Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Clim. Past, 9, 2285–2298, 2013
Clim. Past, 9, 2285–2298, 2013

Research article 10 Oct 2013

Research article | 10 Oct 2013

Mid- and late Holocene dust deposition in western Europe: the Misten peat bog (Hautes Fagnes – Belgium)

M. Allan1, G. Le Roux2,3, N. Piotrowska4, J. Beghin5, E. Javaux5, M. Court-Picon5,6, N. Mattielli7, S. Verheyden6,8, and N. Fagel1 M. Allan et al.
  • 1AGEs, Department of Geology, University of Liège, B18 Sart Tilman, Liège, Belgium
  • 2Université de Toulouse, INP, UPS, EcoLab (Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement), ENSAT, Avenue de l'Agrobiopole, 31326 Castanet Tolosan, France
  • 3CNRS, EcoLab, 31326 Castanet Tolosan, France
  • 4Department of Radioisotopes, GADAM Centre of Excellence, Institute of Physics, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland
  • 5Palaeobiogeology-Palaeobotany-Palaeopalynology, Department of Geology, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
  • 6Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Earth and Life History Division, Vautier street, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
  • 7G-Time, Dept. Earth and Environmental Sciences, Université Libre Bruxelles ULB, Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 8Scientific collaborator of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussel, Belgium

Abstract. Dust deposition in southern Belgium is estimated from the geochemical signature of an ombrotrophic peatland. The rare earth elements (REE) and lithogenic elements concentrations, as well as Nd isotopes, were determined by HR-ICP-MS and MC-ICP-MS, respectively, along an ~6 m peat section covering 5300 yr, from 2000 to 7300 cal BP, dated by the 14C method. Changes in REE concentration in the peat correlate with those of Ti, Al, Sc and Zr that are lithogenic conservative elements, suggesting that REE are immobile in the studied peat bogs and can be used as tracers of dust deposition. Peat humification and testate amoebae were used to evaluate hydroclimatic conditions. The range of dust deposition varied from 0.03 to 4.0 g m−2 yr−1. The highest dust fluxes were observed from 2750 to 2550 cal BP and from 5150 to 4750 cal BP, and correspond to cold periods. The ϵNd values show a large variability from −13 to −5, identifying three major sources of dusts: local soils, distal volcanic and desert particles.