods of ice cover, such as ice core or marine isotope records. However, interpretations based on this approach require determination of an appropriate cutoff value to separate the proxy record into ice-free and ice-covered conditions and assessment of the sensitivity of the results to different cutoff values.

We have developed a numerical model to evaluate variations in total exposure and burial durations as a function of different proxy records and cutoff values. This program is available at Initial results for sites in West Antarctica and northern Sweden show that the method provides a quick and robust way to derive best-fit cutoff values and chronologies of burial and exposure, and small changes in cutoff values can result in significant shifts in results. The method described here provides new insight into the interpretation and reliability of multiple nuclide samples. This approach also has the potential to provide improved constraints for ice sheet dynamics and landscape evolution, and a means to assess the sensitivity of calculated initial exposure dates to assumptions about ice sheet history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 99, no 1-4, 139-149 p.
Keyword [en]
Cosmogenic nuclides, Ice sheet, Complex burial-exposure histories, Surface exposure dating
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16979ISI: 000257696000011OAI: diva2:183499
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant OPP-0138486 to Harbor and Swedish Research Council Grant G-AA/GU 621-2001-2331 to Stroeven.Available from: 2009-01-01 Created: 2009-01-01 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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