Sea-level control on turbidite activity in the Rhone canyon and the upper fan during the Last Glacial Maximum and Early deglacial

Abstract : The timing, routing, and processes of sediment transfer from the continents to the oceans at millennial time-scale are still largely unknown. The potential of turbidite systems (dominantly deposited during sea-level lowstands) to record global or regional environmental fluctuations is usually under-exploited because of the difficulty to obtain robust chronostratigraphic constraints in turbiditic deposits, and therefore to tie changes in sedimentary processes to environmental fluctuations. We were able to obtain a millennial-scale chronostratigraphy based on oxygen isotopes of the scarce foraminifera preserved in turbiditic deposits of the Rhone Turbidite System within the Western Mediterranean. Our results show that 1) objective criteria can be defined for the selection of foraminifera preserved within the pelagic intervals between the turbiditic sequences, in order to obtain a reliable isotope stratigraphy; 2) turbidites triggered by hyperpycnal currents are described for the first time within the Rhone Turbidite System. They are related to the periods of direct fluvial connection with the canyon head (during the sea-level lowstand and early rise), and to a period of high sediment flux in relation to the massive recession of the Rhone glaciers in the Alps; 3) the lithofacies change passing from hyperpycnal to “Bouma-type” is dated at ca 19 cal. ka BP, which might correspond to an acceleration of sea-level rise (19-ka Meltwater Pulse).
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 4:31:12 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:25:50 AM

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S. Lombo Tombo, B. Dennielou, Serge Berné, Maria-Angela Bassetti, S. Toucanne, et al.. Sea-level control on turbidite activity in the Rhone canyon and the upper fan during the Last Glacial Maximum and Early deglacial. Sedimentary Geology, Elsevier, 2015, 323, pp.148-166. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.04.009⟩. ⟨hal-01167563⟩

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