Periglacial landscape evolution and environmental changes of Arctic lowland areas for the last 60 000 years (western Laptev Sea coast, Cape Mamontov Klyk)
AbstractNon-glaciated Arctic lowlands in north-east Siberia were subjected to extensive landscape and environmental changes during the Late Quaternary. Coastal cliffs along the Arctic shelf seas expose terrestrial archives containing numerous palaeoenvironmental indicators (e.g., pollen, plant macro-fossils and mammal fossils) preserved in the permafrost. The presented sedimentological (grain size, magnetic susceptibility and biogeochemical parameters), cryolithological, geochronological (radiocarbon, accelerator mass spectrometry and infrared-stimulated luminescence), heavy mineral and palaeoecological records from Cape Mamontov Klyk record the environmental dynamics of an Arctic shelf lowland east of the Taymyr Peninsula, and thus, near the eastern edge of the Eurasian ice sheet, over the last 60 Ky. This region is also considered to be the westernmost part of Beringia, the non-glaciated landmass that lay between the Eurasian and the Laurentian ice caps during the Late Pleistocene. Several units and subunits of sand deposits, peat–sand alternations, ice-rich palaeocryosol sequences (Ice Complex) and peaty fillings of thermokarst depressions and valleys were presented. The recorded proxy data sets reflect cold stadial climate conditions between 60 and 50 Kya, moderate inderstadial conditions between 50 and 25 Kya and cold stadial conditions from 25 to 15 Kya. The Late Pleistocene to Holocene transition, including the Allerød warm period, the early to middle Holocene thermal optimum and the late Holocene cooling, are also recorded. Three phases of landscape dynamic (fluvial/alluvial, irregular slope run-off and thermokarst) were presented in a schematic model, and were subsequently correlated with the supraregional environmental history between the Early Weichselian and the Holocene.
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