Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 55, Issue 4–5, pp 432–440 | Cite as

Late quaternary ice-rafted detritus events in the Chukchi Basin, western Arctic Ocean

  • RuJian WangEmail author
  • WenShen Xiao
  • WenBao Li
  • YeChen Sun
Articles Oceanology


The late Quaternary ice rafted detritus (IRD) events in the Chukchi Basin, western Arctic Ocean are indications of the provenance of the coarser detritus and ice export events, and also document the evolutionary histories of Beaufort Gyre and the North American Ice Sheet (NAIS). The sediment of core M03 from the Chukchi Basin was selected to study the regional response to the ice export events and the NAIS variability. The stratigraphic framework of M03 was established by a combination of lithological features and downcore color change cycles, AMS14C dating with foraminifera abundance and IRD events. The core was also compared with the adjacent core NWR 5 from the Northwind Ridge area. The core extends back to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 7. A sedimentary hiatus of 10–20 ka might occur between 16 to 20 cm core depth. Seven IRD events are distinguished from the studied core and are presented during the early MIS 1, MIS 3, MIS 5 and late MIS 7. These IRD are transported by sea ice and icebergs, which were exported to the Beaufort Sea from the M’Clure Strait Ice Stream, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and brought to the Chukchi Basin by the Beaufort Gyre.


