Mineral dust archive in Taylor Dome ice core as evidence for shifting coastal east Antarctic climate during the LGM-Holocene transition
Monday, 15 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Ice cores from ice sheets in Antarctica provide valuable records of past climates encompassing hundreds of thousands of years. Chemical and mineralogical characterization of aerosol mineral particles (dust) transported through the atmosphere and deposited on ice sheets and glaciers provide insight into the regional and global climate conditions during a time period. Elemental and isotopic analysis of dust entrapped in ice aids in determining provenance, with variations signifying changes in dust production, sources and transport pathways, indicating an evolving local and/or global climate. We present radiogenic isotope and elemental compositions of insoluble dust entrained in a coastal Antarctic ice core during the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the Holocene. A series of 15 samples from the Taylor Dome ice core, 113-391 m in depth covering a time period of 1.8-31.5 ka were analyzed using traditional Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) equipped with 10-11 Ohm resistors (87Sr/86Sr) and 10-13 Ohm resistors (143Nd/144Nd). We determined trace (TE) and rare earth element (REE) concentrations by Inductively Coupled Plasma Sector Field Mass Spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) and dust concentration and size distribution by Coulter Counter. The radiogenic isotopic compositions of glacial dust agrees with previously measured Antarctic dust: 87Sr/86Sr= 0.7052 – 0.7124 and εNd= -0.9 – -4.7, whereas Holocene dust displays a broader range from 87Sr/86Sr= 0.7054 – 0.7163 and εNd= -0.9 – -7.1, suggesting a shift from globally transported dust to more variable local input following the LGM to Holocene transition. The REE and TE concentrations display typical East Antarctic ice core dust patterns. The average dust particle diameter increases from ~1.8 to ~3 μm with decreasing depositional age, supporting the alteration in dust transport mechanism hypothesis. Our results display dust concentrations of >500 and <15 ppb during glacial and interglacial periods respectively, which are consistent with dust concentration analyses of interior Antarctic ice cores. We present the first radiogenic isotope dust data of a coastal Antarctic ice core during the Holocene, with distinct differences in dust characteristics during the LGM-Holocene transition indicating changes in dust provenance.