Late Quaternary Sedimentary Records of Core MA01 in the Mendeleev Ridge, the Western Arctic Ocean: Preliminary Results

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Kwangkyu Park1, Sunghan Kim1, Boo-Keun Khim1, Rujian Wang2, Jing Mei2, Wenshen Xiao2 and Leonid V Polyak3, (1)Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea, (2)Tongji University, Shanghai, China, (3)Byrd Polar Research Center, Columbus, OH, United States
Late Quaternary deep sea sediments in the Arctic Ocean are characterized by brown layers intercalated with yellowish to olive gray layers. It has been known that the brown and gray layers were deposited during interglacial (or interstadial) and glacial (or stadial) periods, respectively. A 5.5-m long gravity core MA01 was obtained from the Mendeleev Ridge in the western Arctic Ocean by R/V Xue Long during scientific cruise CHINARE-V. Age (~1.0 Ma) of core MA01 was tentatively decided by correlation of sediment color cycles, XRF Mn and Ca cycles, and geomagnetic inclinations with core HLY0503-8JPC (Adler et al., 2009) and core HLY0503-06JPC(Cronin et al., 2013) that were also collected from the Mendeleev Ridge area. A total of 23 brown layers are characterized by low L* and b*, high Mn concentration, and abundant foraminifera. In contrast, gray layers are characterized by high L* and b*, low Mn concentration, and few foraminiferal tests. Foraminifera abundance peaks are not well correlated to CaCO3 peaks which are accompanied with the coarse-grained (>63 μm) fractions (i.e., IRD) both in brown and gray layers. A strong positive correlation coefficient (r2=0.89) between TOC content and C/N ratio indicates that the major source of organic matter is terrestrial. The good correlations of CaCO3 content to TOC (r2=0.56) and C/N ratio (r2=0.69) imply that IRDs contain detrital CaCO3 fraction which mainly originated from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In addition, high kaolinite/chlorite (K/C) ratios mostly correspond to CaCO3 peaks, also suggesting that the fine-grained particles in the Mendeleev Ridge were transported from the northern coasts of the Alaska and Canada. Thus, the Beaufort Gyre, the predominant surface current in the western Arctic Ocean, has played an important role in the sediment delivery to the Mendeleev Ridge. It is worthy of note that TOC and CaCO3 peaks are obviously distinct in the upper part of core MA01, whereas these peaks are reduced in the lower part of the core. More study on these contrasting features is in progress.