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Aeolian influx and related environmental conditions on Gran Canaria during the early Pleistocene

  • Inmaculada Menéndez (a1), José Mangas (a1), Esperança Tauler (a2), Vidal Barrón (a3), José Torrent (a3), Juan F. Betancort (a4), Ángelo Santana (a5), José Manuel Recio (a6), Luis A. Quevedo-González (a1), Ignacio Alonso (a1) and Jorge Méndez-Ramos (a7)...

The island of Gran Canaria is regularly affected by dust falls due to its proximity to the Saharan desert. Climatic oscillations may affect the Saharan dust input to the island. Geochemical, mineralogical, and textural analysis was performed on a well-developed and representative early Pleistocene paleosol to examine Saharan dust contribution to Gran Canaria. Significant and variable Saharan dust content was identified in addition to weathering products such as iron oxides and clay minerals. Variations in quartz and iron oxide concentrations in the paleosol likely reflect different Saharan dust input in more/less-contrasted rhexistasic/biostatic climatic conditions. Linking the quartz content in Canarian soils, the Ingenio paleosol, and two Canarian loess-like deposits to different ages from the Quaternary, we hypothesized that the dust input should be lower (about 33–38%) throughout the early to middle Pleistocene than during the late Quaternary. The Saharan dust input to the Gran Canaria profile in the Pleistocene persisted in spite of climatic variations.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author at: Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global, IOCAG, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Tafira, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. E-mail address: (I. Menéndez).
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