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Long-term African dust delivery to the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara and Sahel regions: Evidence from Quaternary paleosols on the Canary Islands, Spain

journal contribution
posted on 10.06.2021, 09:17 by Daniel R Muhs, Joaquín Meco, James R Budahn, Gary L Skipp, Kathleen R Simmons, Matthew Baddock, Juan F Betancort, Alejandro Lomoschitz
Africa is the most important source of dust in the world today and dust storms from that continent frequently deposit sediment on the nearby Canary Islands. Many investigators have inferred African dust inputs to Canary Islands paleosols based only on the presence of quartz. However, some local rocks do contain this mineral, so quartz alone is insufficient proof of dust deposition. Further, it is not known whether the Sahara Desert or the Sahel region is more important as a dust source. We address these issues by study of sequences of Pleistocene aeolian sands on the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Aeolian sands are composed mostly of marine carbonate minerals and locally derived volcanic minerals. They date from the early-middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. Trace element geochemistry shows that the soils formed from both locally derived basalt and African dust. Major element geochemistry and clay mineralogy indicate that dust additions to the Canary Islands likely come from both the Sahara and Sahel.Dust delivered from the Sahel indicates that droughts in that region have had a history extending through much of the Quaternary. Accretionary-inflationary profile development, from dust accretion, is evident in the upward growth of Canary Islands paleosols.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Quaternary Science Reviews

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews and the definitive published version is available at [insert DOI link].

Acceptance date

05/06/2021

ISSN

0277-3791

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Matthew Baddock. Deposit date: 8 June 2021

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