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Patterns of Cenozoic sediment flux from western Scandinavia

Authors


Correspondence: Bartosz Gołędowski, Department of Earth Science, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. E-mail: bartosz.goledowski@geo.au.dk

Abstract

The significance of variations in the sediment flux from western Scandinavia during the Cenozoic has been a matter of debate for decades. Here we compile the sediment flux using seismic data, boreholes and results from other publications and discuss the relative importance of causal agents such as tectonism, climate and climate change. Western Scandinavia, the northern British Isles and the Faeroe-Shetland Platform were significant sediment sources during the Paleocene, which is well founded in tectonic causes related to the opening of the North Atlantic. From the Eocene and onward, variations in the sediment flux from western Scandinavia correlate better with climate and climate change. During the Eocene, sediment production was low. From the late Eocene onward, increased seasonality may have contributed to stimulating the sediment flux. Significant climatic cooling episodes correlate with Oligocene deposits in the North Sea, the post-mid-Miocene Molo and Kai Formations of the Norwegian Shelf, the southern North Sea delta system and large volumes of the Late Pliocene-Holocene Naust Formation. The sediment flux from Scandinavia during the Cenozoic is in general agreement with the detrital flux to the world's oceans. Furthermore, the large variations in the size of sediment catchment areas as well as the possibility of submarine and glacial erosion must be incorporated to understand regional variations in climate driven sediment flux.

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