University of Oulu

Alatarvas, R., O'Regan, M., and Strand, K.: Heavy mineral assemblages of the De Long Trough and southern Lomonosov Ridge glacigenic deposits: implications for the East Siberian Ice Sheet extent, Clim. Past, 18, 1867–1881,, 2022

Heavy mineral assemblages of the De Long Trough and southern Lomonosov Ridge glacigenic deposits : implications for the East Siberian Ice Sheet extent

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Author: Alatarvas, Raisa1; O'Regan, Matt2; Strand, Kari1
Organizations: 1Oulu Mining School, University of Oulu, Oulu 90570, Finland
2Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Copernicus Publications, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-01-03


The Arctic’s glacial history has classically been interpreted from marine records in terms of the fluctuations of the Eurasian and North American ice sheets. However, the extent and timing of the East Siberian Ice Sheet (ESIS) have remained uncertain. A recently discovered glacially scoured cross-shelf trough extending to the edge of the continental shelf north of the De Long Islands has provided additional evidence that glacial ice existed on parts of the East Siberian Sea (ESS) during previous glacial periods MIS 6 and 4. This study concentrates on defining the heavy mineral signature of glacigenic deposits from the East Siberian continental margin which were collected during the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition. The cores studied are 20-GC1 from the East Siberian shelf, 23-GC1 and 24-GC1 from the De Long Trough (DLT), and 29-GC1 from the southern Lomonosov Ridge (LR). Heavy mineral assemblages were used to identify prominent parent rocks in hinterland and other sediment source areas. The parent rock areas include major eastern Siberian geological provinces such as the Omolon massif, the Chukotka fold belt, the Verkhoyansk fold belt, and possibly the Okhotsk–Chukotka volcanic belt. The primary riverine sources for the ESS sediments are the Indigirka and Kolyma rivers, the material of which was glacially eroded and re-deposited in the DLT. The higher abundances of amphiboles in the heavy mineral assemblages may indicate ESS paleovalley of the Indigirka River as a major pathway of sediments, while the Kolyma River paleovalley pathway relates to a higher share of pyroxenes and epidote. The mineralogical signature in the DLT diamicts, consisting predominantly of amphiboles and pyroxenes with a minor content of garnet and epidote, shows clear delivery from the eastern part of the ESIS. Although the physical properties of the DLT glacial diamict closely resemble a pervasive diamict unit recovered from the southern LR, their source material is slightly different. The assemblages with elevated amphibole and garnet content, along with higher titanite and ilmenite content of the southern LR ice-rafted diamict, emphasise the Verkhoyansk fold belt as a possible primary source. The presence of glacial sediments and the recovered glacial–tectonic features on the East Siberian continental shelf and slope, along with the results from this heavy mineral analysis, imply that glacial ice not only grew out of the East Siberian shelf but also from the De Long Islands, and that there was also ice rafting related sediment transportation to the southern LR from westerly sources, such as the Laptev Sea.

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Series: Climate of the past
ISSN: 1814-9324
ISSN-E: 1814-9332
ISSN-L: 1814-9324
Volume: 18
Issue: 8
Pages: 1867 - 1881
DOI: 10.5194/cp-18-1867-2022
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: This research has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation (grant no. 00200162).
Copyright information: © Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.