Geochemistry International

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 1189–1208 | Cite as

Modern Sedimentation in the Kara Sea: Evidence from the Lithological–Geochemical Investigation of Surface Bottom Sediments

  • V. Yu. RusakovEmail author
  • T. G. Kuz’mina
  • E. S. Toropchenova
  • A. V. Zhilkina


In this paper, we report new data on the lithological and chemical compositions of the surface layer (0–2 cm) of bottom sediments from various zone of the Kara Sea: the estuaries of the Ob and Yenisei rivers, open part of the shelf, Eastern Novaya Zemlya Trough, Voronin Trough, and Novaya Zemlya bays. The sediments were collected during five cruises of the R/V Akademik Boris Petrov (2000, 2001, and 2003) and the R/V Akademik Mstislav Keldysh (2015 and 2016). Based on the statistical analysis of the obtained data array, all the bottom sediments were divided into cluster groups comprising their lithological and geochemical types. The obtained clusters and REE + Y systematics were used to distinguish facies genetic types of the bottom sediments and determine the accumulation zones of Holocene sequences. They are bounded by river estuaries, a shallow marine zone adjoining the southeastern coast of the sea, and deep troughs. The main sources of Holocene sediments in the Kara Sea are the suspended particulate materials of the Ob and Yenisei and materials transported by glacial meltwater from the Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya archipelagoes. The dispersion of fine suspensions is controlled by the circulation of surface sea currents. The accumulation of suspended materials on the bottom is complicated by wave effects and circulation of bottom sea currents, which remove fine sediment fractions from the shallow regions of the sea and transport them into the deepest hydrodynamically calm parts of troughs.


lithological and geochemical composition REE + Y cluster analysis genetic facies types sedimentation bottom sediment Kara Sea 



