The mystery of Bunge Land (New Siberian Archipelago): implications for its formation based on palaeoenvironmental records, geomorphology, and remote sensing
|Title||The mystery of Bunge Land (New Siberian Archipelago): implications for its formation based on palaeoenvironmental records, geomorphology, and remote sensing|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Schirrmeister, L, Grosse, G, Kunitsky, VV, Fuchs, MC, Krbetschek, M, Andreev, AA, Herzschuh, U, Babyi, O, Siegert, C, Meyer, H, Derevyagin, AY, Wetterich, S|
|Journal||Quaternary Science Reviews|
Multiproxy datasets (geocryology, geochronology, sedimentology, palaeo-ecology) from permafrost exposures were used together with land surface information based on satellite imagery and thematic maps in order to reconstruct the Lateglacial to Holocene landscape and environmental dynamics of Bunge Land (Zemlya Bunge). This area of little relief, situated in the New Siberian Archipelago, connects the geomorphologically well-structured islands of Kotel’ny and Fadeevsky. A buried thermokarst landscape was found in the northwest region of the Bunge Land low terrace sand plain, whereas the Bunge Land high terrace seems to be an exposed residue of a similar late Quaternary thermokarst landscape. That is confirmed especially by radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry and optically stimulated luminescence age determinations, and by pollen analyses. Palaeogeographically, the late Pleistocene periglacial landscape and sedimentation of Bunge Land was closely connected to Kotel’ny and Fadeevsky; only later on seismotectonical block movements resulted in reshaping parts of Bunge Land. The Bunge Land low terrace area first subsided and the original landscape there was destroyed by marine inundation, followed by marine sedimentation. Subsequent block heave of the low terrace region exposed a vast sheet of marine sands which is continuously surficially reworked by aeolian processes, while the original alluvial plain landscape in the high terrace area was preserved and started degrading only by early Holocene thermokarst development. The studied exposures contain one of the northernmost (74.88°N) environmental records for the late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Eurasian Arctic.