The Paleocene-Eocene "greenhouse" Arctic Ocean paleoenvironment; implications from biomarker results from IODP Expedition 302 (ACEX)

Author(s): Weller, P.; Stein, R.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Federal Republic of Germany
Volume Title: AGU 2006 fall meeting
Source: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 87( Fall Meeting Suppl.); American Geophysical Union 2006 fall meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 11-15, 2006. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0096-3941 CODEN: EOSTAJ
Note: In English
Summary: In order to reconstruct the long-term Cenozoic climate history of the central Arctic Ocean and its role in earth's transition from Paleogene greenhouse to the Neogene icehouse conditions, IODP Expedition 302 (Arctic Ocean Coring Experiment ACEX) visited the Lomonosov Ridge in August 2004. Here, we present new data of organic-geochemical compounds determined in ACEX sediment samples to identify organic matter sources and biomarker proxies to decipher processes controlling organic-carbon accumulation and their paleo- environmental significance. Of special interest was the reconstruction of organic carbon composition, preservation and accumulation (i.e. high productivity vs. anoxia vs. terrigenous input) during periods of extreme global warmth and proposed increased freshwater discharge in the early Cenozoic. Specific source-related biomarkers (e.g. n-alkanes, fatty acids, isoprenoids, carotenoids, steranes/sterenes, hopanes/hopenes, hopanoic acids, aromatic terpenoids, benzohopanes, long-chain alkenones, organic sulfur compounds) and Rock-Eval parameters were determined in the ACEX sediment samples, ranging from the late Paleocene to the middle Miocene in age. The records show highly variable TOC-contents and a large variety and variability of compounds derived from marine, terrestrial and bacterial origin. The distribution of hopanoic acid isomers was dominated by compounds with the biological 17 beta (H), 21 beta (H) configuration indicating a low level of maturity, which was in good agreement with the data from Rock-Eval pyrolysis. Based on the biomarker data, the terrestrial organic matter supply was significantly enriched during the late Paleocene and part of the early Eocene, whereas n-alkanes and n-fatty acids in samples from the PETM and Elmo events as well as the middle Eocene indicate increased aquatic contributions. Furthermore samples from the middle Eocene were characterized by the occurrence of long-chain alkenones, high proportions of lycopane and high ratios (>0.6) of (n-C35+lycopane)/n-C31. Interestingly, lycopane which might indicate photic-zone anoxia was not detected in co-occurrence with highly source-specific isorenieratene derivates.The occurrence in samples of the "freshwater" Azolla-event suggest that lycopane was more likely derived from freshwater algae (Botriococcus braunii, race L genus).
Year of Publication: 2006
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Anaerobic environment; Arctic Coring EXpedition; Arctic Ocean; Biogenic processes; Biomarkers; Cenozoic; Chemical composition; Eocene; Expedition 302; Glacial environment; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Lithofacies; Lomonosov Ridge; Paleocene; Paleoclimatology; Paleoenvironment; Paleogene; Pyrolysis; Reconstruction; Terrigenous materials; Tertiary
Coordinates: N875100 N875600 E1393300 E1361000
Record ID: 2009021084
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