Journal Article Distribution of detrital minerals and sediment color in western Arctic Ocean and northern Bering Sea sediments: Changes in the provenance of western Arctic Ocean sediments since the last glacial period

10 ( 4 )  , pp.519 - 531 , 2016-12
This paper describes the distribution of detrital minerals and sediment color in the surface sediments of the western Arctic Ocean and the northern Bering Sea and investigates the relationship between mineral composition and sediment provenance. This relationship was used to determine the provenance of western Arctic Ocean sediments deposited during the last glacial period. Sediment color is governed by water depth, diagenesis, and mineral composition. An a*–b* diagram was used to trace color change during diagenesis in the Arctic Ocean sediments. The mineral composition of surface sediments is governed by grain size and provenance. The feldspar/quartz ratio of the sediments studied was higher on the Siberian side than on the North American side of the western Arctic Ocean. The (chlorite + kaolinite)/illite and chlorite/illite ratios were high in the Bering Sea but decrease northwards in the Chukchi Sea. Thus, these ratios are useful for provenance studies in the Chukchi Sea area as indices of the Beaufort Gyre circulation and the Bering Strait inflow. The sediments deposited during the last glacial period have a lower feldspar/quartz ratio and a higher dolomite intensity than Holocene sediments on the Chukchi Plateau, suggesting a greater contribution of North American grains during the last glacial period.

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