Investigating Sea Ice Regimes and Glacial Cycles of the Early Pleistocene in a Sediment Record from the Northwind Ridge, Western Arctic Ocean

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Geoffrey Dipre1, Leonid V Polyak1, Joseph D. Ortiz2, Ann Cook3 and Emma Oti4, (1)Byrd Polar Research Center, Columbus, OH, United States, (2)Kent State University, Kent, OH, United States, (3)OSU Earth Sciences, Columbus, OH, United States, (4)Ohio State University Main Campus, Columbus, OH, United States
We are conducting a comprehensive study of a sediment record from the Arctic Ocean in order to improve our understanding of paleoceanographic conditions during the early Pleistocene, a potential paleo-analog for the current and future states of the Arctic. The study deals with a sediment core raised on the HOTRAX 2005 expedition from the Northwind Ridge, western Arctic Ocean. By comparison with an earlier reported stratigraphy (Polyak et al., 2013), the core dates back to estimated ca. 1.5 Ma. A suite of paleobiological, lithological, and geochemical proxies will be utilized to reconstruct paleoceanographic environments in the early Pleistocene part of the record. In contrast to most Arctic Ocean sediment cores, calcareous microfossils occur in abundance to ca. 1.2 Ma. This enables the use of microfaunal assemblages as proxies for sea-ice conditions, which control the seasonal organic production. Physical properties such as sediment density, grain size, and sediment fabric (based on XCT imagery) will be employed to determine the impact of glaciations on sedimentation. By reconstructing sea-ice history and glacial cycles, we will gain insights into poorly understood controls on the Arctic environments during the early Pleistocene and Mid-Pleistocene Transition.