Environmental Magnetic Signature Of Late Quaternary Climate and Paleoceanography in the Bering Sea

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Ellen S Platzman, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States, Steven Lund, Univ Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States and Matthew E Kirby, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, United States
High latitude drilling during IODP expedition 323 in the Bering Sea provides a unique opportunity to study in detail the evolution of Quaternary paleoceanography, climate and glacial history of the Bering Sea gateway to the Arctic Ocean. Our study focuses on a 400 ky interval of Quaternary marine sediments cored along the Bering Slope.

Samples for magnetic analysis were obtained from sites U1339, U1343, U1344, U1345, at depths of 1008-3484 m. Sediments in these cores are a mixture of siliclastic material, derived primarily from terrigeneous sources, and biogenic material. Detailed measurements of the variation in bulk magnetic properties including natural remanent magnetization (NRM), susceptibility, ARM, and IRM, have been used to monitor changes in concentration, composition and grainsize of the magnetic components. In addition, sediment grain size analysis was preformed on biogenic free aliquots at selected intervals.

Our results indicate that the dramatic bimodal magnetic intensity signal that alternates between a strong and weak NRM and magnetic susceptibility is associated with relatively course and fine grain sizes repectively. This is the opposite to the pattern estimated by our initial IODP Ex. 323 reports. Current models propose that, as has been observed in the North Atlantic, high intensities are likely to be related to high contributions of terrigenous and glaciomarine sediments deposited during glacial periods and low intensities are likely to occur during interglacials when continental sediments become trapped on the on the shelf. Contrary to this hypothesis, however, we find compelling evidence for a substantial increase in terrigenous input during the interglacial periods and what appears to be a predominantly pelagic signal during the glacial periods. Comparison of our data with other proxy data including oxygen isotopes, NGR, GRA allows us to investigate the possible causal links between these changes and the environmental history of the North Pacific.