Is the central Arctic Ocean a sediment-starved basin?


Numerous short sediment cores have been retrieved from the central Arctic Ocean, many of which have been assigned sedimentation rates on the order of mm/ka implying that the Arctic Basin was starved of sediments during Plio–Pleistocene times. A review of both shorter-term sedimentation rates, through analysis of available sediment core data, and longer-term sedimentation rates, through estimates of total sediment thickness and bedrock age, suggests that cm/ka-scale rates are pervasive in the central Arctic Ocean. This is not surprising considering the physiographic setting of the Arctic Ocean, being a small land-locked basin since its initial opening during Early Cretaceous times. We thus conclude that the central Arctic Ocean has not been a sediment starved basin, either during Plio–Pleistocene times or during pre-Pliocene times. Rigorous chronstratigraphic analysis permits correlation of sediment cores over a distance of ∼2600 km, from the northwestern Amerasia Basin to the northwestern Eurasia Basin via the Lomonosov Ridge, using paleomagnetic, biostratigraphic, and cyclostratigraphic data.

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Quaternary Science Reviews


23, Issues 11-13





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Conference Proceeding