Skip to main content Accessibility help

Seismic stratigraphy of the late Quaternary sedimentary infill of Lac d'Armor (Kerguelen archipelago): a record of glacier retreat, sedimentary mass wasting and southern Westerly intensification

  • Katrien Heirman (a1) (a2), Marc De Batist (a1), Fabien Arnaud (a3) and Jacques-Louis De Beaulieu (a4)


Lac d'Armor (49°27′S, 69°42′E) is a medium-sized, fjord-type lake located on the ‘Grande Terre’ island of the Kerguelen archipelago. A dense grid of high-resolution reflection seismic profiles was collected from this lake basin. The seismic stratigraphic facies reveal a last deglaciation to Holocene infill comparable to the seismic facies found in other glacigenic lakes all over the world. Remarkable features in the seismic stratigraphy are mounded structures found at the southern edge of both sub-basins. The sediment mounds can be interpreted as sediment drifts created by wind-induced bottom currents. The onset of the build-up of these drifts initiated at some point in the Holocene and indicates a strengthening of the southern Westerlies, which are currently the dominant winds on this island.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Anselmetti, F.S., Ariztegui, D., De Batist, M., Gebhardt, A.C., Haberzettl, T., Niessen, F., Ohlendorf, C.Zolitschka, B. 2009. Environmental history of southern Patagonia unravelled by the seismic stratigraphy of Laguna Potrok Aike. Sedimentology, 56, 873892.
Barker, P.F.Thomas, E. 2004. Origin, signature and palaeoclimatic influence of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Earth-Science Reviews, 66, 143162.
Barker, S.Knorr, G. 2007. Antarctic climate signature in the Greenland ice core record. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 104, 17 27817 282.
Belkin, I.M.Gordon, A.L. 1996. Southern Ocean fronts from the Greenwich meridian to Tasmania. Journal of Geophysical Research, 101, 36753696.
Bellair, P. 1965. Un example de glaciation aberrante, les Iles Kerguelen. Comité National Français des Recherches Antarctiques, 11, 127.
Bertrand, S., Charlet, F., Charlier, B., Renson, V.Fagel, N. 2008. Climate variability of southern Chile since the Last Glacial Maximum: a continuous sedimentological record from Lago Puyehue (40°S). Journal of Paleolimnology, 39, 179195.
Bianchi, C.Gersonde, R. 2004. Climate evolution at the last deglaciation: the role of the Southern Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science letters, 228, 407424.
Broecker, W. 1996. Glacial climate in the tropics. Science, 272, 19021904.
Chapron, E., Beck, C., Pourchet, M.Deconinck, J.F. 1999. 1822 earthquake-triggered homogenite in Lake Le Bourget (NW Alps). Terra Nova, 11, 8692.
Cohen, A.S. 2003. Paleolimnology - the history and evolution of lake systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 500 pp.
EPICA Community Members. 2006. One-to-one coupling of glacial climate variability in Greenland and Antarctica. Nature, 444, 195198.
Eyles, N.Mullins, H.T. 1997. Seismic-stratigraphy of Shuswap Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Sedimentary Geology, 109, 283303.
Eyles, N., Boyce, J.I., Halfman, J.D.Koseoglu, B. 2000. Seismic stratigraphy of Lake Waterton, a sediment-starved glaciated basin in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA. Sedimentary Geology, 130, 283311.
Finckh, P., Kelts, K.Lambert, A. 1984. Seismic stratigraphy and bedrock forms in perialpine lakes. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 95, 11181128.
Frenot, Y., Gloaguen, J.C.Trehen, P. 1997a. Climate change in Iles Kerguelens and colonization of recently deglaciated areas by Poa kerguelensis and P. annua. In Battaglia, B.,Valencia, J. & Walton, D.W.H.,eds. Antarctic communities: species, structure and survival. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 358366.
Frenot, Y., Gloaguen, J.-C., van De Vijver, B.Beyens, L. 1997b. Datation de quelques sediments tourbeux holocenes et oscillations glaciaires aux Iles Kerguelen. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Series III - Sciences de la Vie, 320, 567573.
Gersonde, R., Crosta, X., Abelmann, A.Armand, L. 2005. Sea-surface temperature and sea ice distribution of the Southern Ocean at the EPILOG Last Glacial Maximum - a circum-Antarctic view based on siliceous microfossil records. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24, 869896.
