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Palaeoclimatological and chronological implications of the Vostok core dust record


THE2,083-m Vostok ice core recovered by the Soviet Antarctic expeditions has provided much information of climatic and environmental interest, for a period covering a full glacial–inter-glacial cycle1–6. Here we present and discuss the dust record obtained down to 2,202 m, the final depth to which this core was extended in 1986. First, we document the fact that major changes in aeolian deposits, as recorded in the Vostok core, appear to be of global significance and confirm the existence of a link between high-latitude aeolian deposits and the Earth's orbital parameters7,8. Second, we propose atmospheric dust as a strati-graphic marker to compare timing with other records of palaeocli-mate, and use the magnetic-susceptibility profile measured along the RC11-120 Indian Ocean core9 for this purpose, assuming that major dust events correspond to common aeolian inputs. This approach indicates that the Vostok and marine records were roughly in phase at the previous glacial–interglacial transition.

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Petit, J., Mourner, L., Jouzel, J. et al. Palaeoclimatological and chronological implications of the Vostok core dust record. Nature 343, 56–58 (1990).

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