Late quaternary (stage 2 and 3) meltwater and heinrich events, northwest labrador sea

John T. Andrews, Helmut Erlenkeuser, Katherine Tedesco, Ali E. Aksu, A. J. Timothy Jull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Two major meltwater events are documented in cores from the NW Labrador Sea. One occurred ca. 20,000 14C yr B.P. in association with deposition of a major detrital carbonate unit. Both prior to and after this event, δ18O values of near-surface planktonic foraminifera were 4.5%, indicating fully enriched glacial values. A younger event (ca. 14,000 14 C yr B.P.) is characterized by a dramatic change in δ18O from 4.5 to 2.0% and coincided with the retreat of ice from the outer SE Baffin Shelf, possibly into Hudson Strait. These meltwater events coincide with Heinrich (H) layers 1 and 2 from North Atlantic sediments. The 14,000 14C yr B.P. meltwater event indicates that the eastern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet also underwent rapid retreat at approximately the same time as other ice sheet margins around the NE North Atlantic. A third major detrital carbonate event at the base of HU87-033-009, possibly correlative with Heinrich layer 3, occurred ca. 33,960 ± 675 14 C yr B.P.; however, this is older than the accepted date for H-3 of 27,000 14C yr B.P. and may be H-4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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