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Direct evidence of aeolian deposition of marine diatoms to an ice sheet


Budgeon, AL and Roberts, D and Gasparon, M and Adams, N, Direct evidence of aeolian deposition of marine diatoms to an ice sheet, Antarctic Science, 24, (5) pp. 527-535. ISSN 1365-2079 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Antarctic Science Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102012000235


Antarctic snow samples collected from the Wilkins Runway, c. 50 km inland from the Windmill Islands, East Antarctica, contain aeolian-derived diatoms. The diatom assemblage preserved is exclusively of marine origin. As diatoms are excellent indicators of source conditions, we are able to confirm that an unusual weather event, with anomalous north-westerly winds blowing at around 10 m s-1, resulted in the deposition of coastal marine species at the Wilkins Runway. The composition of the floral assemblage collected indicate that the parent water mass was from a coastal marine region undergoing typical Antarctic summer conditions with periods of both consolidated sea ice and open water. On inspection of available satellite imagery, these conditions were found upwind of the deposition site. This study provides a methodology for diatoms found within ice cores to be identified and the source region to be determined. It also provides evidence for a large-scale aeolian deposition of marine diatoms to an ice sheet, which may have implications for the interpretation of controversial marine diatoms found in sediments that have been used as evidence for the retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aeolian transport, ice core, snow, source, Windmill Islands, aeolian deposition
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Palaeoclimatology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Roberts, D (Dr Donna Roberts)
UTAS Author:Adams, N (Mr Nicholas Adams)
ID Code:78075
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2012-06-14
Last Modified:2013-04-26

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