Sea surface temperatures did not control the first occurrence of Hudson Strait Heinrich Events during MIS 16

B. David A. Naafs, Jens Hefter, Patrizia Ferretti, Ruediger Stein, Gerald H. Haug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Hudson Strait (HS) Heinrich Events, ice-rafting events in the North Atlantic originating from the Laurentide ice sheet (LIS), are among the most dramatic examples of millennial-scale climate variability and have a large influence on global climate. However, it is debated as to whether the occurrence of HS Heinrich Events in the (eastern) North Atlantic in the geological record depends on greater ice discharge, or simply from the longer survival of icebergs in cold waters. Using sediments from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1313 in the North Atlantic spanning the period between 960 and 320 ka, we show that sea surface temperatures (SSTs) did not control the first occurrence of HS Heinrich(-like) Events in the sedimentary record. Using mineralogy and organic geochemistry to determine the characteristics of ice-rafting debris (IRD), we detect the first HS Heinrich(-like) Event in our record around 643 ka (Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 16), which is similar as previously reported for Site U1308. However, the accompanying high-resolution alkenone-based SST record demonstrates that the first HS Heinrich(-like) Event did not coincide with low SSTs. Thus, the HS Heinrich(-like) Events do indicate enhanced ice discharge from the LIS at the end of the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, not simply the survivability of icebergs due to cold conditions in the North Atlantic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberPA4201
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2011

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