Preliminary paleoenvironmental analysis of permafrost deposits at Batagaika megaslump, Yana Uplands, Northeast Siberia

Murton, Julian B, Edwards, Mary E, Lozhkin, Anatoly V, Anderson, Patricia M, Savvinov, Grigoriy N, Bakulina, Nadezhda, Bondarenko, Olesya V, Cherepanova, Marina V, Danilov, Petr P, Boeskorov, Vasiliy, Goslar, Tomasz, Grigoriev, Semyon, Gubin, Stanislav V, Korzun, Julia A, Lupachev, Alexei V, Tikhonov, Alexei, Tsygankova, Valeriya I, Vasilieva, Galina V and Zanina, Oksana G (2017) Preliminary paleoenvironmental analysis of permafrost deposits at Batagaika megaslump, Yana Uplands, Northeast Siberia. Quaternary Research, 87 (2). pp. 314-330. ISSN 0033-5894

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A megaslump at Batagaika, in northern Yakutia, exposes a remarkable stratigraphic sequence of permafrost deposits ~50–80 m thick. To determine their potential for answering key questions about Quaternary environmental and climatic change in northeast Siberia, we carried out a reconnaissance study of their cryostratigraphy and paleoecology, supported by four rangefinder 14C ages. The sequence includes two ice complexes separated by a unit of fine sand containing narrow syngenetic ice wedges and multiple palaeosols. Overall, the sequence developed as permafrost grew syngenetically through an eolian sand sheet aggrading on a hillslope. Wood remains occur in two forest beds, each associated with a reddened weathering horizon. The lower bed contains high amounts of Larix pollen (>20%), plus small amounts of Picea and Pinus pumila, and is attributed to interglacial conditions. Pollen from the overlying sequence is dominated by herbaceous taxa (~70–80%) attributed to an open tundra landscape during interstadial climatic conditions. Of three hypothetical age schemes considered, we tentatively attribute much of the Batagaika sequence to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. The upper and lower forest beds may represent a mid-MIS 3 optimum and MIS 5, respectively, although we cannot discount alternative attributions to MIS 5 and 7.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2016 15:35
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 16:21

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