  1. 1.
    En. E. Asadulin, A. Yu. Miroshnikov, and V. I. Velichkin, “Geochemical signature of bottom sediments in the mixing zones of Ob and Yenisei waters with Kara Sea water,” Geochem. Int. 51 (12), 1005–1018 (2013).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    En. E. Asadulin, A. Yu. Miroshnikov, A. A. Usacheva, and V. I. Velichkin, “Geochemical recognition of terrigeneous material from the Ob and Yenisei rivers in bottom sediments of the eastern part of the Kara Sea,” Dokl. Earth Sci. 461 (2), 270–272 (2015).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Atlas of Oceans. Arctic Ocean (Glav. Upravl. Navigats. Okeanogr. MOS SSSR, 1980) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    E. M. Emel’yanov, Barrier Zones in Ocean, Sedimentation and Ore Formation, Geoecology (Yantar, Kaliningrad, 1998) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    V. T. Frolov, Lithology. Book 1. A Textbook (MGU, Moscow, 1992) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    V. V. Gordeev, “Rivers of the Russian Arctic: sedimentary fluxes from continents in ocean,” New Ideas in Oceanology. Volume 2. Geology (Nauka, Moscow, 2004), pp. 113–167 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    V. V. Gordeev, Geochemistry of the River–Sea System (I.P. Matushkin, Moscow, 2012) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    V. V. Gordeev, J.-M. Martin, I. S. Sidorov, and M. V. Sidorova, “A reassessment of the Eurasian river input of water, sediment, major ions and nutrients into the Arctic Ocean,” Amer. J. Sci. 296, 664–691 (1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    L. P. Gromet, R. F. Dymek, L. A. Haskin, and R. L. Korotev, “The 'North American shale composite': its compilation, major, and trace element characteristics,” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 48 (12), 2469–2482 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    V. I. Gurevich, Modern Sedimentogenesis and Geoecology of the Western Arctic Shelf of Eurasia (Nauchnyi Mir, Moscow, 2002) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    A. P. Lisitzin, “Marginal filter of oceans,” Okeanologiya 34 (5), 735–747 (1994).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    V. N. Lukashin, S. V. Lyutsarev, A. D. Krasnyk, V. P. Shevchenko, and V. Yu. Rusakov, “Suspended matter in estuaries of the Ob’ and Yenisei rivers: Data from the 28th cruise of R/V Akademik Boris Petrov,” Geochem. Int., No. 12, 1221–1236 (2000).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. A. Levitan, M. V. Bourtman, L. L. Demina, V. V. Krupskaya, E. M. Sedykh, and M. Yu. Chudetsky, “History of Holocene sedimentation in the southern Kara Sea,” Lithol. Miner. Resour. 39 (6), 566–579 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    V. N. Mikhailov, Mouths of Rivers of Russia and Adjacent Countries: the Past, Present, and Future (Geos, Moscow, 1997) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. D. Milliman, “Flux and fate of fluvial sediment and water in coastal seas,” Ocean Margin Processes in Global Change, Ed. by R.F.C. Mantoura, J.-M. Martin, and R. Wollast (John Wiley & Sons, Chichester et al., 1991), pp. 69–90.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    A. Y. Miroshnikov and A. A. Asadulin, “Tracking and distribution of radioactive contamination from nuclear plants to the bottom sediments of Ob and Yenisei rivers and Kara Sea basin,” Berichte Polarforschung 300, 145–153 (1999).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    L. Polyak, S. L. Forman, F. A. Herlihy, G. Ivanov, and P. Krinitsky, “Late Weichselian deglacial history of the Svytaya (Saint) Anna Trough, northern Kara Sea, Arctic Russia,” Mar. Geol. 143, 169–187 (1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    L. Polyak, M. Levitan, T. Khusid, L. Merklin, and V. Mukhina, “Variations in the influence of riverine discharge on the Kara Sea during the last deglaciation and the Holocene,” Global Planet. Change 32, 291–309 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    L. Polyak, M. Levitan, V. Gataullin, T. Khusid, V. Mokhailov, and V. Mukhina, “The impact of glaciation, river-discharge and sea-level change on Late Quaternary environments in the south-west Kara Sea,” Int. J. Earth Sci. 89, 550–562 (2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    V. Yu. Rusakov, “Facies–genetic types of the surface layer of the Kara Sea bottom sediments,” Problems of Geomorphology and Paleogeography of Marine Coasts and Shelf. Proceedings of P.A. Kaplin Conference, Ed. by T.A. Yanina and T.S. Klyuvitkina (Geograf. Fakul’t. MGU, Moscow, 2017), pp. 125–127 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    V. Yu. Rusakov, M. A. Levitan, T. G. Kuzmina, E. S. Toropchonova, and A. V. Zhilkina, “Typification of the surface layer of bottom sediments of the Kara Sea on the basis of cluster analysis,” Sea and Ocean Geology. Proceedings of 21th International Conference (School) on Marine Geology (GEOS, Moscow, 2015), Vol. 4, pp. 305–309.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    V. Yu. Rusakov, T. G. Kuzmina, M. A. Levitan, E. S. Toropchenova, and A. V. Zhylkina, “Lithological and geochemical typification of surface bottom sediments in the Kara Sea,” Oceanology 57 (1), 192–203 (2017a).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    V. Yu. Rusakov, T. G. Kuzmina, M. A. Levitan, E. S. Toropchonova, and A. V. Zhilkina, “Heavy metal distribution in the surface layer of bottom sediments of the Kara Sea,” Geochem. Int. 55 (12), 1079–1089 (2017b).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    R. Stein, K. Dittmers, F. Niessen, and K. Fahl, “Siberian river run-off and Late Quaternary glaciation in the southern Kara Sea, Arctic Ocean: preliminary results,” Polar Res. 21, 315–322 (2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    R. Stein, K. Fahl, K. Dittmers, F. Niessen, and O. V. Stepanets, “Holocene siliciclastic and organic carbon fluxes in Ob and Yenisei estuaries and the adjacent inner Kara Sea: Quantification, variability, and paleoenvironmental implication,” Siberian River Run-off in the Kara Sea Characterisation, Quantification, Variability and Environmental Significance, Ed. by R. Stein, K. Fahl, D.K. Fuetterer, E.M. Galimov, and O.V. Stepanets (Elsevier Science, 2003), pp. 401–428.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    S. R. Taylor and S. M. McLennan, The Continental Crust: Its Composition and Evolution (Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Yu. Rusakov
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. G. Kuz’mina
    • 1
  • E. S. Toropchenova
    • 1
  • A. V. Zhilkina
    • 1
  1. 1.Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations