Arctic Ocean Sediments: Processes, Proxies, and Paleoenvironment

Arctic Ocean Sediments: Processes, Proxies, and Paleoenvironment

1st Edition - July 22, 2008

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  • Author: R. Stein
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080558851
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444520180

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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.

Key Features

*Aimed at specialists and graduates
*Presents background research, recent developments, and future trends
*Written by a leading scholar and industry expert


geologists, sedimentologists, oceanographers, engineers

Table of Contents

    Preface ix
    List of Abbreviations xiii
    Part 1: Introduction and Background
    1. Introduction to the Arctic: Significance and History 3
    1.1. The Arctic Ocean and Its Significance for the Earth’s Climate System 3
    1.2. History of Arctic Ocean Research 9
    1.3. Plate Tectonic Evolution and Palaeogeography 22
    1.4. Glaciations in Earth’s History 30
    2. Modern Physiography, Hydrology, Climate, and Sediment Input 35
    2.1. Bathymetry and Physiography 35
    2.2. Oceanic Circulation Pattern and Water-Mass Characteristics 40
    2.3. Sea-Ice Cover: Extent, Thickness, and Variability 48
    2.4. Primary Production and Vertical Carbon Fluxes in the Arctic Ocean 55
    2.5. River Discharge 63
    2.6. Permafrost 76
    2.7. Coastal Erosion 78
    2.8. Aeolian Input 82
    2.9. Modern Sediment Input: A Summary 84
    Part 2: Processes and Proxies
    3. Glacio-Marine Sedimentary Processes 87
    3.1. Sea-Ice Processes: Sediment Entrainment and Transport 88
    3.2. Ice Sheet- and Iceberg-Related Processes 95
    3.3. Sediment Mass-Wasting Processes 101
    3.4. Turbidite Sedimentation in the Central Arctic Ocean 126
    4. Proxies Used for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstructions in the
    Arctic Ocean 133
    4.1. Lithofacies Concept 133
    4.2. Grain-Size Distribution 139
    4.3. Proxies for Sources and Transport Processes of Terrigenous Sediments 146
    4.4. Trace Elements Used for Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction 167
    4.5. Micropalaeontological Proxies and Their (Palaeo-) Environmental
    and Stratigraphical Significance 170
    4.6. Stable Isotopes of Foraminifers 201
    4.7. Organic-Geochemical Proxies for Organic-Carbon Source and
    Palaeoenvironment 205
    Part 3: The Marine-Geological Record
    5. Modern Environment and Its Record in Surface Sediments 247
    5.1. Terrigenous (Non-Biogenic) Components in Arctic Ocean Surface
    Sediments: Implications for Provenance and Modern Transport Processes 247
    5.2. Organic-Carbon Content: Terrigenous Supply versus Primary Production 273
    6. Quaternary Variability of Palaeoenvironment and Its Sedimentary
    Record 287
    6.1. The Stratigraphic Framework of Arctic Ocean Sediment Cores:
    Background, Problems, and Perspectives 287
    6.2. Variability of Quaternary Ice Sheets and Palaeoceanographic
    Characteristics: Terrestrial, Model, and Eurasian Continental
    Margin Records 317
    6.3. Circum-Arctic Glacial History, Sea-Ice Cover, and
    Surface-Water Characteristics: Quaternary Records from the
    Central Arctic Ocean 369
    6.4. Accumulation of Particulate Organic Carbon at the Arctic Continental
    Margin and Deep-Sea Areas During Late Quaternary Times 409
    7. Mesozoic to Cenozoic Palaeoenvironmental Records of High
    Northern Latitudes 439
    7.1. Mesozoic High-Latitude Palaeoclimate and Arctic Ocean
    Palaeoenvironment 439
    7.2. Cenozoic High-Latitude Palaeoclimate and Arctic Ocean
    Palaeoenvironment 457
    8. Open Questions and Future Geoscientific Arctic Ocean Research 497
    8.1. Quaternary and Neogene Climate Variability on Sub-Millennial to
    Milankovich Time Scales 498
    8.2. The Mesozoic–Cenozoic History of the Arctic Ocean 500
    References 507
    Index 587
    viii Contents

Product details

  • No. of pages: 608
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2008
  • Published: July 22, 2008
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080558851
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444520180

About the Author

R. Stein

Affiliations and Expertise

Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, and Bremen University, Germany

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