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Defining the geochemical composition of the EPICA Dome C ice core dust during the last glacial-interglacial cycle

Abstract : The major element composition of the insoluble, windborne long-range dust archived in the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C ice core has been determined by Particle Induced X-ray Emission analyses. The geochemistry of dust from the last glacial maximum (LGM) and from the Holocene is discussed in terms of past environmental changes, throughout the last climatic cycle. Antarctic dust from glacial and interglacial climate clearly reveals different geochemical compositions. The weathered crustal-like signature of LGM dust is characterized by a low compositional variability, suggesting a dominant source under the glacial regime. The close correspondence between the major element composition of Antarctic glacial dust and the composition of southern South American sediments supports the hypothesis of a dominant role of this area as major dust supplier during cold conditions. Conversely, the major element composition of Holocene dust displays high variability and high Al content on average. This implies that an additional source could also play some role. Comparison with size-selected sediments suggests that a contribution from Australia is likely during warm times, when a reduced glacial erosion decreases the primary dust production and a more intense hydrological cycle and larger vegetation cover inactivates dust mobility in a large part of southern South America, weakening its contribution as a massive dust supplier to Antarctica.
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F. Marino, Emiliano Castellano, D. Ceccato, P. de Deckker, Barbara Delmonte, et al.. Defining the geochemical composition of the EPICA Dome C ice core dust during the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, AGU and the Geochemical Society, 2008, 9 (Q10018), 1 à 11 p. ⟨10.1029/2008GC002023⟩. ⟨insu-00379678⟩



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