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Late Holocene current patterns in the northern Patagonian fjords recorded by sediment drifts in Aysen Fjord

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Abstract
Present-day circulation patterns in the southeastern Pacific Ocean are driven by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, directing subantarctic surface water into the Patagonian fjords since at least the early Holocene. In this way, bottom current patterns in the area are regulated by the regional climate, although the complex bathymetry of the fjords has a significant impact as well. To understand the potential interplay of climate, seafloor topography and circulation patterns, we study the sedimentary infill of Aysen Fjord (similar to 45 degrees S) and reveal the first active sediment drifts in the region. These allow constraining the present-day circulation patterns in northern Patagonia and show an incoming (southward) as well as returning (northward) flow direction. While the general sedimentary evolution of the fjord (and thus also the sediment drifts) is climate-driven (i.e., it reflects variability in southern westerly wind strength), the onset of drift formation at similar to 3.7 ka does not seem to have originated from an abrupt change in regional climate. Instead, we propose that a megathrust earthquake described in paleo-seismic records in the area could have resulted in subsidence of one (or more) of the many bathymetric highs in the Patagonian fjords, thus contributing to enhanced spilling of subantarctic water into the fjord. This study underscores the importance of multidisciplinary research to understand past and present bottom current circulation patterns and disentangle different possible feedback mechanisms.
Keywords
Patagonia, Sediment drift, Bottom current circulation, Climatic variability, Tectonic control, SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE, LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM, CHILEAN PATAGONIA, SOUTHERN WESTERLIES, HUDSON VOLCANO, SEISMIC STRATIGRAPHY, CONTOURITE DRIFTS, CONTINENTAL RISE, LAKE-SEDIMENTS, VARIABILITY

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MLA
Wils, Katleen, et al. “Late Holocene Current Patterns in the Northern Patagonian Fjords Recorded by Sediment Drifts in Aysen Fjord.” MARINE GEOLOGY, vol. 441, 2021, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106604.
APA
Wils, K., Wermersche, M., Van Rooij, D., Lastras, G., Lamy, F., Arz, H. W., … Van Daele, M. (2021). Late Holocene current patterns in the northern Patagonian fjords recorded by sediment drifts in Aysen Fjord. MARINE GEOLOGY, 441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106604
Chicago author-date
Wils, Katleen, Marlies Wermersche, David Van Rooij, Galderic Lastras, Frank Lamy, Helge W. Arz, Giuseppe Siani, Sebastien Bertrand, and Maarten Van Daele. 2021. “Late Holocene Current Patterns in the Northern Patagonian Fjords Recorded by Sediment Drifts in Aysen Fjord.” MARINE GEOLOGY 441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106604.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Wils, Katleen, Marlies Wermersche, David Van Rooij, Galderic Lastras, Frank Lamy, Helge W. Arz, Giuseppe Siani, Sebastien Bertrand, and Maarten Van Daele. 2021. “Late Holocene Current Patterns in the Northern Patagonian Fjords Recorded by Sediment Drifts in Aysen Fjord.” MARINE GEOLOGY 441. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106604.
Vancouver
1.
Wils K, Wermersche M, Van Rooij D, Lastras G, Lamy F, Arz HW, et al. Late Holocene current patterns in the northern Patagonian fjords recorded by sediment drifts in Aysen Fjord. MARINE GEOLOGY. 2021;441.
IEEE
[1]
K. Wils et al., “Late Holocene current patterns in the northern Patagonian fjords recorded by sediment drifts in Aysen Fjord,” MARINE GEOLOGY, vol. 441, 2021.
@article{8723033,
  abstract     = {{Present-day circulation patterns in the southeastern Pacific Ocean are driven by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, directing subantarctic surface water into the Patagonian fjords since at least the early Holocene. In this way, bottom current patterns in the area are regulated by the regional climate, although the complex bathymetry of the fjords has a significant impact as well. To understand the potential interplay of climate, seafloor topography and circulation patterns, we study the sedimentary infill of Aysen Fjord (similar to 45 degrees S) and reveal the first active sediment drifts in the region. These allow constraining the present-day circulation patterns in northern Patagonia and show an incoming (southward) as well as returning (northward) flow direction. While the general sedimentary evolution of the fjord (and thus also the sediment drifts) is climate-driven (i.e., it reflects variability in southern westerly wind strength), the onset of drift formation at similar to 3.7 ka does not seem to have originated from an abrupt change in regional climate. Instead, we propose that a megathrust earthquake described in paleo-seismic records in the area could have resulted in subsidence of one (or more) of the many bathymetric highs in the Patagonian fjords, thus contributing to enhanced spilling of subantarctic water into the fjord. This study underscores the importance of multidisciplinary research to understand past and present bottom current circulation patterns and disentangle different possible feedback mechanisms.}},
  articleno    = {{106604}},
  author       = {{Wils, Katleen and Wermersche, Marlies and Van Rooij, David and Lastras, Galderic and Lamy, Frank and Arz, Helge W. and Siani, Giuseppe and Bertrand, Sebastien and Van Daele, Maarten}},
  issn         = {{0025-3227}},
  journal      = {{MARINE GEOLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{Patagonia,Sediment drift,Bottom current circulation,Climatic variability,Tectonic control,SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE,LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM,CHILEAN PATAGONIA,SOUTHERN WESTERLIES,HUDSON VOLCANO,SEISMIC STRATIGRAPHY,CONTOURITE DRIFTS,CONTINENTAL RISE,LAKE-SEDIMENTS,VARIABILITY}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{16}},
  title        = {{Late Holocene current patterns in the northern Patagonian fjords recorded by sediment drifts in Aysen Fjord}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106604}},
  volume       = {{441}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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