Terrestrially derived sediments in sedimentary archives are regularly used to reconstruct past climatic or tectonic conditions. Sediments are generally produced in mountainous areas and transported via sediment routing systems (SRS) to a zone of final deposition. Environmental reconstructions are based on the assumption that perturbations in climatic or tectonic conditions generate signals within the transported sediment. However, experimental and numerical studies have shown that not all signals are faithfully transmitted, but can be modified, buffered or even lost during transport along the SRS. Oftentimes, it is stated that signals can only be faithfully transmitted if the response time of the SRS is short relative to the period of the forcing. However, individual signals in response to a perturbation can already be generated early during the transient response phase. Hence, signals can be transported through and stored within the SRS as a measurable change of a sedimentary parameter (or ‘proxy’) even before the SRS has returned to steady state conditions, i.e. before the characteristic response time has passed. Therefore, it is important to gain quantitative insight into the time scales required for a portion of sediment, which carries a change in proxy information, to travel to the sedimentary archive.
We seek to bring together new concepts and results on sedimentary proxy generation during environmental changes, as well as proxy transport and archiving during the transient state of the SRS. We welcome studies addressing, but not limited to, the following themes:
• Numerical & analog modeling of proxy generation, transport and deposition along sediment routing systems
• Field studies of proxy generation, transport and deposition along sediment routing systems
• Comparison of proxy propagation measured on different grain-size ranges
• Tracing of environmental signals through a system
• Novel proxy methodologies
• The connectivity of sediment routing systems and proxy transport
This session will be supported by a special issue in Frontiers in Earth Sciences.
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