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Cyclicity in the middle Eocene central Arctic Ocean sediment record: orbital forcing and environmental response

By F. Sangiorgi, E.E. van Soelen, D.J.A. Spofforth, H. Pälike, C.E. Stickley, K. St. John, N. Koç, S. Schouten, J.S. Sinninghe Damsté and H. Brinkhuis


Continuous X-ray fluorescence scanning of middle Eocene (~46 Ma) core M0002A-55X (~236–241 m\ud composite depth), recovered during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 302, revealed a strong\ud cyclical signal in some major and trace geochemical elements. We performed a multiproxy study of the same\ud core, which included organic geochemical, sedimentological, and biological parameters, and integrated our\ud results with available geochemical and physical properties data. The target was to look for cyclicity in the\ud several proxies, investigate their frequency, and understand the environmental response to the potential forcing.\ud Results indicate that a higher terrigenous component corresponds to lower organic carbon concentration, smaller\ud contributions by angiosperm pollen and spores, organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts, and chrysophyte cysts\ud (lower productivity, shorter growing season for flowering plants, and lower stratification) but higher\ud contributions by bisaccate pollen and diatoms (drier conditions on land, more marine conditions) and higher\ud terrigenous sand (ice-rafted debris (IRD)). Our investigation shows that physical proxy parameters hold cyclicity\ud with periods of about 50 and 100 cm and that these frequency components are compatible with a Milankovitchtype\ud orbital forcing, representing precession and obliquity, respectively. The longer 100 cm cyclicity is also\ud present in the biological (pollen, dinoflagellate cysts, and siliceous microfossils) and in the sedimentological\ud (IRD) proxies. The environmental signal derived from the integrated multiproxy analysis suggests that in an\ud enclosed Arctic Ocean at time of ice (sea ice and glacial ice) initiation the biological proxies responded more\ud strongly to growing season length/darkness, whereas the terrigenous components, directly driven by sea ice and/\ud or glacial ice formation and extent, responded more directly to seasonal insolation

Topics: Aardwetenschappen, orbital forcing, Arctic Ocean, Eocene
Year: 2008
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