Arctic Ocean Sediments: Processes, Proxies, and Paleoenvironment


  • R. Stein, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, and Bremen University, Germany

Although it is generally accepted that the Arctic Ocean is a very sensitive and important region for changes in the global climate, this region is the last major physiographic province of the earth whose short-and long-term geological history is much less known in comparison to other ocean regions. This lack of knowledge is mainly caused by the major technological/logistic problems in reaching this harsh, ice-covered region with normal research vessels and in retrieving long and undisturbed sediment cores. During the the last about 20 years, however, several international and multidisciplinary ship expeditions, including the first scientific drilling on Lomonosov Ridge in 2004, a break-through in Arctic research, were carried out into the central Artic and its surrounding shelf seas. Results from these expeditions have greatly advanced our knowledge on Arctic Ocean paleoenvironments. Published syntheses about the knowledge on Arctic Ocean geology, on the other hand, are based on data available prior to 1990. A comprehensive compilation of data on Arctic Ocean paleoenvironment and its short-and long-term variability based on the huge amount of new data including the ACEX drilling data, has not been available yet. With this book, presenting (1) detailed information on glacio-marine sedimentary processes and geological proxies used for paleoenvironmental reconstructions, and (2) detailed geological data on modern environments, Quaternary variability on different time scales as well as the long-term climate history during Mesozoic-Tertiary times, this gap in knowledge will be filled.
View full description


geologists, sedimentologists, oceanographers, engineers


Book information

  • Published: July 2008
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-52018-0

Table of Contents

CONTENTSPreface ixList of Abbreviations xiiiPart 1: Introduction and Background1. Introduction to the Arctic: Significance and History 31.1. The Arctic Ocean and Its Significance for the Earth’s Climate System 31.2. History of Arctic Ocean Research 91.3. Plate Tectonic Evolution and Palaeogeography 221.4. Glaciations in Earth’s History 302. Modern Physiography, Hydrology, Climate, and Sediment Input 352.1. Bathymetry and Physiography 352.2. Oceanic Circulation Pattern and Water-Mass Characteristics 402.3. Sea-Ice Cover: Extent, Thickness, and Variability 482.4. Primary Production and Vertical Carbon Fluxes in the Arctic Ocean 552.5. River Discharge 632.6. Permafrost 762.7. Coastal Erosion 782.8. Aeolian Input 822.9. Modern Sediment Input: A Summary 84Part 2: Processes and Proxies3. Glacio-Marine Sedimentary Processes 873.1. Sea-Ice Processes: Sediment Entrainment and Transport 883.2. Ice Sheet- and Iceberg-Related Processes 953.3. Sediment Mass-Wasting Processes 1013.4. Turbidite Sedimentation in the Central Arctic Ocean 1264. Proxies Used for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstructions in theArctic Ocean 1334.1. Lithofacies Concept 1334.2. Grain-Size Distribution 1394.3. Proxies for Sources and Transport Processes of Terrigenous Sediments 1464.4. Trace Elements Used for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction 167vii4.5. Micropalaeontological Proxies and Their (Palaeo-) Environmentaland Stratigraphical Significance 1704.6. Stable Isotopes of Foraminifers 2014.7. Organic-Geochemical Proxies for Organic-Carbon Source andPalaeoenvironment 205Part 3: The Marine-Geological Record5. Modern Environment and Its Record in Surface Sediments 2475.1. Terrigenous (Non-Biogenic) Components in Arctic Ocean SurfaceSediments: Implications for Provenance and Modern Transport Processes 2475.2. Organic-Carbon Content: Terrigenous Supply versus Primary Production 2736. Quaternary Variability of Palaeoenvironment and Its SedimentaryRecord 2876.1. The Stratigraphic Framework of Arctic Ocean Sediment Cores:Background, Problems, and Perspectives 2876.2. Variability of Quaternary Ice Sheets and PalaeoceanographicCharacteristics: Terrestrial, Model, and Eurasian ContinentalMargin Records 3176.3. Circum-Arctic Glacial History, Sea-Ice Cover, andSurface-Water Characteristics: Quaternary Records from theCentral Arctic Ocean 3696.4. Accumulation of Particulate Organic Carbon at the Arctic ContinentalMargin and Deep-Sea Areas During Late Quaternary Times 4097. Mesozoic to Cenozoic Palaeoenvironmental Records of HighNorthern Latitudes 4397.1. Mesozoic High-Latitude Palaeoclimate and Arctic OceanPalaeoenvironment 4397.2. Cenozoic High-Latitude Palaeoclimate and Arctic OceanPalaeoenvironment 4578. Open Questions and Future Geoscientific Arctic Ocean Research 4978.1. Quaternary and Neogene Climate Variability on Sub-Millennial toMilankovich Time Scales 4988.2. The Mesozoic–Cenozoic History of the Arctic Ocean 500References 507Index 587viii Contents