Tafoni show postglacial and modern wind azimuths that are similar at Bunger Hills

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Abstract

The directions of strong winds are important for the distribution of marine salt spray, rock weathering, lake chemistry and the distribution of vegetation in Bunger Hills, a coastal ice-free oasis in East Antarctica. Present-day strong winds (> 10 m s−1) dominantly blow from 118 ± 21 degrees true (°T; ± 1 SD). Orientated tafoni (weathering pits) might form in bedrock surfaces by salt and ice crystallization, thermal stress and saltating sand particles, recording the orientation of a strongly directional wind field since the last deglaciation, which commenced > 30 000 years ago. The orientations of these tafoni, at 101 ± 18°T for 686 measurements at 28 sites, are indistinguishable from the direction of modern-day strong winds (> 10 m s−1), indicating that the orientation of the slope of the ice sheet has been stable throughout the last 10 000 years during the Holocene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalAntarctic Science
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • biogeography
  • erosion
  • Holocene
  • palaeowind
  • sea salt

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