U and Th isotope constraints on the duration of Heinrich events H0-H4 in the southeastern Labrador Sea


  • C. C. Veiga-Pires,

  • C. Hillaire-Marcel


The duration and sequence of events recorded in Heinrich layers at sites near the Hudson Strait source area for ice-rafted material are still poorly constrained, notably because of the limit and uncertainties of the 14C chronology. Here we use high-resolution 230Th-excess measurements, in a 6 m sequence raised from Orphan Knoll (southern Labrador Sea), to constrain the duration of the deposition of the five most recent Heinrich (H) layers. On the basis of maximum/minimum estimates for the mean glacial 230Th-excess flux at the studied site a minimum/maximum duration of 1.0/0.6, 1.4/0.8, 1.3/0.8, 1.5/0.9, and 2.1/1.3 kyr is obtained for H0 (∼Younger Dryas), Hl, H2, H3, and H4, respectively. Thorium-230-excess inventories and other sedimentological features indicate a reduced but still significant lateral sedimentary supply by the Western Boundary Undercurrent during the glacial interval. U and Th series systematics also provide insights into source rocks of H layer sediments (i.e., into distal Irminger Basin/local Labrador Sea supplies).