Paleo Home Research Data Education What's New Features Paleo Perspectives Site Map Mirror Sites National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina navigation bar
Paleo Slide Set: Heinrich Events: Marine Record of Abrupt Climate Changes in the Late Pleistocene
Color of the sediment at core site HU87033-009.
To Heinrich and other scientists, the most conspicuous component of Heinrich event sediments was the ice rafted detritus. Comprised of sand grains, pebbles and even stones that were carried out onto the shelf margin and beyond by icebergs, their true significance to climate events was not understood until the unusual composition of these lithic fractions was identified. Bond et al (1992) documented the presence of high concentrations of light colored detrital carbonate within the ice rafted detritus. High IRD counts and abundances of detrital carbonate within the IRD reinforce the theory that Heinrich events are truly ice rafting events and not merely indications of reduced numbers of foraminifers.

Just as the light and dark shades of x-radiographs help scientists pinpoint the beginning and end of Heinrich events in the core record, the different coloration of detrital carbonate within a split core can also help scientists determine Heinrich events. The patterns of Heinrich event detrital carbonate coloration within cores far away from the former ice margin is detectable only upon careful examination. In contrast, the patterns of Heinrich event coloration at sites close to the margin, especially sites near the Hudson Strait, is much more easy to observe.

Photo Credits:

Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Click to View Larger Image
Click on above image to enlarge.

Download a zip file
of a full resolution TIF image

Back to Slide Sets.....

Contact Us
Last Modified: 12 October 2001

Paleoclimatology Program Home Page