Sedimentary characteristics and origin of the Late Pleistocene Ice Complex on North-East Siberian Arctic coastal lowlands and islands - a review
|Title||Sedimentary characteristics and origin of the Late Pleistocene Ice Complex on North-East Siberian Arctic coastal lowlands and islands - a review|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Schirrmeister, L, Kunitsky, V, Grosse, G, Wetterich, S, Meyer, H, Schwamborn, G, Babiy, O, Derevyagin, A, Siegert, C|
|Keywords||Cryolithology, Geochronology, Ice complex, organic carbon, Permafrost, yedoma|
The origin of Late Pleistocene ice-rich, fine-grained permafrost sequences (Ice Complex deposits) in arctic and subarctic Siberia has been in dispute for a long time. Corresponding permafrost sequences are frequently exposed along sea coasts and river banks in the so-called Yedoma hills, which are considered to be erosional remnants of Late Pleistocene accumulation plains. Detailed cryolithological, sedimentological, geochronological, and stratigraphical results from 14 study sites along the Laptev and East Siberian seacoasts were summarised for the first time in order to compare and correlate the local datasets on a large regional scale. The sediments of the Ice Complex are characterised by poorly-sorted silt to fine-sand, buried cryosols, TOC contents of 1.2-4.8 wt%, and very high ground ice content (40 to 60 wt% absolute). A second large constituent of the Ice Complex are large syngenetic ice wedges, resulting in a total ice content of the Ice Complex of up to 80% by volume. Ice Complex deposits were mostly formed during the Middle Weichselian interstadial and/or during the Late Weichselian stadial periods. A conceptual model of nival lithogenesis of Ice Complex deposits was developed that integrates various other formation hypotheses. A combination of various local and regional paleogeographical, geological, and paleoclimate conditions controlled the formation of Ice Complex sequences during the Late Pleistocene in northern East Siberia. They are chronologically and stratigraphically, but not genetically equivalent to Eurasian and Alaskan loess deposits.