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No. 98: Mar-Apr 1995

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Six Immense Armadas Of Icebergs Invaded The North Atlantic

"Observations of large and abrupt climate changes recorded in Greenland ice cores have spurred a search for clues to their cause. The search has revealed that at six times during the last glaciation, huge armadas of icebergs launched from Canada spread across the northern Atlantic Ocean, each triggering a climate response of global extent."

The foregoing abstract does not mention the interesting Heinrich layers that fostered the above scenario. In 1988, H. Heinrich published a paper describing a curious set of sedimentary layers found in cores drilled in the tops of the Dreizack seamounts in the eastern North Atlantic. Heinrich concluded that each of the six layers he found represented the melting of "six great armadas of icebergs." These icebergs carried debris picked up in Canada and, as they melted, deposited it on the seamounts and ocean floor. Each layer could be correlated with the major climate boundaries revealed by the Greenland ice cores.

Very fittingly, these iceberg incursions are now termed "Heinrich Events."

(Broecker, Wallace S.; "Massive Iceberg Discharges as Triggers for Global Climate Changes," Nature, 372:421, 1994.)

From Science Frontiers #98, MAR-APR 1995. 1995-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987