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Article scientifique | Late-Holocene atmospheric dust deposition in eastern Canada (St.Lawrence North Shore)



Steve Pratte | GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Michelle Garneau | Département de géographie, GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
François de Vleeschouwer | ECOLAB, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, France

The Holocene, pages 1–14, DOI: 10.1177/0959683616646185

The Holocene cover

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Dust deposition in two ombrotrophic peatlands (Baie and Ile du Havre peatland (IDH) bogs) of the Estuary and Gulf of the St. Lawrence in eastern Canada was reconstructed using elemental geochemistry. The rare earth elements (REEs) and other lithogenic element concentrations were measured by ICP-oES and Q-ICP-MS along two peat cores spanning the last 4000 years. Principal component analyses on the geochemical profiles show that REEs display the same behavior as Al, Ti, Sc, and Zr, all conservative elements, which suggests that REEs are immobile in the studied peat bogs and can be used as tracers of dust deposition. Plant macrofossils were also used to infer past environmental and humidity changes. The dust fluxes were reconstructed using the sum of REEs (ΣREE). The range of dust deposition varies from 0.2 to 3.8gm−2 yr−1 in the Baie bog, while the IDH bog shows lower fluxes ranging between 0.1 and 1.2 gm−2 yr−1. The highest dust fluxes in the Baie bog were recorded from 1750–1000 cal. BP to 600–100 cal. BP and occur at the same time as periods of high variability in the macrofossil record (i.e. successive layers dominated by Sphagnum or Ericaceae). The timing of these events in the dust and macrofossil records also corresponds to documented cold periods. These two periods have been identified as episodes of climatic instability, which could have been caused by changes in the wind regime.

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