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Sample records for gakkel ridge arctic

  1. Evidence for chemically heterogeneous Arctic mantle beneath the Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Errico, Megan E.; Warren, Jessica M.; Godard, Marguerite

    2016-02-01

    Ultraslow spreading at mid-ocean ridges limits melting due to on-axis conductive cooling, leading to the prediction that peridotites from these ridges are relatively fertile. To test this, we examined abyssal peridotites from the Gakkel Ridge, the slowest spreading ridge in the global ocean ridge system. Major and trace element concentrations in pyroxene and olivine minerals are reported for 14 dredged abyssal peridotite samples from the Sparsely Magmatic (SMZ) and Eastern Volcanic (EVZ) Zones. We observe large compositional variations among peridotites from the same dredge and among dredges in close proximity to each other. Modeling of lherzolite trace element compositions indicates varying degrees of non-modal fractional mantle melting, whereas most harzburgite samples require open-system melting involving interaction with a percolating melt. All peridotite chemistry suggests significant melting that would generate a thick crust, which is inconsistent with geophysical observations at Gakkel Ridge. The refractory harzburgites and thin overlying oceanic crust are best explained by low present-day melting of a previously melted heterogeneous mantle. Observed peridotite compositional variations and evidence for melt infiltration demonstrates that fertile mantle components are present and co-existing with infertile mantle components. Melt generated in the Gakkel mantle becomes trapped on short length-scales, which produces selective enrichments in very incompatible rare earth elements. Melt migration and extraction may be significantly controlled by the thick lithosphere induced by cooling at such slow spreading rates. We propose the heterogeneous mantle that exists beneath Gakkel Ridge is the consequence of ancient melting, combined with subsequent melt percolation and entrapment. Initial modes of depleted mantle composition from Hellebrand et al. (2002b). Melt compositions are from Brunelli et al. (2014) in

  2. Magma Supply at the Arctic Gakkel Ridge: Constraints from Peridotites and Basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, C.; Dick, H. J.; Hellebrand, E.; Snow, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    Crustal thickness in global ridge systems is widely believed to be nearly uniform (~7 km) at slow- and fast-spreading mid-ocean ridges, but appears significantly thinner (< ~4 km) at ultraslow-spreading ridges. At the slowest-spreading Arctic Gakkel Ridge, the crust becomes extremely thin (1.4 - 2.9 km; [1]). The thin crust at the Gakkel and other ultraslow-spreading ridges, has been attributed to lithosphere thickening, ancient mantle depletion, lower mantle temperature, ridge obliquity, and melt retention/focusing. To better understand the magma supply at ultraslow-spreading ridges, we examined melting dynamics by linking peridotites and basalts dredged along the Gakkel Ridge. We analyzed rare earth elements in clinopyroxene from 84 residual peridotites, and estimated melting parameters for individual samples through nonlinear least squares analyses. The degrees of melting show a large variation but mainly center at around 7% assuming a somewhat arbitrary but widely used depleted MORB mantle starting composition. Thermobarometry on published primitive basaltic glasses from [2] indicates that the mantle potential temperature at the Gakkel Ridge is ~50°C cooler than that at the East Pacific Rise. The ridge-scale low-degree melting and lower mantle potential temperature place the final depth of melting at ~30 km and a melt thickness of 1.0 or 2.9 km for a triangular or trapezoidal melting regime, respectively. The final melting depth is consistent with excess conductive cooling and lithosphere thickening suggested by geodynamic models, while the estimated melt thickness is comparable to the seismic crust (1.4 - 2.9 km; [1]). The general agreement among geochemical analyses, seismic measurements, and geodynamic models supports that lower mantle potential temperature and thick lithosphere determine the ridge-scale low-degree melting and thin crust at the Gakkel Ridge, while melt retention/focusing and excess ancient mantle depletion are perhaps locally important at

  3. New data about small-magnitude earthquakes of the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, Alexey N.; Vaganova, Natalya V.; Ivanova, Ekaterina V.; Konechnaya, Yana V.; Fedorenko, Irina V.; Mikhaylova, Yana A.

    2016-01-01

    At the present time there is available detailed bathymetry, gravimetric, magnetometer, petrological, and seismic (mb > 4) data for the Gakkel Ridge. However, so far not enough information has been obtained on the distribution of small-magnitude earthquakes (or microearthquakes) within the ridge area due to the absence of a suitable observation system. With the ZFI seismic station (80.8° N, 47.7° E), operating since 2011 at the Frantz Josef Land Archipelago, we can now register small-magnitude earthquakes down to 1.5 ML within the Gakkel Ridge area. This article elaborates on the results and analysis of the ZFI station seismic monitoring obtained for the period from December 2011 to January 2015. In order to improve the accuracy of the earthquakes epicenter locations, velocity models and regional seismic phase travel-times for spreading ridges in areas within the Euro-Arctic Region have been calculated. The Gakkel Ridge is seismically active, regardless of having the lowest spreading velocity among global mid-ocean ridges. Quiet periods alternate with periods of higher seismic activity. Earthquakes epicenters are unevenly spread across the area. Most of the epicenters are assigned to the Sparsely Magmatic Zone, more specifically, to the area between 1.5° E and 19.0° E. We hypothesize that assignment of most earthquakes to the SMZ segment can be explained by the amagmatic character of the spreading of this segment. The structuring of this part of the ridge is characterized by the prevalence of tectonic processes, not magmatic or metamorphic ones.

  4. Explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Robert A; Willis, Claire; Humphris, Susan; Shank, Timothy M; Singh, Hanumant; Edmonds, Henrietta N; Kunz, Clayton; Hedman, Ulf; Helmke, Elisabeth; Jakuba, Michael; Liljebladh, Bengt; Linder, Julia; Murphy, Christopher; Nakamura, Ko-Ichi; Sato, Taichi; Schlindwein, Vera; Stranne, Christian; Tausenfreund, Maria; Upchurch, Lucia; Winsor, Peter; Jakobsson, Martin; Soule, Adam

    2008-06-26

    Roughly 60% of the Earth's outer surface is composed of oceanic crust formed by volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges. Although only a small fraction of this vast volcanic terrain has been visually surveyed or sampled, the available evidence suggests that explosive eruptions are rare on mid-ocean ridges, particularly at depths below the critical point for seawater (3,000 m). A pyroclastic deposit has never been observed on the sea floor below 3,000 m, presumably because the volatile content of mid-ocean-ridge basalts is generally too low to produce the gas fractions required for fragmenting a magma at such high hydrostatic pressure. We employed new deep submergence technologies during an International Polar Year expedition to the Gakkel ridge in the Arctic Basin at 85 degrees E, to acquire photographic and video images of 'zero-age' volcanic terrain on this remote, ice-covered ridge. Here we present images revealing that the axial valley at 4,000 m water depth is blanketed with unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits, including bubble wall fragments (limu o Pele), covering a large (>10 km(2)) area. At least 13.5 wt% CO(2) is necessary to fragment magma at these depths, which is about tenfold the highest values previously measured in a mid-ocean-ridge basalt. These observations raise important questions about the accumulation and discharge of magmatic volatiles at ultraslow spreading rates on the Gakkel ridge and demonstrate that large-scale pyroclastic activity is possible along even the deepest portions of the global mid-ocean ridge volcanic system. PMID:18580949

  5. Magmatic and amagmatic seafloor generation at the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Michael, P J; Langmuir, C H; Dick, H J B; Snow, J E; Goldstein, S L; Graham, D W; Lehnert, K; Kurras, G; Jokat, W; Mühe, R; Edmonds, H N

    2003-06-26

    A high-resolution mapping and sampling study of the Gakkel ridge was accomplished during an international ice-breaker expedition to the high Arctic and North Pole in summer 2001. For this slowest-spreading endmember of the global mid-ocean-ridge system, predictions were that magmatism should progressively diminish as the spreading rate decreases along the ridge, and that hydrothermal activity should be rare. Instead, it was found that magmatic variations are irregular, and that hydrothermal activity is abundant. A 300-kilometre-long central amagmatic zone, where mantle peridotites are emplaced directly in the ridge axis, lies between abundant, continuous volcanism in the west, and large, widely spaced volcanic centres in the east. These observations demonstrate that the extent of mantle melting is not a simple function of spreading rate: mantle temperatures at depth or mantle chemistry (or both) must vary significantly along-axis. Highly punctuated volcanism in the absence of ridge offsets suggests that first-order ridge segmentation is controlled by mantle processes of melting and melt segregation. The strong focusing of magmatic activity coupled with faulting may account for the unexpectedly high levels of hydrothermal activity observed. PMID:12827193

  6. High H2O/Ce of K-rich MORB from Lena Trough and Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Feig, S. T.

    2014-12-01

    Lena Trough in the Arctic ocean is the oblique spreading continuation of Gakkel Ridge through the Fram Strait (eg Snow et al. 2011). Extreme trace element and isotopic compositions seen in Lena Trough basalt appear to be the enriched end member dominating the geochemistry of the Western Volcanic Zone of the Western Gakkel Ridge as traced by Pb isotopes, K2O/TiO2, Ba/Nb and other isotopic, major and trace element indicators of mixing (Nauret et al., 2011). This is in contrast to neighboring Gakkel Ridge which has been spreading for 50-60 million years. Basalts from Lena Trough also show a pure MORB noble gas signature (Nauret et al., 2010) and peridotites show no evidence of ancient components in their Os isotopes (Lassiter, et al., in press). The major and trace element compositions of the basalts, however are very distinct from MORB, being far more potassic than all but a single locality on the SW Indian Ridge. We determined H2O and trace element composiitions of a suite of 17 basalt glasses from the Central Lena Trough (CLT) and the Gakkel Western Volcanic Zone, including many of those previously analyzed by Nauret et al. (2012). The Western Gakkel glasses have high H2O/Ce for MORB (>300) suggesting a water rich source consistent with the idea that the northernmost Atlantic mantle is enriched in water (Michael et al., 1995). They are within the range of Eastern Gakkel host glasses determined by Wanless et al, 2013. The Lena Trough (CLT) glasses are very rich in water for MORB (>1% H2O) and are among the highest H2O/Ce (>400) ever measured in MORB aside from melt inclusions in olivine. Mantle melting dynamics and melt evolution cannot account for the H2O/Ce variations in MORB, as these elements have similar behavior during melting and crustal evolution. Interestingly, the H2O/K2O ratios in the basalts are only around 1. This is because the K2O levels in the CLT glasses are very high as well relative to REE. The absolutely linear relationship between H2O and K2O

  7. Arctic Gakkel Ridge hydrothermal plume study by in-situ redox and particle size measurements.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, K.; Edmonds, H. N.; Winsor, P.; Liljebladh, B.; Stranne, C.; Upchurch, L.; Singh, H.; Jakuba, M.; Willis, C.; Shank, T.; Humphris, S. E.; Reves-Sohn, R.

    2007-12-01

    Throughout the Arctic Gakkel Vents Expediton (AGAVE cruise), Eh electrodes (redox sensor) were mounted on all vehicles, i.e., CTD/rosette, PUMA and JAGUAR AUVs and mini-ROV CAMPER. The electrodes voltages were logged through either SBE 9+ auxiliary channel (CTD) or RS-232C ports (PUMA and CAMPER) or self-recorded by an independent logger (JAGUAR). The LISST (Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transimssiometry)-Deep particle size analyzer was attached on the CTD/rosette with an independent data logger and a battery pack. Redox sensor has been used widely over different tectonic and oceanographic settings to detect hydrothermal emission. Negative shifts of redox voltage in the course of vehicle track lines as well as CTD casts provide an indication of "close range" from the source. None of CTD cast in the peridotite site (~85 deg N, 7.5 deg E) showed any redox negative shift. There were various magnitude of redox negative shift in different height from the bottom recorded in CTD casts and AUV and CAMPER track lines in the volcano site near the eastern end of bared central high (~85.5 deg N, 85 deg E). Although the redox negative shifts varied from almost a mV to almost a hundred mV, the redox data collected during the cruise could not confirm the existence of high temperature vents in the volcano site.

  8. Dive and Discover: New Arctic Educational Modules and Near Real-Time Coverage of Exploration on the Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphris, S. E.; Conrad, D. S.; Joyce, K.; Whitcomb, L.; Carignan, C.

    2006-12-01

    The award-winning Dive and Discover web site will provide education and outreach activities during the International Polar Year for an expedition to investigate hydrothermal activity on the Gakkel Ridge using autonomous underwater vehicles. Created in 2000, this web site is targeted mainly at middle-school students (Grades 6-8) and the general public, but is structured to provide multiple layers and levels of information to cover a wide range of educational experience. The backbone of the site is a series of educational modules that address basic science concepts central to marine science and research being conducted in the deep ocean and on the seafloor. The site already contains considerable material on a range of topics pertinent to seafloor exploration, including mid-ocean ridges, hydrothermal vents, and vent biology, as well as Antarctica. For the cruise to the Gakkel Ridge, two new modules relevant to the upcoming Gakkel Ridge cruise are being developed: one on the geography, oceanography and ecosystems of the Arctic Ocean, and another on underwater robotics. During the 2007 cruise, Dive and Discover will provide daily updates on the progress of the cruise through still and video images from the ship and from the seafloor, graphical representations of a wide variety of oceanographic data, explanations about the technology being used, general information about life at sea on an ice breaker conducting marine research, and interviews with the scientists, engineers, and mariners that make oceanographic research possible. In addition, a "Mail Buoy" will allow the general public to communicate directly by email with scientists at sea. Once the cruise is completed, it will remain live on the site so that it can continue to be accessed and used by teachers during any part of the school year.

  9. Active spreading processes at ultraslow mid-ocean ridges: The 1999-2001 seismo-volcanic episode at 85°E Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlindwein, Vera; Riedel, Carsten; Korger, Edith; Läderach, Christine

    2010-05-01

    The rate of magma and crustal production at mid-ocean ridges is thought to decrease with decreasing spreading rate. At ultraslow spreading rates below 10-20 mm/y full rate, heat loss by conduction greatly reduces melt production with less melt produced at increasingly greater depths. Gakkel Ridge, the actively spreading mid-ocean ridge in the Arctic Ocean, opens at rates of 14 mm/y in the west decreasing to less than 6 mm/y at its eastern termination and demonstrates that magma production is not only a function of spreading rate. Whereas amagmatic spreading takes place at rates of about 12-10 mm/y, focussed melt production occurs at even lower spreading rates in long-lived discrete volcanic centres. One such centre is the 85°E volcanic complex at eastern Gakkel ridge where in 1999 a teleseismically recorded earthquake swarm consisting of more than 250 earthquakes over 9 months signalled the onset of an active spreading episode. The earthquake swarm is believed to be associated with volcanic activity although no concurrent lava effusion was found. We analysed the teleseismic earthquake swarm together with visual observation and microseismic data recorded at this site in 2001 and 2007 and noted the following characteristics which may be indicative for volcanic spreading events at the still poorly explored ultraslow spreading ridges: - unusual duration: The 1999 earthquake swarm lasted over 9 months rather than a few weeks as observed on faster spreading ridges. In addition, in 2001 seismoacoustic sounds which we interpret as gas discharge in Strombolian eruptions and a giant event plume maintained over more than one year indicate waxing and waning volcanic activity since 1999. - unusual strength: The earthquake swarm was detected at teleseismic distances of more than 1000 km and included 11 events with a magnitude >5. No other confirmed mid-ocean ridge eruption released a comparable seismic moment. Rather than focussing in a narrow area or showing pronounced

  10. Magnetic Anomaly Amplitudes on the Gakkel Ridge: Indicators of Ridge Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childers, V. A.; Lawver, L. A.; Brozena, J. M.

