Changes in terrestrial organic matter input to the Mendeleev Ridge, western Arctic Ocean, during the Late Quaternary

  • Yamamoto M
  • Polyak L
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Hydrocarbons and glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) were analyzed in Late Pleistocene sediments of Core HLY0503-08JPC collected at the Mendeleev Ridge during the Healy-Oden Trans Arctic Expedition 2005 (HOTRAX'05) to investigate environmental changes in the western Arctic Ocean during the last full glacial cycle, ca. 130 kyr. Variations in long-chain n-alkane and GDGT concentrations correspond to alternated color banding, brown (interglacial/interstadial) and grayish (glacial/stadial) layers. Grayish layers are characterized by abundant higher-plant n-alkanes and branched GDGTs, implying larger contribution of terrestrial plant and soil organic matter (OM) in glacial environments, possibly due to the deposition of fine-grained products of glacial erosion in the Amerasian basin. Lithic n-alkanes derived from mature OM show pronounced peaks, which can be classified into six types presumably indicative of various sediment sources. Some peaks are correlated to events of iceberg discharge and freshwater outbursts from proglacial lakes of the Eurasian and, possibly, Laurentide ice sheets, suggesting that other peaks may correspond to similar events. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Arctic
  • HOTRAX'05
  • biomarker
  • glacial
  • ice-rafted debris
  • paleoenvironment
  • tetraethers

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  • Masanobu Yamamoto

  • Leonid Polyak

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