We used the continuous saturated bulk density records collected by the gamma-ray attenuation porosity evaluator (GRAPE) at Ocean Drilling Program Site 806 on the top of the Ontong Java Plateau to evaluate the continuity of the recovered cores and to splice together a complete section from the multiple holes drilled at the site (for the upper 165 m, this is equivalent to approximately 0-5 Ma). The lack of offset in core breaks (between the 9.5-m-long, successive cores) from hole to hole made splicing difficult, and the results are not unambiguous. The composite section was converted to a time series by using biostratigraphy and supplementing this with oxygen-isotope datums for the interval between 2 and 5 Ma. Evolutionary spectra generated from the composite section clearly indicate the presence of Milankovitch frequencies throughout the record. We chose a final age model that was most consistent with a Milankovitch model but have not, as yet, spectrally tuned the data. The GRAPE (saturated bulk density) changes at Site 806 are the result of changes in grain size, with density decreasing as grain size increases. We attribute this to the removal of fine particles by winnowing, leaving a greater percentage of large hollow foraminifers behind—"the winnowing effect." This is in contrast to the "dissolution effect," which breaks up large hollow foraminifers into fragments but merely transfers intraparticle porosity to interparticle porosity and thus shows significant changes in grain size without significant changes in density. A 300-k.y. piston core record reveals that during this time interval increased winnowing has been associated with glacials and 100-k.y. cyclicity. For the time interval from 5 to 2 Ma, enhanced winnowing continues to be associated with isotopically heavy intervals dominated by 41-k.y. (obliquity) variance. In this band, the winnowing record is highly correlated with the ice-volume record, particularly since the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciations. Before that time, the grain-size record continues to show variance in the obliquity band whereas the oxygen isotope record shows a shift to the dominance of precessional frequencies. We suggest that the winnowing signal is a response to increased thermohaline circulation and benthic storm activity associated with enhanced north-south thermal gradients during times of climatic degradation.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Affiliate

Publication Date



International Ocean Discovery Program

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

Document Type

Conference Proceeding