    2002-12-01

    For most of its length, the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean's Eurasia Basin is characterized by a discontinuous magnetic signature with regions of missing or low-amplitude central anomalies punctuated by short, high-amplitude segments. The ridge segment in between the Morris Jesup Rise and the Yermak Plateau has an unusually large amplitude central magnetic anomaly that is more than four times the amplitude of the flanking anomalies. This ridge segment is straight, without large offsets, for about 150 km. The difference in character between the central anomaly in this segment and the rest of Gakkel Ridge is striking. The western half of the Gakkel Ridge and the Eurasia Basin were surveyed in 1998-99 by a Naval Research Laboratory aerogeophysical campaign that measured magnetics, gravity, and sea-surface topography. The new magnetic data densify the historical US Navy aeromagnetic data and improve the resolution of the magnetic anomaly field in this region. This new field highlights the variability of the Gakkel Ridge over time, showing regions of strong anomalies that are continuous along strike and anomalies that fade away or become discontinuous. In particular, anomalies 15y to 21o show regions of high amplitudes on both sides of the ridge for varying distances along strike. We suggest that these high-amplitude segments were formed at times when the Gakkel Ridge at this location had a high-amplitude central magnetic anomaly like the present day high-amplitude segment or the shorter ones distributed along the ridge. The higher central anomaly amplitudes may be associated with variations in geochemistry and/or melt delivery along the ridge. Recent dredging of zero-aged crust along the Gakkel Ridge showed a good but not perfect correlation of high-amplitude central anomalies and basalt recovery (P. Michael, personal communication). This magnetic data set in conjunction with future dredging provides an opportunity to constrain past ridge variability.

  11. Active spreading processes at ultraslow-spreading ridges: Relocalization and analysis of the 1999 earthquake swarm at Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korger, Edith; Schlindwein, Vera; Riedel, Carsten

    2010-05-01

    Gakkel Ridge is situated within the Arctic Ocean and spans from eastern Greenland to the continental Siberian shelf. It is termed an ultraslow spreading ridge (full spreading rate 6-14 mm/yr). At ultraslow spreading ridges, heat loss by conductive cooling is thought to decrease magma supply and focus magmatism in widely spaced discrete volcanic centres. In 1999 lasting over 7 months, the largest ever earthquake swarm at a mid-ocean ridge was teleseismically registered worldwide. It originated from around 85°E which was postulated to be a volcanic complex and featured 252 recorded events, including 11 events with a magnitude mb > 5.0. The unprecedented duration, magnitude and number of events ran counter to expectations at this location. Preliminary analysis with unreviewed datasets showed changing source-mechanisms from extensional to events with a greater non-double-couple component at around March, 4th and an abrupt decrease in the number of events on the 15th of April. Also the epicentres of the larger events seemed to migrate with advancing time to the NW, farther away from the volcanic centre. As these analyses were based on preliminary datasets it seemed indicated to relocalize the earthquakes when the reviewed bulletin of the International Seismological Centre was released. This relocalization was done with the earthquake localization programme NonLinLoc using a probabilistic approach and grid-search. The calculation of travel times used as velocity model both AK135 and IASP91 combined with a regional velocity model for recording stations with epicentral distance < 30°. We tested extensively the influence of localization algorithm, velocity model, station coverage and weighting on the localization result. The new locations of the epicentres show a clustering of events within the central rift valley and the southern rift flank. The dataset was further reviewed with regard to the quality of the localization and reduced to 93 well located events whose

  12. Evidence of recent volcanic activity on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge.

    PubMed

    Edwards, M H; Kurras, G J; Tolstoy, M; Bohnenstiehl, D R; Coakley, B J; Cochran, J R

    2001-02-15

    Seafloor spreading is accommodated by volcanic and tectonic processes along the global mid-ocean ridge system. As spreading rate decreases the influence of volcanism also decreases, and it is unknown whether significant volcanism occurs at all at ultraslow spreading rates (<1.5 cm yr(-1)). Here we present three-dimensional sonar maps of the Gakkel ridge, Earth's slowest-spreading mid-ocean ridge, located in the Arctic basin under the Arctic Ocean ice canopy. We acquired this data using hull-mounted sonars attached to a nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Hawkbill. Sidescan data for the ultraslow-spreading (approximately 1.0 cm yr(-1)) eastern Gakkel ridge depict two young volcanoes covering approximately 720 km2 of an otherwise heavily sedimented axial valley. The western volcano coincides with the average location of epicentres for more than 250 teleseismic events detected in 1999, suggesting that an axial eruption was imaged shortly after its occurrence. These findings demonstrate that eruptions along the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge are focused at discrete locations and appear to be more voluminous and occur more frequently than was previously thought. PMID:11236991

  13. Exploring the Habitability of Ice-covered Waterworlds: The Deep-Sea Hydrothermal System of the Aurora Mount at Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Ocean (82°54' N, 6°15W, 3900 m)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boetius, A.; Bach, W.; Borowski, C.; Diehl, A.; German, C. R.; Kaul, N. E.; Koehler, J.; Marcon, Y.; Mertens, C.; Molari, M.; Schlindwein, V. S. N.; Tuerke, A.; Wegener, G.

    2014-12-01

    The geographic remoteness of the ultraslow Gakkel Ridge in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean raises many questions about the nature and biogeography of its habitats. In 2001, the two-ice-breaker mission AMORE (RV POLARSTERN and USCGC HEALY) detected hydrothermal plumes and evidence for seafloor venting associated with volcanic ridges rising from the rift valley floor of 4.2 km depth (Edmonds et al., 2003; Michael et al., 2003). The AURORA expedition in July 2014 (RV POLARSTERN Cruise PS86) targeted this "Aurora" field at the SW limit of Gakkel Ridge, to investigate its habitats, communities and their energy sources. No robots can yet be deployed through ice-cover to explore such deep habitats and ice-breaking research vessels cannot hold position in the thick multiyear ice. Instead, we estimated ice-drift to predict suitable start positions, then attached POLARSTERN to a matching ice floe, to achieve the bottom trajectories that we required for targeted exploration. The Aurora mount is volcanic in origin formed from mounded pillow basalts overlain by about a meter of sediment and cut through by steep cliffs revealing basalt pillows in outcrop and in talus piles. We identified persistent plume activity in the water column above the mount at 3100-3600 m (800-300 m off-bottom of its top) characterized by anomalies in turbidity, Eh, methane, temperature, density, and elevated microbial chemoautotrophic activity. Using a towed camera-, and multisensor- platform (OFOS) we located active venting as the source of this plume together with inactive chimneys and associated craters on the SW flank of Mt.Aurora. Its dominantly filter-feeding fauna is apparently sustained by venting of energy-rich fluids and microbial transfer of this geofuel into nutrition. This communication presents first results of our recent fieldwork and experimental investigations in Summer 2014 to explore deep-sea ecosystems in ice-covered oceans.

  14. Biological and Geological Characteristics of the Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shank, T. M.; Bailey, J.; Edmonds, H.; Forte, P.; Helmke, E.; Humphris, S.; Kemp, J.; Nakamura, K.; Reves-Sohn, R.; Singh, H.; Willis, C.

