High resolution seafloor mapping shows extraordinary evidence that massive (>300 m thick) icebergs once drifted >5,000 km south along the eastern United States, with >700 iceberg scours now identified south of Cape Hatteras. Here we report on sediment cores collected from several buried scours that show multiple plow marks align with Heinrich Event 3 (H3), ~31,000 years ago. Numerical glacial iceberg simulations indicate that the transport of icebergs to these sites occurs during massive, but short-lived, periods of elevated meltwater discharge. Transport of icebergs to the subtropics, away from deep water formation sites, may explain why H3 was associated with only a modest increase in ice-rafting across the subpolar North Atlantic, and implies a complex relationship between freshwater forcing and climate change. Stratigraphy from subbottom data across the scour marks shows there are additional features that are both older and younger, and may align with other periods of elevated meltwater discharge.
|Title||Timing of iceberg scours and massive ice-rafting events in the subtropical North Atlantic|
|Authors||Alan Condron, Jenna C. Hill|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Nature Communications|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center|