Stratigraphy and timing of eolianite deposition on Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Hearty, Paul J. (2003) Stratigraphy and timing of eolianite deposition on Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Quaternary Research, 60 (2). pp. 211-222.

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Over 100 whole-rock amino acid racemization (AAR) ratios from outcrops around Rottnest Island (32.0° S Latitude near Perth) indicate distinct pulses of eolian deposition during the late Quaternary. Whole-rock Image -alloisoleucine/Image -isoleucine (A/I) ratios from bioclastic carbonate deposits fall into three distinct modal classes or “aminozones.” The oldest, Aminozone E, averages 0.33 ± 0.04 (n = 21). Red palaeosol and thick calcrete generally cap the Aminozone E deposits. A younger Aminozone C averages 0.22 ± 0.03 (n = 63); comprising two submodes at 0.26 ± 0.01 (n = 14) and 0.21 ± 0.02 (n = 49). Multiple dune sets of this interval are interrupted by relatively weak, brown to tan “protosols.” A dense, dark brown rendzina palaeosol caps the Aminozone C succession. Ratios from Holocene dune and marine deposits (“Aminozone A”) center on 0.11 ± 0.02 (n = 15), comprising submodes of 0.13 ± 0.01 (9) and 0.09 ± 0.01 (6). Calibration of A/I averages from Aminozones E and A are provided by U/Th and 14C radiometric ages of 125,000 yr (marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 5e and 2000–6000 14C yr B.P. (MIS 1), respectively. The whole-rock A/I results support periodic deposition initiated during MIS 5e, continuing through MIS 5c, and then peaking at the end of MIS 5a, about 70,000–80,000 yr ago. Oceanographic evidence indicates the area was subjected to much colder conditions during MIS 2–4 (10,000 to 70,000 yr ago), greatly slowing the epimerization rate. Eolianite deposition resumed in the mid Holocene (not, vert, similar6000 yr ago) up to the present. The A/I epimerization pathway constructed from Rottnest Island shows remarkable similarity to that of Bermuda in the North Atlantic (32° N Latitude). These findings suggest that, like Bermuda, the eolian activity on Rottnest occurred primarily during or shortly after interglacial highstands when the shoreline was near the present datum, rather than during glacial lowstands when the coastline was positioned 10–20 km to the west.

Item ID: 13813
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1096-0287
Keywords: carbonate eolianite; late Quaternary; sea level change; Western Australia; whole-rock amino acid racemization
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Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2010 04:35
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040311 Stratigraphy (incl Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8499 Other Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) > 849999 Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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