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The Cenozoic palaeoenvironment of the Arctic Ocean

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Moran, K. , Backman, J. , Brinkhuis, H. , Clemens, S. C. , Cronin, T. , Dickens, G. R. , Eynaud, F. , Gattacceca, J. , Jakobsson, M. , Jordan, R. W. , Kaminski, M. , King, J. , Koc, N. , Krylov, A. , Martinez, N. , Matthießen, J. , McInroy, D. , Moore, T. C. , Onodera, J. , O'Regan, A. M. , Pälike, H. , Rea, B. , Rio, D. , Sakamoto, T. , Smith, D. C. , Stein, R. , St. John, K. , Suto, I. , Suzuki, N. , Takahashi, K. , Watanabe, M. , Yamamoto, M. , Frank, M. , Jokat, W. and Kristoffersen, Y. (2006): The Cenozoic palaeoenvironment of the Arctic Ocean , Nature, 441 , pp. 601-605 . doi: 10.1038/nature04800
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Abstract:

The Cenozoic history (0 to 65 million years, Myr, ago) of the Arctic Ocean is largely unknown from direct evidence. Here we present the first Cenozoic palaeoceanographic record constructed from > 400 m of core from a recent drilling expedition to the Lomonosov Ridge. Our record shows a palaeoenvironmental transition from a warm greenhouse world, of the latest Palaeocene and early Eocene, to an icehouse world influenced by sea ice and icebergs from the middle Eocene to the present. We show: 1-2 cm per thousand years (ka) sedimentation rates occurred from the middle Miocene - Holocene (~18-0 Myr) in stark contrast to rates proposed in earlier studies; the first occurrence of ice-rafted debris (IRD) is in the middle Eocene (~45 Myr), ~35 Myr earlier than previously thought; prior to the IRD, fresh surface waters were present at ~49 Myr; and warm surface waters, ~10° warmer than previous estimates, occurred during the Palaeocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). The revised timing of Arctic cooling events coincides with those from Antarctica, supporting arguments for bi-polar symmetry in climate change.

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