    2007-12-01

    The Gakkel Ridge (Arctic Ocean) is one of the slowest (1.0 cm per yr), deepest (5000 m axial depth), and most hydrographically and tectonically isolated mid-ocean ridge systems on earth. This isolation from the global ridge system should have profound implications for the evolution and ecology of resident chemosynthetic fauna. The July 2007 Arctic GAkkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) sought to define this Arctic biogeographic province and the relationship of Arctic vent fauna to Atlantic, Pacific, and hydrocarbon seep fauna through the use of an new under- ice vehicle `Camper', a fiber-optic video-guided sampling system drift towed 1 to 3 m above the seafloor. The imaging, sampling, and sensing capabilities were used to obtain high-resolution seafloor imagery to identify and collect benthic samples with a clamshell `grab' sampler and a suction 'slurp' sampler. Imagery from five video cameras, including obliquely-mounted video and downlooking digital high-definition color cameras were used to construct maps of seafloor features and faunal composition during 3 dives in the peridotite-hosted 7°E region and 13 dives in the volcanic 85°E region. The 7°E site was dominated by an almost continuous cover of pelagic sediment with abundant animal tracks, brittle stars, anemones, and shrimp. The explored 85°E area was dominated by relatively diverse and young lava morphologies- from large pillows hosting delicate surface ornamentation to lobates, long lava tubes, and fresh sheet flows, all with the upper surfaces covered (often cm thick) of fresh volcanic glass 'sediment' suggestive of explosive volcanic activity in the `recent' past. Fauna in these areas consisted mainly of sponges, anemones, amphipods and shrimp. Characterization of the newly-discovered Asgard volcanic chain, including `Oden', `Thor', and `Loke' volcanoes, in the 85°E axial valley revealed extensive microbial mats in the form of: 1) yellow `fluffy' material (often >5 cm thick) in places; and 2) yellow

  15. Heat flux estimates from the Gakkel Ridge 85E vent field from the AGAVE 2007 expedition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stranne, C.; Winsor, P.; Sohn, R. A.; Liljebladh, B.

    2009-04-01

    During the Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) 2007, abundant hydrothermal venting was discovered on the Gakkel Ridge at 85E. Hydrothermal vents on the sea floor give rise to buoyant plumes which, when reaching neutral buoyancy, spreads horizontally over areas with length scales on the order of several kilometres and are therefore easily detected with a CTD rosette. The detected anomalies are consistent with the findings 6 years earlier during the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Expedition (AMORE) 2001. The horizontal and vertical distribution of the anomalies is considered in order to establish the number of individual plumes detected. The objective of this paper is to estimate the minimum heat input required to reproduce the observed plumes, using a turbulent entrainment model. The model was run with a large number of combinations of boundary conditions (nozzle area, vertical velocity and temperature) in order to see which combinations that give rise to the observed plume characteristics (level of neutral buoyancy and temperature anomaly). For each individual plume, we estimate the minimum heat flux required to obtain the observed temperature anomaly. Adding the minimum heat flux from each vent together, the total heat flux for the vent field is estimated to be ~ 2 GW. The estimated value is comparable or larger than any other known vent field.

  16. Effusive and explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, 85°E

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontbriand, Claire W.; Soule, S. Adam; Sohn, Robert A.; Humphris, Susan E.; Kunz, Clayton; Singh, Hanumant; Nakamura, Ko-Ichi; Jakobsson, Martin; Shank, Timothy

    2012-10-01

    We use high-definition seafloor digital imagery and multibeam bathymetric data acquired during the 2007 Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) to evaluate the volcanic characteristics of the 85°E segment of the ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge (9 mm yr-1full rate). Our seafloor imagery reveals that the axial valley is covered by numerous, small-volume (order ˜1000 m3) lava flows displaying a range of ages and morphologies as well as unconsolidated volcaniclastic deposits with thicknesses up to 10 cm. The valley floor contains two prominent volcanic lineaments made up of axis-parallel ridges and small, cratered volcanic cones. The lava flows appear to have erupted from a number of distinct source vents within the ˜12-15 km-wide axial valley. Only a few of these flows are fresh enough to have potentially erupted during the 1999 seismic swarm at this site, and these are associated with the Oden and Loke volcanic cones. We model the widespread volcaniclastic deposits we observed on the seafloor as having been generated by the explosive discharge of CO2 that accumulated in (possibly deep) crustal melt reservoirs. The energy released during explosive discharge, combined with the buoyant rise of hot fluid, lofted fragmented clasts of rapidly cooling magma into the water column, and they subsequently settled onto the seafloor as fall deposits surrounding the source vent.

  17. Oxygen Fugacity of Abyssal Peridotites Along the Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Said, M.; Birner, S.; Cottrell, E.

    2015-12-01

    The oxygen budget of the Earth's mantle is important in understanding how our planet evolves chemically over time. The Gakkel Ridge is the world's slowest spreading ridge [1], and exposes peridotites along its axis that record the activity of oxygen in the upper mantle. Our samples comprise relatively fertile lherzolites and harzburgites (Cr#=0.13-0.17, 3.1-8.3% modal cpx [2]) as well as refractory harzburgites (Cr#=0.43-0.55, 0.2-1.0% modal cpx [2]). Using spinel peridotite oxygen barometry [3], we calculated the oxygen fugacity (fO2) of a suite of 10 peridotites from the Gakkel Ridge in order to investigate how melt processes affect the oxygen budget of the Earth's interior. We show that the low-Cr# lherzolites and harzburgites range from -0.1 to +0.6 log units relative to the QFM buffer, consistent with the global abyssal peridotite array, whereas high-Cr# refractory harzburgites have low fO2 values, ranging from -0.7 to -2.7 log units below QFM, with the most refractory samples falling significantly lower than the global array. Because D'Errico et al. (submitted) interprets the refractory samples as recording ancient melt extraction, the low fO2 recorded by these samples may originate in the geologic past, perhaps even in a different tectonic setting. While LREE enrichment in the refractory harzburgites [2] provides evidence for refertilization by an infiltrating melt that could have recently imprinted reducing conditions, we see no corresponding increase in TiO2 content in the spinels, which weakens this hypothesis. Further research on additional refractory harzburgites is needed to constrain whether the reduced nature of these samples is telling us something about the effect of extreme melt extraction on fO2 at ridges, or whether these samples record a unique history that obscures processes operating at ridges today. [1] Coakley and Cochran, EPSL (1998), [2] D'Errico et al., submitted, [3] Bryndzia and Wood, American Journal of Science (1990)

  18. Mapping of Hydrothermal Plumes on the Gakkel Ridge During AGAVE 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edmonds, H. N.; Winsor, P.; Nakamura, K.; Liljebladh, B.; Upchurch, L. M.; Stranne, C.; Tupper, G.; Jakuba, M.; Humphris, S.; Shank, T. M.; Singh, H.; Reves-Sohn, R. A.

    2007-12-01

    During the Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition in July and August, 2007, hydrothermal plumes were located and mapped in two distinct regions of the Gakkel Ridge, using both a CTD-rosette and the AUV PUMA, deployed from the icebreaker Oden and equipped with optical (backscatter and transmission) and redox (Eh) sensors in addition to standard CTD instrumentation. CTD casts were conducted in two modes, standard vertical casts and "drift-yo's", which are analogous to tow-yos but whose speed and direction are determined by the ice drift rather than purposeful movement of the ship. At 7.5 degrees east, two MAPR profiles separated by about 10 km in 2001 showed sharp anomalies in temperature and optical backscatter at about 2800 m water depth. We conducted 16 CTD casts in this region, successfully relocating the plume at 2800 m and finding it to be confined to a narrow (approximately 800 m wide in the across-axis direction), along-axis flow. While the amplitude and smoothness of the temperature and backscatter profiles varied with location indicating relative proximity to the source of the plume, no Eh anomalies were observed nor was a seafloor source located. At the volcanically active 85 degrees E site, a total of 20 CTD casts and drifts, and 3 PUMA dives identified at least 6 different plumes, that can be differentiated based on their depths, spatial variability, and/or the strength and nature of the various signals obtained, but again no seafloor source was localized.

  19. Geochemical Characterization of Hydrothermal Plume Fluids From Peridotite- and Basalt- Dominated Regions of the Ultra-Slow Spreading Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upchurch, L.; Edmonds, H. N.; Resing, J.; Nakamura, K.; Buck, N.; Liljebladh, B.; Stranne, C.; Tupper, G.; Winsor, P.

    2007-12-01

    Geochemical characterization of hydrothermal plumes initially located during the 2001 AMORE cruise to the Gakkel Ridge was undertaken as part of the 2007 Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE). One peridotite- and one basalt-dominated area were targeted for this exploration to constrain the range of venting environments found on the Gakkel Ridge, the ultra-slow spreading endmember of the global mid-ocean ridge. CTD hydrocasts at the 7 E peridotite-hosted site relocated the plumes found initially on the AMORE cruise. The target plume was located between 2800 and 2950 meters and exhibited a localized signal in temperature and light scattering. While shipboard analysis of dissolved gases was unavailable at the 7 E site, samples were preserved for manganese and helium measurements. No Eh signal was found at the 7 E site. The 85 E basalt-hosted site has experienced recent volcanic activity and was more extensively studied relative to the 7 E site during the AGAVE cruise. CTD casts detected numerous temperature, light scattering, and Eh plumes at 85 E indicative of multiple hydrothermal sources. Three of the plumes sampled exhibited methane concentrations ranging from 20 nM to greater than 250 nM and hydrogen concentrations ranging from 10nM to 100nM. In situ Eh measurements recorded negative excursions of at least 25 mV in each plume. Associated manganese and particle chemistry samples collected at both sites will be analyzed in time for this meeting.

  20. Microbial Communities at Non-Volcanic and Volcanic Sites of the Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmke, E.; Juergens, J.; Tausendfreund, M.; Wollenburg, J.; Shank, T.; Edmonds, H.; Humphris, S.; Nakamura, K.; Liljebladh, B.; Winsor, P.; Singh, H.; Reves-Sohn, R. A.

    2007-12-01

    The Gakkel Ridge in the eastern Arctic Ocean is the slowest spreading, deepest, and most isolated portion of the global mid-ocean ridge system and therefore predestined for comparative investigations on deep-sea vent communities. However, the perennial cover of thick sea ice has made this area largely inaccessible to science. The Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) utilized the icebreaker ODEN and newly developed vehicles for exploration and sampling in connection with a CTD/rosette equipped with different sensors and a high-resolution multi-beam bathymetry system. We focused our studies on the peridotite-hosted region at 85°N, 7°E and on the basaltic volcanism area at 85°N, 85°E. Water, sediment, and rock samples were taken to describe the microbial communities in different zones of these two sites. Sampling was guided by anomalies of backscattering, temperature, Eh, as well as by high-resolution seafloor imagery. Samples were preserved or processed on board immediately after sampling. Molecular analyses, cultural methods, total bacterial counts, and activity measurements were employed to describe the structure of the microbial communities, their phylogeny, potential adaptations, and possible role in biogeochemical cycles. The first molecular biological results of the bacterial communities of the 85°E site indicated atypical of deep- sea venting communities. These preliminary results were supported by the images of the under-ice vehicle "Camper" which showed thick yellow "fluffy" mats (often > 5cm thick) and orange "pebbly" material without any smell of H2S markedly different than the white, consolidated Beggiatoa mats often observable at deep venting sites. Foraminifera occurred regularly on top of basalt rocks as well as within the bacterial mats.

  1. Volcanic Structure of the Gakkel Ridge at 85°E

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, C.; Humphris, S.; Soule, S. A.; Reves-Sohn, R.; Shank, T.; Singh, H.

    2007-12-01

    We present an initial volcanologic interpretation of a magmatically-robust segment of the ultra-slow spreading (3- 7 mm/yr) Gakkel Ridge at 85°E in the eastern Arctic Basin based on surveys conducted during the July 2007 Arctic GAkkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE). A previous expedition (2001 AMORE) and seismic stations in the area found evidence for active hydrothermal circulation and seismicity that suggested volcanic activity may be ongoing at 85°E. We examine multi-beam bathymetric data, digital imagery, and rock and sediment samples in order to determine the nature of volcanic accretion that is occurring in this environment including the distribution of flow types and their relationship to features of the axial valley. Raw multi-beam bathymetric data was logged by the Kongsberg EM 120 1°x1° multi-beam echo sounder aboard the icbreaker IB Oden. Digital imagery was recorded on five video and still cameras mounted on the CAMPER fiber-optic wireline vehicle, which was towed 1-3m above the seafloor. Digital imagery was recorded on thirteen CAMPER drift-dives over interesting bathymetry including: a volcanic ridge in the axial valley named Duque's Hill, and Oden and Loke volcanoes that are part of the newly discovered Asgard volcanic chain. Talus, lava flows, and volcaniclastics were sampled with the clamshell grabber and slurp suction sampler on CAMPER. A variety of lava morphologies are identified in the imagery including large basalt pillows with buds and other surface ornamentation, lava tubes, lobates, sheet flows, and a thick cover of volcaniclastic sediment over extensive areas suggestive of explosive volcanic activity.

  2. Scientific Scope and Summary of the Arctic Gakkel Vents (AGAVE) Expedition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reves-Sohn, R. A.; Edmonds, H.; Humphris, S.; Shank, T.; Singh, H.; Ericsson, B.; Hedman, U.; Helmke, E.; Jakuba, M.; Kunz, C.; Larsson, B.; Liljebladh, B.; Linder, J.; Murphy, C.; Nakamura, K.; Pontbriand, C.; Sato, T.; Schlindwein, V.; Stranne, C.; Tausendfreund, M.; Upchurch, L.; Willis, C.; Winsor, P.

    2007-12-01

    The AGAVE project is an international collaboration between scientists in the United States, Sweden, Japan, and Germany with the overarching scientific objective of studying the geological, chemical, and biological characteristics of hydrothermal venting on the Gakkel Ridge, the most slowly diverging tectonic plate boundary on Earth. The AGAVE expedition took place on the IB Oden from July 1 - August 10, 2007, and occupied two field sites where evidence of hydrothermal venting had been detected in the water column during the 2001 Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Experiment (AMORE). The first site (~85N, 7.5E) is characterized by peridotite outcrops on normal fault scarps, while the second site (~85.5N, 85E) is characterized by constructional basaltic volcanism, thereby allowing for a comparative study of hydrothermal processes at two segments of an ultra-slow spreading ridge with contrasting geological and tectonic settings. Five primary oceanographic assets were employed during the expedition; a high-resolution, ship-mounted multi-beam bathymetry system, a CTD-rosette system for surveying and sampling the water column, the PUMA autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for fine-scale water column surveys, the JAGUAR AUV for near-bottom geophysical and photographic surveys, and the CAMPER wireline system for acquiring digital images and samples of the deep seafloor. The combined results from the expedition are significantly expanding our understanding of volcanic and hydrothermal processes on the Gakkel Ridge. Important initial results include the discovery of the Asgard volcanic chain at the 85E segment, the discovery of extensive microbial mats covering these volcanoes, the discovery of basaltic glass fragments covering large portions of the seafloor near the volcanoes, and detailed mapping and sampling of water column plumes.

  3. Analysis and modeling of hydrothermal plume data acquired from the 85°E segment of the Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stranne, Christian; Sohn, Robert A.; Liljebladh, Bengt; Nakamura, Ko-Ichi

    2010-06-01

    We use data from a CTD plume-mapping campaign conducted during the Arctic Gakkel Vents (AGAVE) expedition in 2007 to constrain the nature of hydrothermal processes on the Gakkel Ridge at 85°E. Thermal and redox potential (Eh) anomalies were detected in two discrete depth intervals: 2400-2800 m (Interval 1) and 3000-3800 m (Interval 2). The spatial and temporal patterns of the signals indicate that the Interval 1 anomalies were most likely generated by a single large, high-temperature (T > 100°C) vent field located on the fault terraces that form the NE axial valley wall. In contrast, the Interval 2 anomalies appear to have been generated by up to 7 spatially distinct vent fields associated with constructional volcanic features on the floor of the axial valley, many of which may be sites of diffuse, low-temperature (T < 10°C) discharge. Numerical simulations of turbulent plumes rising in a weakly stratified Arctic Ocean water column indicate that the high-temperature field on the axial valley wall has a thermal power of ˜1.8 GW, similar to the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse and Rainbow fields in the Atlantic Ocean, whereas the sites on the axial valley floor have values ranging from 5 to 110 MW.

