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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Heinrich event 0
  • Younger Dryas
  • fresh water
  • Labrador Sea
  • Laurentide Ice Sheet

Index Terms

  • 0726 Cryosphere: Ice sheets
  • 1605 Global Change: Abrupt/rapid climate change
  • 4926 Paleoceanography: Glacial



The Role of Hudson Strait Outlet in Younger Dryas Sedimentation in the Labrador Sea

Harunur Rashid

Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

David J. W. Piper

Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic), Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Benjamin P. Flower

College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

In the Younger Dryas (YD) the circum-North Atlantic region returned to near glacial conditions, widely attributed to the release of fresh water from the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS). Hudson Strait was a major outlet for fresh water, icebergs, and sediment from the LIS that deposited Heinrich (H) layers throughout the North Atlantic. Heinrich layer 0 (H0), the YD equivalent ice-rafting event, has been reported to be absent in deep water seaward of the mouth of Hudson Strait. We have identified meter-thick H0 carbonate-rich sediments of YD age seaward of Hudson Strait as nepheloid-flow deposits and as turbidites on the northeast Sohm Abyssal Plain. Otherwise, H0 is generally absent in cores from the Labrador Basin. The thick proximal H0 bed indicates an important supply of fresh water through the Hudson Strait outlet of the LIS during the YD. The sparse distal sediment distribution and values in the planktonic foraminiferal δ18O in the Labrador Sea, less depleted than during H1, were probably the result of the position of the ice margin, duration of freshwater discharge, and dilution of freshwater signature with the ambient seawater during H0. This change is interpreted to result from differences in the retreat of the ice margin at the mouth of Hudson Strait, resulting in different styles of sediment and freshwater transport during the H0 compared to earlier H events.

Citation: Rashid, H., D. J. W. Piper, and B. P. Flower (2011), The role of Hudson Strait outlet in Younger Dryas sedimentation in the Labrador Sea, in Abrupt Climate Change: Mechanisms, Patterns, and Impacts, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 193, edited by H. Rashid, L. Polyak and E. Mosley-Thompson, pp. 93–110, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM001011.


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