Physiographic and Biological Factors Controlling Surface Sediment Distribution in the Fram Strait

  • H. Berner
  • G. Wefer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 308)


Waters of the Fram Strait — the Arctic Ocean’s most important connection to the world ocean — are characterized by complex hydrographic conditions and a highly variable ice-cover. Various components of the sea floor sediments correspond to these hydrographic features in specific ways. The grain size of surface sediments is controlled by topography and reflects the efficiency of bottom currents. Dropstones are rare and seem to originate from the nearby shorelines. Clay mineral assemblages are found in patterns related to the marginal ice zone where biological productivity is higher. Analyses of sediment trap material, which was sampled over 36 months at three positions in the Fram Strait, reveal a relationship between the quantity and composition of lithogenic matter and the position of the ice margin with respect to the trap site. Sediment composition in the Fram Strait appears to be mainly controlled by input of ice-rafted material, with the mineral composition of the <2 µm fraction reflecting biogenically controlled pelagic sedimentation in the central Fram Strait.


Sediment Trap Clay Mineral Assemblage East Greenland Current Kaolinite Content West Spitsbergen Current 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Berner
    • 1
  • G. Wefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität BremenFachbereich GeowissenschaftenBremenF.R. Germany

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