Pleistocene Sediment Sequence of the Southern Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean: Preliminary Stratigraphic Subdivision Based on Iceberg-Rafted Debris and Benthic Foraminiferal Records
Two sediment cores retrieved from the southern Lomonosov Ridge (LR) in 2007 (core ALR07-26C from the top of the ridge, water depth 1359 m, and core ALR07-15C from the base of Geophysicists’ Spur, water depth 2500 m) were investigated for lithology (wt % > 63 μm, terrigenous lithic grains >500 μm) and microfossils. Prominent peaks of coarse-grained material in ALR07-26C represented largely by quartz and clastic rocks are regarded as inputs of ice and, especially, iceberg-rafted debris (IRD) of Eurasian origin. In accordance with previously obtained evidence from age-constrained cores from the central LR, the highest peak 4 is correlated with the MIS 6–5 boundary and the disintegration of the Saalian ice sheet. The three younger IRD peaks are provisionally correlated with the MIS 5–4, MIS 4–3, and MIS 2–1 boundaries, respectively. Small peaks of coarse-grained material in ALR07-15C dominated by various rocks in contrast represent local material transported by downslope slides mixed with some IRD. No calcareous microfossils occur in the cores, but only agglutinated benthic foraminifers are found. In ALR07-26C, they correlate with IRD-rich layers, which correspond to glacial terminations with more open-sea ice conditions and, probably, higher productivity in the sea-ice marginal zone. The Cyclammina-dominated assemblage in ALR07-26C below IRD peak 4 supports the proposed age estimate for this peak (MIS 6–5), as similar foraminiferal assemblages in other LR cores are recorded in sediments of MIS 7–9 and older. Younger assemblages show a transition from a Recurvoides-dominated assemblage in the early Late Pleistocene to a more “oligotrophic” recent assemblage with a predominance of Reophax and Rhabdammina.
KeywordsArctic ocean Lomonosov Ridge Pleistocene IRD Agglutinated benthic foraminifers Palaeoceanography
This investigation was supported by the RFBR (grant 11-05-01091a).
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