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New Evidence from Beneath the Western North Atlantic for the Depth of Glacial Erosion in Greenland and North America

Abstract
Abstract

Interpretation of Deep Sea Drilling Project results and air-gun seismic profiles suggests that about 106 km3 of sediment have been eroded from eastern North America and southern Greenland and deposited in the adjacent North Atlantic since the beginning of continental glaciation. This volume is a minimum estimate which does not account for sediment beneath the continental shelf nor that portion carried south of the Blake-Bahama Outer Ridge by the Western Boundary Undercurrent. It represents erosion of about 100 m of solid rock and indicates that more than 90% of the sediment eroded from these areas was deposited as sands, silts, and clays in the adjacent western North Atlantic. Glaciation accounts for between 55 and 95 m of this average 100 m, and fluvial processes account for the remainder. The documented erosion in part substantiates W. A. White's (1972, Geological Society of America Bulletin 83, 1037–1056) hypothesis of deep erosion and exhumation of shield regions, but is not in agreement with the entire volume of erosion implied by his model.

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C.P. Gravenor Erosion by Continental Ice Sheets. American Journal of Science 275 1975 594 604

D.R. Horn M. Ewing B.M. Horn M.N. Delach Turbidites of the Hatteras and Sohm Abyssal Plains, Western North Atlantic. Marine Geology 11 1971 287 323

J.P. Kennett Cenozoic Evolution of Antarctic Glaciation, the circum-Antarctic Ocean, and their impact on global paleoceanography. Journal of Geophysical Research 82 1977 3843 3860

V. Kolla P.E. Biscayne A.F. Hanley Distribution of quartz in late Quaternary Atlantic sediments in relation to climate. Quaternary Research 11 1979 261 277

W.H. Mathews Cenozoic Erosion and erosion surfaces of Eastern North America. American Journal of Science 275 1975 818 824

W.F. Ruddiman Late Quaternary deposition of ice-rafted sand in the Subpolar North Atlantic (Lot 40° to 65°N). Geological Society of America Bulletin 88 1977 1813 1827

N.J. Shackleton M.B. Cita Oxygen and carbon isotopic stratigraphy of Benthonic Foraminifera in Site 397; Detailed climatic history during the Late Neogene P.A. Rabinowitz W.G. Melson Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project 45 1979 U.S. Govt. Printing Office In press

D.E. Sugden A case against deep erosion of shields by ice sheets. Geology 4 1976 580 582

B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Site 382 B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project 43 1979 U.S. Govt. Printing Office Washington, D.C In press

B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Site 385 B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project 43 1979 U.S. Govt. Printing Office Washington, D.C In press

B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Site 386 B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project 43 1979 U.S. Govt. Printing Office Washington, D.C In press

B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Site 387 B.E. Tucholke P.R. Vogt Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project 43 1979 U.S. Vogt. Printing Office Washington, D.C In press

W.A. White Deep erosion by Continental Ice Sheets. Geological Society of America Bulletin 83 1972 1037 1056

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
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