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Open AccessArticle

133,000 Years of Sedimentary Record in a Contourite Drift in the Western Alboran Sea: Sediment Sources and Paleocurrent Reconstruction

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Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), C.O. Málaga, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain
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Instituto de Ciencias del Mar, CSIC, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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Servicio de Hidrografía Naval, División Geología y Geofísica Marina, C1270ABV Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Departamento de Dinámica de la Tierra y del Océano, Facultad de Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), 28003 Madrid, Spain
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Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, ISTEP and CNRS, UMR 7193, F-75005 Paris, France
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Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, FST, Tangier 90 000, Morocco
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(8), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9080345
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Sediments and Marine Environments)
The Djibouti Ville Drift is part of a contourite depositional system located on the southern side of the Djibouti Ville Seamount in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean). The sedimentary record of a core located in the drift deposits has been characterized to achieve the possible sediment sources for the Saharan dust supply and the paleocurrent variability related to Mediterranean intermediate waters for the last 133 kyr. Three end-member grain-size distributions characterize the sediment record transported by the bottom current to address the different aeolian populations, i.e., coarse EM1, silty EM2, and fine EM3. For these particles, the most likely source areas are the Saharan sedimentary basins and deserts, as well as the cratonic basins of the Sahara-Sahel Dust Corridor. The prevalence of these main source areas is shown in the core record, where a noticeable change occurs during the MIS 5 to MIS 4 transition. Some punctual sediment inputs from the seamount have been recognized during sea-level lowstand, but there is no evidence of fluvial supply in the drift deposits. The paleocurrent reconstruction allows the characterizing of the stadial and cold periods by large increases in the mean sortable silt fraction and UP10, which point to an enhanced bottom current strength related to intermediate water masses. Conversely, interglacial periods are characterized by weaker bottom current activity, which is associated with denser deep water masses. These proxies also recorded the intensified Saharan wind transport that occurred during interstadial/stadial transitions. All these results point to the importance of combining sediment source areas with major climatic oscillations and paleocurrent variability in palaeoceanographic sedimentary archives, which may help to develop future climate prediction models. View Full-Text
Keywords: contourite drift; aeolian sediment sources; paleocurrent proxies; Mediterranean intermediate water masses; Djibouti Ville Seamount; Alboran Sea contourite drift; aeolian sediment sources; paleocurrent proxies; Mediterranean intermediate water masses; Djibouti Ville Seamount; Alboran Sea
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López-González, N.; Alonso, B.; Juan, C.; Ercilla, G.; Bozzano, G.; Cacho, I.; Casas, D.; Palomino, D.; Vázquez, J.-T.; Estrada, F.; Bárcenas, P.; d’Acremont, E.; Gorini, C.; Moumni, B.E. 133,000 Years of Sedimentary Record in a Contourite Drift in the Western Alboran Sea: Sediment Sources and Paleocurrent Reconstruction. Geosciences 2019, 9, 345.

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