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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-9-6255-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-9-6255-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 08 Nov 2013

Research article | 08 Nov 2013

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP). A final paper in CP is not foreseen.

Onset of intense permafrost conditions in Northern Eurasia at ~2.55 Ma seen in a cryogenic weathering record from Lake El'gygytgyn

G. Schwamborn, L. Schirrmeister, and B. Diekmann G. Schwamborn et al.
  • Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Physical weathering in permafrost landscapes contrasts to mid- and low latitude physical weathering in the way that quartz is less stable in freeze–thaw (F/T) cycles and breaks down to silt sized grains. F/T weathering also produces a distinct single quartz grain micromorphology such as microcracks and brittle textures of the surface. Both of these sediment-mineralogical features have been used for identifying intense permafrost conditions (i.e. intense F/T dynamics) around Lake El'gygytgyn in NE Eurasia using a Pliocene–Pleistocene sediment record from the centre of the lake. This lake provides the longest terrestrial palaeoenvironmental archive in the Arctic and has been a sediment trap for 3.6 Ma. Detritic material marked by F/T weathering becomes distinctive ~2.55 Ma ago and has been accumulating since then in the lake basin. This time marker coincides with the establishment of a perennial lake ice cover and corresponds with pollen assemblages indicating a significant cooling during that time. It matches fairly well the timing of the Plio-/Pleistocene cooling known from other marine and terrestrial evidence.

The onset of intense quartz weathering is regarded as a first order age assessment for the beginning of persistent Quaternary permafrost conditions and which deepened into the ground since then in settings of high continentality in the non-glaciated NE Eurasian Arctic.

G. Schwamborn et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
G. Schwamborn et al.
G. Schwamborn et al.
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