  4. Autonomous Underwater Vehicle(AUV) and Towed Vehicle Technologies for Under-Ice Hydrothermal Vent Studies at the Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, H.; Akin, D.; Reves-Sohn, R.; Humphris, S.; Shank, T.; Edmonds, H.

    2006-12-01

    The extreme polar environment presents a unique challenge to the use of the otherwise mature oceanographic technologies associated with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and towed vehicles. For deep water mapping and sampling applications, ice cover in the arctic is a formidable obstacle. In pursuing our goals to locate, map and sample hydrothermal vents on the Gakkel Ridge, we have built and plan to deploy two AUVs named JAGUAR and PUMA and a towed sampling sled with hydraulically actuated sampling chambers. Our methodologies for working with AUVs in the Arctic differ significantly from standard blue-water operations. Specifically, we have focused on, deploying and calibrating acoustic transponders with the limited mobility imposed by multi-year ice; a far more robust system architecture for dealing with component failures underwater; an autonomous manipulation system on the AUV for capturing sessile biological organisms and geological samples; and a low bandwidth acoustic tether for vehicle status, navigation and mission redirection. Our sampling sled was designed with the premise that the limited mobility associated with working in ice will at best provide us with a few, short opportunities to image and sample on a hydrothermal vent site. To this end our sled is equipped with a suite of imaging and chemical sensors as well as devices for quickly obtaining multiple samples of both sessile and motile biological organisms. We plan to deploy these new technologies during the International Polar Year in 2007 as part of a collaborative international effort to characterize the biological and geological characteristics of hydrothermal venting on the ultra-slow spreading Gakkel Ridge in the eastern Arctic basin.

  5. Asymmetric active seismicity along the ultra-slow spreading Gakkel Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopper, John R.; Voss, Peter H.; Lavier, Luc L.

    2015-04-01

    Ultra-slow spreading ridges are frequently characterised by spreading segments that are largely magma starved. Spreading along such segments does not occur by crustal creation/accretion processes such as intrusions, diking and volcanism, but rather by mechanical extension of the lithosphere, exposing the mantle to seafloor where it interacts with seawater to form serpentinite. Such exhumation is thought to occur along detachment faults that form concave down surfaces and produce an extensional geometry that is highly asymmetric. A consequence of all models that have been developed to simulate this type of extension is that stress and strain is focused primarily on the footwall block of the spreading system. This would predict that at any given time, only one side of the system should show active seismicity. In 2001, the Gakkel Ridge was extensively sampled by dredging during the AMORE cruise. These samples showed that the ridge is divided into distinct segments that today are either magmatically robust (only basalts recovered) or magmatically starved (dominantly serpentinised peridotite and gabbros recovered). We extracted earthquake data along the Gakkel Ridge from the global catalogs to investigate if these distinct segments exhibit any differences in active seismicity. We show that the western volcanic zone shows symmetric active seismicity, with earthquakes occurring on both sides of the ridge axis along a relatively restricted region. In contrast, the sparsely magmatic zone shows active seismicity dominantly along along the southern half of the ridge, with comparatively little seismicity to the north. These results are consistent with the proposed models for the formation of amagmatic spreading centers.

  6. Physical properties and constraints of hydrothermal plumes on the Gakkel Ridge during AGAVE 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsor, P.; Liljebladh, B.; Edmonds, H. N.; Stranne, C.; Nakamura, K.; Reves-Sohn, R. A.; Tupper, G.; Upchurch, L.

    2007-12-01

    The unique hydrographic characteristics of the Arctic Ocean have important implications for the dynamical behavior of hydrothermal plumes. Some of the main issues include the weak density stratification of the deep bottom layer, topographical effects from a deep axial valley, and high-latitude tides. We address these issues using analytical and numerical models, and comparing the results to hydrographic water column plume data acquired during the Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) from July 1 to August 10, 2007. A total of 36 CTD casts were conducted from the icebreaker Oden at two main sites (85N 7E and 85N 85E), where different modes of hydrothermal circulation appear to generate different kinds of water column plumes. Several plume signals of varying thickness and rise height above the bottom were observed, which implies that several seafloor sources with distinct discharge characteristics were active during the surveys. We use our models to constrain the character of the seafloor sources, and discuss observational strategies for future field work aimed at locating and mapping hydrothermal sources in the deep Arctic.

  7. Deep pyroclastic deposits and evidence for explosive volcanism on the ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge at 85E

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontbriand, C. W.; Soule, S. A.; Sohn, R. A.; Humphris, S. E.

    2008-12-01

    Seafloor surveys conducted during the 2007 Arctic Gakkel Vents (AGAVE) expedition provide evidence for widespread explosive volcanism within the axial valley of the ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge at 85°E. We have used high-definition video and high-resolution bathymetry to map out the extent of the deposits as well as lava flows. The video imagery reveals that unconsolidated pyroclastic material lightly blankets the axial valley at 85°E with thicknesses up to ~10cm over an area 10km2. The bathymetric data show that the axial valley contains ubiquitous cratered volcanoes, that we interpret as potential source vents for the clastic material. We collected detailed visual imagery from one of these volcanoes, and found that the crater center as well as the proximal portions of the rim and outer flanks are covered with talus, suggesting the possibility that Vulcanian explosions played a role in crater formation and pyroclast deposition. We collected samples of the pyroclasts from two locations within the axial valley. The pyroclasts are dominated by low vesicularity angular fragments, with a small weight fraction (~ 12%) of bubble-wall fragments (limu o Pele). Many bubble-wall fragments have fluidal morphologies and stretched vesicles. The morphology of the clasts help constrain multiple models of fragmentation that may have occurred. The distribution of clasts suggests explosive discharge from multiple source vents within the axial valley over a prolonged period of time (i.e, not a single eruption in 1999). In order to explain the generation of pyroclastic material in water depths of ~3800 m (well below the critical pressure for steam generation), we present a model wherein volatiles exsolve from ascending magmas and are sequestered and stored in a lithospheric reservoir before being explosively discharged during a volcanic eruption. The long inter-eruption interval (100s to 1000s of years) and strong spatial heterogeneity of melt delivery associated with ultra

  8. The Arctic Gakkel Vents (AGAVE) Expedition: Technology Development and the Search for Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Fields Under the Arctic Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reves-Sohn, R. A.; Singh, H.; Humphris, S.; Shank, T.; Jakuba, M.; Kunz, C.; Murphy, C.; Willis, C.

