EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A Source to Sink Approach to the North Sea Fan Pleistocene Glacial Sediments

Aurora Machado Garcia1, Ivar Midtkandal1, Benjamin Bellwald2, and Ingrid Margareta Anell1
Aurora Machado Garcia et al.
  • 1Universitetet i Oslo, Geolosciences, Oslo, Norway (
  • 2Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research (VBPR), Oslo, Norway

Trough mouth fans are large depocentres forming the ultimate sinks in glacial source-to-sink systems. Their architecture, sedimentological aspects (origin and processes) and their role as paleoclimatic archives are essential components in improving our understanding of Pleistocene and ongoing climate changes. For many years, these depocentres were thought to be dominated by debris flows accumulated in front of ice streams located at the shelf break. However, recent studies have shown that meltwater plays a major role in bringing sediment to the most distal parts of these fans, especially in lower latitudes. The North Sea Trough Mouth Fan encompasses ~110,000 km2 with water depths of up to 3500 m. It has received sediments throughout the Quaternary, with increased sedimentation rates in the last 1.1 Ma when the Norwegian Channel Ice Stream was active. Recent insight of the fan shows that meltwater turbidites play a major role in sediment delivery to the continental slope and deep-sea basin. The results could entail distinct morphologies for mid-latitude and high-latitude fans. As a result of glacial erosion and the absence of clear imprints of ice sheets on the paleo-shelves, studying trough mouth fan deposits becomes paramount in understanding glacial-interglacial cycles. This project will assess the source-to-sink parameters of the last glaciation (Weichselian) at the North Sea Fan, elucidating the dominant marine and terrestrial processes that led to the studied sedimentary sequences. High-resolution 2D and 3D seismic data, core, volumetric and numerical modeling data will be assimilated to establish a source-to-sink model for the target interval. These results will contribute to the knowledge of how glaciations affect surface mass redistribution, directly affecting the landscape dynamics and sediment routing from Fennoscandia via the North Sea to the slopes and deep basin. Sediment production will be evaluated, assessing whether it increases during the glaciation or if observed higher sedimentation rates are a result of enhanced sediment transport. This project is a part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks “S2S – Future: Signal propagation in source to sink for the future of the Earth resources and energy” and will further advance how trough mouth flans are highly dynamic areas where sediment transport, dispersal, remobilization and deposition take place, and serve as excellent proxies to the dynamics of glacial pulses in the hinterland.

How to cite: Machado Garcia, A., Midtkandal, I., Bellwald, B., and Anell, I. M.: A Source to Sink Approach to the North Sea Fan Pleistocene Glacial Sediments, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12600,, 2021.

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