IRD events Beaufort Gyre North American ice sheet late Quaternary Chukchi Basin 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Darby D A, Polyak L, Bauch H A. Past glacial and interglacial conditions in the Arctic Ocean and marginal seas -a review. Prog Oceanogr, 2006, 71: 129–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Spielhagen R, Baumann K, Erlenkeuser H, et al. Arctic Ocean deep-sea record of northern Eurasian ice sheet history. Quat Sci Rev, 2004, 23: 1455–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Darby D A, Bischof J F, Spielhagen R F, et al. Arctic ice export events and their potential impact on global climate during the late Pleistocene. Paleoceanography, 2002, 17: 2, doi: 10.1029/2001PA000639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Darby D A, Zimmerman P. Ice-rafted detritus events in the Arctic during the last glacial interval and the timing of the Innuitian and Laurentide ice sheet calving events. Polar Res, 2008, 27: 114–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zhang Z. The Report of 2003 Chinese Arctic Research Expedition (in Chinese). Beijing: China Ocean Press, 2003. 1–229Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ishman S E, Polyak L, Poore R Z. Expanded record of Quaternary oceanographic change: Amerasian Arctic Ocean. Geology, 1996, 24: 139–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bischof J F, Clark D L, Vincent J S. Origin of ice-rafted debris: Pleistocene paleoceanography in the western Arctic Ocean. Paleoceanography, 1996, 11: 743–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Polyak L, Curry W B, Darby D A, et al. Contrasting glacial/interglacial regimes in the western Arctic Ocean as exemplified by a sedimentary record from the Mendeleev Ridge. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol, 2004, 203: 73–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Grebmeier J M, Cooper L W, Feder H M, et al. Ecosystem dynamics of the Pacific-influenced Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas in the Amerasian Arctic. Prog Oceanogr, 2006, 71: 331–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Darby D A, Bischof J F. A statistical approach to source determination of lithic and Fe oxide grains: An example from the Alpha Ridge, Arctic Ocean. J Sediment Res, 1996, 66: 599–607Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Backman J, Jakobsson M, Lovlie R, et al. Is the central Arctic Ocean a sediment starved basin? Quat Sci Rev, 2004, 23: 1435–1454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Darby D A, Bischof J F, Jones G A. Radiocarbon chronology of depositional regimes in the western Arctic Ocean. Deep-Sea Res II, 1997, 44: 1745–1757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jakobsson M, Lovlie R, Al-Hanbali H, et al. Manganese and color cycle in Arctic Ocean sediments constrain Pleistocene chronology. Geology, 2000, 28: 23–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Löwemark L, Jakobsson M, Morth M, et al. Arctic Ocean manganese contents and sediment colour cycles. Polar Res, 2008, 27: 105–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Phillips R L, Grantz A. Regional variations in provenance and abundance of ice-rafted clasts in Arctic Ocean sediments: implications for the configuration of late Quaternary oceanic and atmospheric circulation in the Arctic. Mar Geol, 2001, 172: 91–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Darby D A, Jakobsson M, Polyak L. Icebreaker expedition collects key Arctic seafloor and ice data. EOS, 2005, 86: 549–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jakobsson M, Lovlie R, Arnold E M, et al. Pleistocene stratigraphy and paleoenvironmental variation from Lomonosov Ridge sediments, central Arctic Ocean. Glob Planet Change, 2001, 31: 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jakobsson M, Backman J, Murray A, et al. Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating supports central Arctic Ocean cm-scale sedimentation rates. Geochem Geophys Geosys 2003, 4: 1016, doi: 10.1029/2002GC000423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Poore R Z, Osterman L, Curry W B, et al. Late Pleistocene and Holocene meltwater events in the western Arctic Ocean. Geology, 1999, 27: 759–762CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fairbanks R G, Mortlock R A, Chiu T, et al. Marine radiocarbon calibration curve spanning 0 to 50,000 years B.P. based on paired 230Th/234U/238U and 14C dates on pristine corals. Quat Sci Rev, 2005, 24: 1781–1796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lisiecki L E, Raymo M E. A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records. Paleoceanography, 2005, 20: PA1003, doi:10.1029/2004PA001071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Poore R Z, Phillips R L, Rieck H J. Paleoclimate record for Northwind Ridge, Western Arctic Ocean. Paleoceanography, 1993, 8: 149–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hemming S R. Heinrich events: massive late Pleistocene detritus layers of the North Atlantic and their global climate imprint. Rev Geophys, 2004, 42: RG1005, doi: 10. 1029/2003RG000128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bischof J F, Darby D A. Mid-to Late Pleistocene ice drift in the Western Arctic Ocean: Evidence for a different circulation in the past. Science, 1997, 277: 74–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stokes C R, Clark C D, Darby D A, et al. Late Pleistocene ice export events into the Arctic Ocean from the M’Clure Strait Ice Stream, Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Glob Planet Change, 2005, 49: 139–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sellen E, Jakobsson M, Backman J. Sedimentary regimes in Arctic’s Amerasian and Eurasian Basins: Clues to differences in sedimentation rates. Glob Planet Change, 2008, 61: 275–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Alley R B, Mayewski P A, Sowers T, et al. Holocene climatic instability: A prominent, widespread event 8200 yr ago. Geology, 1997, 25: 483–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kurek J, Cwynar L C, Spear R W. The 8200 cal yr BP cooling event in eastern North America and the utility of midge analysis for Holocene temperature reconstructions. Quat Sci Rev, 2004, 23: 627–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rohling E J, Palike H. Centennial-scale climate cooling with a sudden cold event 8200 yrs ago. Nature, 2005, 434: 975–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Jakobsson M, Gardner J V, Vogt P R, et al. Multibeam bathymetric and sediment profiler evidence for ice grounding on the Chukchi Borderland, Arctic Ocean. Quat Res, 2005, 63: 150–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Polyak L, Darby D, Bischof J, et al. Stratigraphic constraints on late Pleistocene glacial erosion and deglaciation of the Chukchi margin, Arctic Ocean. Quat Res, 2007, 67: 234–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bischof J F, Darby D A. Quaternary ice transport in the Canadian Arctic and extent of Late Wisconsinan Glaciation in the Queen Elizabeth Islands. Can J Earth Sci, 1999, 36: 2007–2022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Darby D A. Source of sediment found in sea ice from the western Arctic Ocean, new insights into processes of entrainment and drift patterns. J Geophys Res, 2003, 108: 3257, doi: 10.1029/2002JC001350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wahsner M, Muller C, Stein R, et al. Clay-mineral distribution in surface sediments of the Eurasian Arctic Ocean and continental margin as indicator for source areas and transport pathways-a synthesis. Boreas, 1999, 28: 215–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hass H C. A method to reduce the influence of ice-rafted debris on a grain size record from Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean. Polar Res, 2002, 21: 299–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hill J C, Driscoll N W, Brigham-Grette J, et al. New evidence for high discharge to the Chukchi shelf since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quat Res, 2007, 68: 271–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Reimnitz E, McCormick M, Bischof J, et al. Comparing sea-ice sediment load with Beaufort Sea shelf deposits: Is entrainment selective? J Sediment Res, 1998, 68: 777–787Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Clark D, Hanson A. Central Arctic Ocean sediment texture: a key to ice transport mechanisms. In: Molnia B F, ed. Glacial-marine Sedimentation. New York: Plenum Press, 1983. 301–330Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stewart T. Glacial marine sedimentation from tidewater glaciers in the Canadian High Arctic. In: Anderson J B, Ashley G M, eds. Glacial-Marine Sedimentation: Paleoclimatic Significance. Geol Soc Am Spec Paper, 1991, 261: 95–105Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Hesse R, Khodabakhsh S, Klauke I, et al. Asymmetrical turbid surface- plume deposition near ice-outlets of the Pleistocene Laurentide ice sheet in the Labrador Sea. Geo-Mar Lett, 1997, 17: 179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Norgaard-Pedersen N, Mikkelsen N, Kristoffersen Y. Arctic Ocean record of last two glacial-interglacial cycles off North Greeland/Ellesmere Island- Implications for glacial history. Mar Geol, 2007, 244: 93–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • RuJian Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • WenShen Xiao
    • 2
  • WenBao Li
    • 1
  • YeChen Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

Personalised recommendations