Influence of late Pleistocene glaciations on the hydrogeology of the continental shelf offshore Massachusetts, USA
MetadataShow full item record
Multiple late Pleistocene glaciations that extended onto the continental shelf offshore Massachusetts, USA, may have emplaced as much as 100 km3 of freshwater (salinity <5 ppt) in continental shelf sediments. To estimate the volume and extent of offshore freshwater, we developed a three-dimensional, variable-density model that couples fluid flow and heat and solute transport for the continental shelf offshore Massachusetts. The stratigraphy for our model is based on high-resolution, multichannel seismic data. The model incorporates the last 3 Ma of climate history by prescribing boundary conditions of sea level change and ice sheet extent and thickness. We incorporate new estimates of the maximum extent of a late Pleistocene ice sheet to near the shelf-slope break. Model results indicate that this late Pleistocene ice sheet was responsible for much of the emplaced freshwater. We predict that the current freshwater distribution may reach depths up to 500 meters below sea level and up to 30 km beyond Martha's Vineyard. The freshwater distribution is strongly dependent on the three-dimensional stratigraphy and ice sheet history. Our predictions improve our understanding of the distribution of offshore freshwater, a potential nonrenewable resource for coastal communities along recently glaciated margins.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15 (2014): 4651–4670, doi:10.1002/2014GC005569.
Suggested CitationGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15 (2014): 4651–4670
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Fewings, Melanie R.; Lentz, Steven J.; Fredericks, Janet J. (American Meteorological Society, 2008-11)Six-yr-long time series of winds, waves, and water velocity from a cabled coastal observatory in 12 m of water reveal the separate dependence of the cross-shelf velocity profile on cross-shelf and along-shelf winds, waves, ...
The effect of stratification on wind-driven, cross-shelf circulation and transport on the inner continental shelf Horwitz, Rachel M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2012-06)Observations from a three-year field program on the inner shelf south of Martha's Vineyard, MA and a numerical model are used to describe the effect of stratification on inner shelf circulation, transport, and sediment ...
Flagg, Charles Noel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1977-04)A 37 day long field program was carried out in March 1974 on the New England continental shelf break to study the current and hydrographic structure and variability on the shelf and in the shelf/slope front. A second ...