    2007-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal fields on the Gakkel Ridge beneath the Arctic ice cap provide perhaps the best terrestrial analogue for volcanically-hosted chemosynthetic biological communities that may exist beneath the ice-covered ocean of Europa. In both cases the key enabling technologies are robotic (untethered) vehicles that can swim freely under the ice and the supporting hardware and software. The development of robotic technology for deep- sea research beneath ice-covered oceans thus has relevance to both polar oceanography and future astrobiological missions to Europa. These considerations motivated a technology development effort under the auspices of NASA's ASTEP program and NSF's Office of Polar Programs that culminated in the AGAVE expedition aboard the icebreaker Oden from July 1 - August 10, 2007. The scientific objective was to study hydrothermal processes on the Gakkel Ridge, which is a key target for global studies of deep-sea vent fields. We developed two new autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for the project, and deployed them to search for vent fields beneath the ice. We conducted eight AUV missions (four to completion) during the 40-day long expedition, which also included ship-based bathymetric surveys, CTD/rosette water column surveys, and wireline photographic and sampling surveys of remote sections of the Gakkel Ridge. The AUV missions, which lasted 16 hours on average and achieved operational depths of 4200 meters, returned sensor data that showed clear evidence of hydrothermal venting, but for a combination of technical reasons and time constraints, the AUVs did not ultimately return images of deep-sea vent fields. Nevertheless we used our wireline system to obtain images and samples of extensive microbial mats that covered fresh volcanic surfaces on a newly discovered set of volcanoes. The microbes appear to be living in regions where reducing and slightly warm fluids are seeping through cracks in the fresh volcanic terrain. These discoveries

  9. Ultraslow spreading processes along the Arctic mid-ocean ridge system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlindwein, Vera

    2013-04-01

    Generation of new seafloor in the Arctic Ocean occurs along the more than 2800 km long Arctic Ridge System from the Knipovich Ridge in the south to Gakkel ridge in the northeast. The plates separate at velocities of only 6-15 mm/y making the Arctic Ridge System the most prominent representative of an ultraslow spreading mid-ocean ridge. The engine of crustal production splutters at very low spreading rates such that ultraslow spreading ridges show a unique morphology: Isolated volcanoes, capable of vigorous eruptions, pierce the seafloor at distances of several hundred kilometres; in between there are long stretches without volcanism. My work group studies at global, regional and local scale the spreading processes of the Arctic ridge system, using earthquake records of ocean bottom seismometers, seismometers on drifting ice floes and of the global seismic network. We discovered that, contrary to faster spreading ridges, amagmatic portions of the Arctic ridge system are characterised by decreased seismicity rates with few and relatively weak earthquakes, whereas magmatically robust segments display more frequent seismic events. The maximum depth of earthquake hypocentres varies markedly along axis reaching maxima of 22 km depth below sea floor. Volcanic centres are characterized by vigorous earthquake swarm activity including large earthquake swarms that are recorded teleseismically. These earthquake swarms appear to be connected to episodes of active spreading as demonstrated at the 85°E volcanic complex at eastern Gakkel ridge which experienced an unusual spreading event between 1999 and 2001. The varying patterns of seismicity along the ridge axis correlate well with the pronounced differences in ridge morphology and petrology and its magnetic and gravimetric signatures. Our results support current theories of magma production at ultraslow spreading ridges which postulate a lateral melt flow towards isolated volcanic centres.

  10. New Frontiers in Arctic Exploration: Autonomous Location and Sampling of Hydrothermal Vents Under the Ice at Earth's Slowest Spreading Ridge (IPY Project 173)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edmonds, H. N.; Reves-Sohn, R.; Singh, H.; Shank, T. M.; Humphris, S.; Seewald, J.; Akin, D.; Bach, W.; Nogi, Y.; Pedersen, R.

    2006-12-01

    As part of IPY project #173, we are planning an international expedition for 2007 to locate and study hydrothermal vents on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, at depths greater than 4000 m beneath the permanent ice cap. This effort necessitates the development of novel exploration technologies, because the Gakkel Ridge rift valley is inaccessible to traditional deep submergence tools. With funding from NASA, NSF, and the private sector we have developed two new autonomous underwater vehicles that will find and map hydrothermal plumes in the water column, trace the buoyant plume stem to the seafloor source, and then map, photograph, and collect samples from the vent sites. The Gakkel Ridge is a key target for hydrothermal exploration not only because of its spreading rate but also because its geographic and hydrographic isolation from other portions of the mid-ocean ridge system have important implications for novel endemic vent fauna. Our major scientific themes are the geological diversity and biogeography of hydrothermal vents on the Arctic mid-ocean ridge system. Our major technology theme is autonomous exploration and sample return with an explicit mandate to develop techniques and methods for eventual use in astrobiology missions to search for life under the ice covered oceans of Europa, a moon of Jupiter. In addition to the US-led Gakkel Ridge expedition, a Norway-led expedition will target sites in seasonally ice-free water over the Mohns Ridge. The results of these two expeditions will be combined to reveal systematic patterns regarding biogeography (through both community-level and genetic-level investigations) of vent-endemic fauna, to study the differences between basalt vs. peridotite hosted vent fields, and to improve our understanding of hydrothermal circulation at ultra- slow spreading plate boundaries where amagmatic extension and long-lived faulting predominate. The expeditions will provide educational and outreach activities through the award

  11. Changing characteristics of arctic pressure ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadhams, Peter; Toberg, Nick

    2012-04-01

    The advent of multibeam sonar permits us to obtain full three-dimensional maps of the underside of sea ice. In particular this enables us to distinguish the morphological characteristics of first-year (FY) and multi-year (MY) pressure ridges in a statistically valid way, whereas in the past only a small number of ridges could be mapped laboriously by drilling. In this study pressure ridge distributions from two parts of the Arctic Ocean are compared, in both the cases using mainly data collected by the submarine “Tireless” in March 2007 during two specific grid surveys, in the Beaufort Sea at about 75° N, 140° W (N of Prudhoe Bay), and north of Ellesmere Island at about 83° 20‧ N, 64° W. In the Beaufort Sea the ice was mainly FY, and later melted or broke up as this area became ice-free during the subsequent summer. N of Ellesmere Island the ice was mainly MY. Ridge depth and spacing distributions were derived for each region using the boat's upward looking sonar, combined with distributions of shapes of the ridges encountered, using the Kongsberg EM3002 multibeam sonar. The differing shapes of FY and MY ridges are consistent with two later high-resolution multibeam studies of specific ridges by AUV. FY ridges are found to fit the normal triangular shape template in cross-section (with a range of slope angles averaging 27°) with a relatively constant along-crest depth, and often a structure of small ice blocks can be distinguished. MY ridges, however, are often split into a number of independent solid, smooth blocks of large size, giving an irregular ridge profile which may be seemingly without linearity. Our hypothesis for this difference is that during its long lifetime an MY ridge is subjected to several episodes of crack opening; new cracks in the Arctic pack often run in straight lines across the ridges and undeformed ice alike. Such a crack will open somewhat before refreezing, interpolating a stretch of thin ice into the structure, and breaking up

  12. Evidence of 60 meter deep Arctic pressure-ridge keels

    SciTech Connect

    Reimnitz, E.; Barnes, P.W.; Phillips, R.L.

    1985-11-01

    Numerous efforts have been made during the last two decades to determine the ice thickness distribution in the Arctic Ocean and in particular to learn the keel depth of the largest modern pressure ridges. With the discovery of oil and gas in the arctic offshore and the trend to extend exploration into deeper water and increasing distance from shore, knowledge of the maximum ice thickness in the continental shelf is becoming increasingly important. Various approaches have been used to directly obtain keel depth data in the Arctic, but no satisfactory technique for water depths of less than 100 meters exists. For continental shelves, virtually all public data on ridge keel configuration stems from spot measurements made with horizontally held sonar transducers lowered through the ice adjacent to ridges, and from cores of ridges. Because these techniques are time-consuming, the depths of only a few ridge keels have been determined by such methods. Fixed upward-looking sonar devices have been used with limited success in several applications to record under-ice relief and movement, but any data so obtained is not public. This report is an attempt to interpret the age of deepwater gouges seen on the Alaskan Arctic shelf.

