Discovery of a nanodiamond-rich layer in the Greenland ice sheet

Authors: Kurbatov, Andrei V.; Mayewski, Paul A.; Steffensen, Jorgen P.; West, Allen; Kennett, Douglas J.; Kennett, James P.; Bunch, Ted E.; Handley, Mike; Introne, Douglas S.; Que Hee, Shane S.; Mercer, Christopher; Sellers, Marilee; Shen, Feng; Sneed, Sharon B.; Weaver, James C.; Wittke, James H.; Stafford, Thomas W.; Donovan, John J.; Xie, Sujing; Razink, Joshua J.; Stich, Adrienne; Kinzie, Charles R.; Wolbach, Wendy S.

Source: Journal of Glaciology, Volume 56, Number 199, December 2010 , pp. 747-757(11)

Publisher: International Glaciological Society

Buy & download fulltext article:

OR

Price: $37.61 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

We report the discovery in the Greenland ice sheet of a discrete layer of free nanodiamonds (NDs) in very high abundances, implying most likely either an unprecedented influx of extraterrestrial (ET) material or a cosmic impact event that occurred after the last glacial episode. From that layer, we extracted n-diamonds and hexagonal diamonds (lonsdaleite), an accepted ET impact indicator, at abundances of up to about 5×106 times background levels in adjacent younger and older ice. The NDs in the concentrated layer are rounded, suggesting they most likely formed during a cosmic impact through some process similar to carbon-vapor deposition or high-explosive detonation. This morphology has not been reported previously in cosmic material, but has been observed in terrestrial impact material. This is the first highly enriched, discrete layer of NDs observed in glacial ice anywhere, and its presence indicates that ice caps are important archives of ET events of varying magnitudes. Using a preliminary ice chronology based on oxygen isotopes and dust stratigraphy, the ND-rich layer appears to be coeval with ND abundance peaks reported at numerous North American sites in a sedimentary layer, the Younger Dryas boundary layer (YDB), dating to 12.9±0.1 ka. However, more investigation is needed to confirm this association.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/002214310794457191

Publication date: December 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Tools

Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page