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Terrigenous signals in sediments of the low latitude Atlantic – implications to environmental variations during the late Quaternary: Part I: organic carbon

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas Wagner


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The established view of a marine-dominated organic signature of modern and late Quarternay deep ocean sediments is challenged by recently performed organic geochemical, petrolocical, and palynological investigations. This study reviews multidisciplinary concepts that were developed over the last decade in Bremen and have been successfully applied to modern and late Quarternary sediments from the low latitude Atlantic. Relative proportions and compositional variations of terrigenous OM are deduced from macerals (organic particles), freshwater diatoms, phytoliths, pollen grains, lignin signatures, and carbon isotopic compositions of bulk organic matter as well as from higher plant-derived long-chain n-alkanes. For their variety of depositional settings and their close location next to each other the dust-influenced central Equatorial Atlantic and the West-African continental margin are examined. To assess environmental variations during the late Quarternary, terrigenous organic records from the central Atlantic to the low latitude West-African continental margin and the Congo deep-sea fan are discussed with regard to the paleoclimatic evolution of central African dust source areas, continental run off and vegetational changes in the Congo catchment area. Additionally, the influence of degradation processes and/or selective preservation, both on short and long time scales, of non-reactive (mostly terrigenous) organic matter is investigated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wagner T, Zabel M, Dupont L, Freudenthal T, Holtvoeth J, Schubert C

Editor(s): Wefer G; Mulitza S; Ratmeyer V

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: The South Atlantic in the Late Quaternary: Reconstruction of Material Budget and Current Systems, Springer, 295-322.

Year: 2004

Pages: 295-322

Publisher: Springer

Place Published: Berlin

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 3540210288