Quaternary interaction of cryospheric and oceanographic processes along the central-east Greenland margin
The east Greenland margin has been influenced by oceanographic and cryospheric processes since the late Miocene, when the southwards flow of the East Greenland Current (EGC) initiated and ice sheets first advanced across the margin. However, the relative importance of these processes, and their influence on the sedimentation of the margin through time remains poorly understood. High‐resolution single‐channel seismic, chirp sub‐bottom profiles and swath bathymetry data were acquired along the middle/lower slope and proximal basinal area off Liverpool Land, central‐east Greenland margin. In this study, seismic‐stratigraphical and morphological analyses allowed us to distinguish between the major sedimentary processes that influenced this margin during the Quaternary. The stratigraphical architecture reveals mass transport deposits (MTDs) related to glacially influenced down‐slope sedimentation. These are intercalated with buried contourite systems associated with bottom‐current controlled along‐slope sedimentation. The distribution of the MTDs suggests the influence of two distinct ice‐stream systems. Initial phases of down‐slope deposition during the early‐middle Quaternary appears to be related to distal deposition fed by an ice stream from the Scoresby Sund area in the south. Shallow sedimentary processes, together with morphological analysis of the sea floor, show that the most recent activity of down‐slope processes during the latest Quaternary has occurred in the north, linked to an ice stream from the Kong Oscar Fjord area. These observations document a temporal shift in the relative dominance of the Scoresby Sund and Kong Oscar Fjord ice‐stream systems. The glacial influence on the margin has been interrupted by periods of stronger activity of along‐slope bottom‐current flow, demonstrating that the EGC periodically controlled sedimentation on the continental margin.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Perez, L.F., Nielsen, T., Rasmussen, T.L. & Winsborrow, M. (2019). Quaternary interaction of cryospheric and oceanographic processes along the central-east Greenland margin. Boreas, 48, 72-91, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12340. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.