Gilli, A., Ariztegui, D., Anselmetti, F.S., McKenzie, J.A., Markgraf, V., Hajdas, I.McCulloch, R.D. 2005. Mid-Holocene strengthening of the southern Westerlies in South America - sedimentological evidences from Lago Cardiel, Argentina (49°S). Global and Planetary Change, 49, 7593.
Giret, A. 1980. Carte géologique au 1:50 000 de la péninsule Rallier du Baty (Iles Kerguelen). Comité National Français des Recherches Antarctiques, 45. 1:50000. Paris: CNFRA.
Håkanson, L.Jansson, M. 1983. Principles of lake sedimentology. Caldwell, NJ: The Blackburn Press, 316 pp.
Hall, K. 1984. Evidence in favour of an extensive ice cover on sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Island during the last glacial. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 47, 225232.
Hall, K. 1990. Quaternary glaciations in the Southern Ocean: sector 0° long.–180° long. Quaternary Science Reviews, 9, 217228.
Hall, K. 2004. Quaternary glaciation of the sub-Antarctic islands. In Ehlers, J. & Gibbard, P., eds. Quaternary glaciations extent and chronology. Part III: South America, Asia, Africa, Australasia, Antarctica. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 339345.
Heirman, K., De Batist, M., Charlet, F., Moernaut, J., Chapron, E., Brümmer, R., Pino, M.Urrutia, R. 2011. Detailed seismic stratigraphy of Lago Puyehue: implications for the mode and timing of glacier retreat in the Chilean Lake District. Journal of Quaternary Science, 26, 665674.
Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woollen, J., Zhu, Y., Leetmaa, A., Reynolds, R., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K.C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Jenne, R.Joseph, D. 1996. The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77, 437471.
Knorr, G.Lohmann, G. 2003. Southern Ocean origin for the resumption of Atlantic thermohaline circulation during deglaciation. Nature, 424, 532536.
Mitchum, R.M.J., Vai, P.R.Sangree, J.B. 1977. Stratigraphic interpretation of seismic reflection patterns in depositional sequences. In Payton, C.E., ed. Seismic stratigraphy: applications to hydrocarbon exploration. Tulsa OK: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 117133.
Nougier, J. 1970a. Contribution à l’étude géologique et géomorphologique des Iles Kerguelen. Comité National Français des Recherches Antarctiques, 27, 1440.
Nougier, J. 1970b. Carte géologique de reconnaissance au 1/200.000. Comité National Français des Recherches Antarctiques, 27, 256. 1:200 000. Paris: CNFRA.
Nougier, J. 1972. Aspects de morpho-tectonique glaciaire aux Iles Kerguelen. Revue de Géographie Physique et de Géologie Dynamique, 14, 499506.
Rao, D.B.Murty, T.S. 1970. Calculation of the steady-state wind-driven circulations in Lake Ontario. Archiv für Meteorologie, Geophysik und Bioklimatologie, Series A, 19, 195210.
Schnellmann, M., Anselmetti, F.S., Giardini, D., McKenzie, J.A.Ward, S.N. 2002. Prehistoric earthquake history revealed by lacustrine slump deposits. Geology, 30, 11311134.
Schwab, D.J.Beletsky, D. 2003. Relative effects of wind stress curl, topography, and stratification on large-scale circulation in Lake Michigan. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, 3044.
SHOM (Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine). 1978. Océan Indien - Iles Kerguelen. Map no. 6741, 1:300 000. Brest: Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine.
Syvitski, J.P.M.Lee, H.J. 1997. Postglacial sequence stratigraphy of Lake Melville, Labrador. Marine Geology, 143, 5579.
Van Rensbergen, P., De Batist, M.Manalt, F. 1998. High-resolution seismic stratigraphy of late Quaternary fill of Lake Annecy (northwestern Alps): evolution from glacial to interglacial sedimentary processes. Sedimentary Geology, 117, 7196.
Whitehead, J.M.McMinn, A. 2002. Kerguelen Plateau Quaternary–late Pliocene palaeoenvironments: from diatom, silicoflagellate and sedimentological data. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 186, 335368.


Seismic stratigraphy of the late Quaternary sedimentary infill of Lac d'Armor (Kerguelen archipelago): a record of glacier retreat, sedimentary mass wasting and southern Westerly intensification

  • Katrien Heirman (a1) (a2), Marc De Batist (a1), Fabien Arnaud (a3) and Jacques-Louis De Beaulieu (a4)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed