Cool kaolins in Finland

Gilg, H.A., Hall, A.M., Ebert, K. and Fallick, A.E. (2013) Cool kaolins in Finland. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 392, pp. 454-462. (doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.09.030)

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We use D/H and 18O/16O ratios to explore the age of kaolins on the Fennoscandian Shield. Sub-Cretaceous kaolins in southern Scandinavia have isotopic compositions indicative of weathering under warm mean annual temperatures (MATs) of > 15 °C. Deep kaolins on the shield surface in Finland previously also have been regarded as products of humid tropical weathering of Mesoproterozoic to Eocene age. New oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios indicate, however, weathering by cool groundwater under MATs of 13–15 °C. Isotope ratios are also not consistent with deep (> 1 km) burial by cover rocks, indicating that a very old age for the weathering is unlikely. Palaeotemperatures are below Cretaceous MATs, yet substantially above Plio-Pleistocene MATs. Comparisons with palaeotemperatures in N Europe and around the Arctic Ocean indicate that the Finnish kaolins developed on the shield surface in the Palaeogene or, alternatively, Miocene. Deep weathering was selectively developed in highly fractured shield rocks and took place in response to latest Cretaceous and Palaeogene uplift and after stripping of Palaeozoic cover rocks. The cool kaolins in Finland indicate that previous routine attributions of kaolinitic weathering products in the geological record to humid tropical environments should be closely scrutinised.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fallick, Professor Anthony
Authors: Gilg, H.A., Hall, A.M., Ebert, K., and Fallick, A.E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Publisher:Elsevier BV
ISSN (Online):1872-616X

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