Two possible source regions for Central Greenland last glacial dust

Gabor Újvári, Thomas Stevens, Anders Svensson, Urs Klotzli, Christina Manning, Tibor Nemeth, Janos Kovacs, Mark Sweeney, Martina Gocke, Guido Weisenberg, Slobodna Markovic, Michael Zech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Downloads (Pure)


Dust in Greenland ice cores is used to reconstruct the activity of dust emitting regions and atmospheric circulation. However, the source of dust material to Greenland over the last glacial period is the subject of considerable uncertainty. Here we use new clay mineral and <10 µm Sr-Nd isotopic data from a range of Northern Hemisphere loess deposits in possible source regions alongside existing isotopic data to show that these methods cannot discriminate between two competing hypothetical origins for Greenland dust: an East Asian and/or Central European source. By contrast, Hf isotopes (<10 µm fraction) of loess samples show considerable differences between the potential source regions. We attribute this to a first-order clay mineralogy dependence of Hf isotopic signatures in the finest silt/clay fractions, due to absence of zircons. As zircons would also be absent in Greenland dust, this provides a new way to discriminate between hypotheses for Greenland dust sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10399-10408
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
Early online date11 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2015

Cite this