  13. Origin of a 'Southern Hemisphere' geochemical signature in the Arctic upper mantle.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Steven L; Soffer, Gad; Langmuir, Charles H; Lehnert, Kerstin A; Graham, David W; Michael, Peter J

    2008-05-01

    The Gakkel ridge, which extends under the Arctic ice cap for approximately 1,800 km, is the slowest spreading ocean ridge on Earth. Its spreading created the Eurasian basin, which is isolated from the rest of the oceanic mantle by North America, Eurasia and the Lomonosov ridge. The Gakkel ridge thus provides unique opportunities to investigate the composition of the sub-Arctic mantle and mantle heterogeneity and melting at the lower limits of seafloor spreading. The first results of the 2001 Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Expedition (ref. 1) divided the Gakkel ridge into three tectonic segments, composed of robust western and eastern volcanic zones separated by a 'sparsely magmatic zone'. On the basis of Sr-Nd-Pb isotope ratios and trace elements in basalts from the spreading axis, we show that the sparsely magmatic zone contains an abrupt mantle compositional boundary. Basalts to the west of the boundary display affinities to the Southern Hemisphere 'Dupal' isotopic province, whereas those to the east-closest to the Eurasian continent and where the spreading rate is slowest-display affinities to 'Northern Hemisphere' ridges. The western zone is the only known spreading ridge outside the Southern Hemisphere that samples a significant upper-mantle region with Dupal-like characteristics. Although the cause of Dupal mantle has been long debated, we show that the source of this signature beneath the western Gakkel ridge was subcontinental lithospheric mantle that delaminated and became integrated into the convecting Arctic asthenosphere. This occurred as North Atlantic mantle propagated north into the Arctic during the separation of Svalbard and Greenland. PMID:18451860

  14. Hydrothermal activity at the Arctic mid-ocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, Rolf B.; Thorseth, Ingunn H.; Nygård, Tor Eivind; Lilley, Marvin D.; Kelley, Deborah S.

    Over the last 10 years, hydrothermal activity has been shown to be abundant at the ultraslow spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridges (AMOR). Approximately 20 active and extinct vent sites have been located either at the seafloor, as seawater anomalies, or by dredge sampling hydrothermal deposits. Decreasing spreading rates and decreasing influence of the Icelandic hot spot toward the north along the AMOR result in a north-south change from a shallow and magmatically robust to a deep and magmatically starved ridge system. This contrast gives rise to large variability in the ridge geology and in the nature of the associated hydrothermal systems. The known vent sites at the southern part of the ridge system are either low-temperature or white smoker fields. At the deep, northern parts of the ridge system, a large black smoker field has been located, and seawater anomalies and sulfide deposits suggest that black smoker-type venting is common. Several of these fields may be peridotite-hosted. The hydrothermal activity at parts of the AMOR exceeds by a factor of 2 to 3 what would be expected by extrapolating from observations on faster spreading ridges. Higher fracture/fault area relative to the magma volume extracted seems a likely explanation for this. Many of the vent fields at the AMOR are associated with axial volcanic ridges. Strong focusing of magma toward these ridges, deep rifting of the ridges, and subsequent formation of long-lived detachment faults that are rooted below the ridges may be the major geodynamic mechanisms causing the unexpectedly high hydrothermal activity.

  15. Features of seismicity of the Euro-Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogozhin, E. A.; Antonovskaya, G. N.; Kapustian, N. K.; Fedorenko, I. V.

    2016-04-01

    New results from seismic monitoring in the Euro-Arctic region, including the seismicity of Gakkel Ridge and the Barents-Kara Sea shelf, are presented. The data used were obtained from the Arkhan-gelsk seismic network. The role of island-based seismic stations, in particular, those in Franz Josef Land, in the monitoring network is discussed. The possibility of specifying the nature of seismicity by waveform spectral-temporal analysis, even in the case of a single station, is considered.

  16. Experimental study of structure-forming deformations in ultra-slow spreading Arctic and Polar Atlantic ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E. P.; Grokholsky, A. L.; Kokhan, A. V.

    2010-05-01

    The system of regional spreading ridges includes Reikjanes, Kolbeinsey, Mohns, Knipovich and Gakkel ridges. They are rather young (spreading initiated 58-60 Myr ago) and ultra-slow (spreading velocity < 20 mm/year). But all of them have peculiarities in structure patterns, kinematics, and morphology. In order to study geodynamical features of structure-forming on these ridges we apply experimental modeling. This study covers three of the ridges mentioned above: Reikjanes, Knipovich and Gakkel. The specified experimental complex and model material were used in modeling sets. The model material used in modeling is a colloidal system composed of mineral oils, solid hydrocarbon and surface-active substances. It has elastic-viscous-plastic properties, under temperature and strain rate, it is capable of failure like a brittle body. All experiments were held according to similarity conditions. Reikjanes ridge is situated south-west of Iceland. It shows changes of morphology from north to south. The northern part of it is characterized by axial rise, the southern part - by axial valley. The main feature of axial morphology is presence of s-shaped axial volcanic ridges (AVRs). The angle between ridge trend and plate divergence trend is nearly 60°. All these features are explained by influence of mantle flow from the Iceland mantle plum initiating the increasing of mantle temperature. It results in decreasing of litospheric brittle layer with approaching to Iceland. The experimental setting was following. The weak zone was emplaced obliquely, crustal thickness and width of weak zone varied in sets. Conditions of northern part of the ridge were reproduced in sets with the widest weak zone and the smallest crustal thickness and vice versa. In sets reproducing conditions of northern province we received long and non-discontinued AVRs, on the other hand we received short and displaced AVRs in south-like conditions. Knipovich ridge stretches along Spitsbergen continental margin

  17. Active spreading processes at ultraslow mid-ocean ridges: Unusual seismicity at the amagmatic Lena Trough, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Läderach, Christine; Schlindwein, Vera; Riedel, Carsten

    2010-05-01

    Lena Trough is the southern continuation of the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge and with its position in the Fram Strait between Greenland and Spitsbergen it is the only deep-sea gateway to the Arctic Ocean. DFG funded Emmy Noether group 'Mid-Ocean Volcanoes and Earthquakes' located at Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research is focusing on the seismicity of ultraslow spreading ridges and is especially interested in Lena Trough as an ultraslow spreading ridge in a developing stage. The southern Lena Trough shows similarities to the northern Red Sea spreading centre which is in the early stage of development from continental to oceanic rift. Cochran postulated in 2003 that the continental crust within the water-covered Red Sea is less than 10 km thick and that the northern part of the Red Sea rift spreads ultraslow as well. At Lena Trough an actively spreading mid-ocean ridge with a narrow rift valley has already developed but continental crust lies within a short distance. Lena Trough is extending from 83°N/5°W to 80.3°N/2°W where it passes into the transform fault of the Spitsbergen Fracture Zone. The geometry of Lena Trough and certain asymmetric structures in the rift valley indicate oblique spreading and mostly tectonic and amagmatic rifting. There are several topographic highs west of the ridge axis which could be bounded by deep faults with normal faulting or detachment character exposing mantle material at the surface. Seismicity at the Lena Trough shows apparently the same asymmetric character with epicenters of teleseismically recorded earthquakes concentrating predominantly west of the ridge axis. The most frequent focal mechanism of the earthquakes within the rift valley is normal faulting, whereas strike-slip faults occur in the Spitsbergen Fracture Zone. We relocalized teleseismic earthquakes recorded from May 1973 to April 2009 in the region using a refined localization algorithm and could confirm systematic asymmetry in the

  18. "Recent" macrofossil remains from the Lomonosov Ridge, central Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Duc, Cynthia; de Vernal, Anne; Archambault, Philippe; Brice, Camille; Roberge, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    The examination of surface sediment samples collected from 17 sites along the Lomonosov Ridge at water depths ranging from 737 to 3339 meters during Polarstern Expedition PS87 in 2014 (Stein, 2015), indicates a rich biogenic content almost exclusively dominated by calcareous remains. Amongst biogenic remains, microfossils (planktic and benthic foraminifers, pteropods, ostracods, etc.) dominate but millimetric to centrimetric macrofossils occurred frequently at the surface of the sediment. The macrofossil remains consist of a large variety of taxa, including gastropods, bivalvia, polychaete tubes, scaphopods, echinoderm plates and spines, and fish otoliths. Among the Bivalvia, the most abundant taxa are Portlandia arctica, Hyalopecten frigidus, Cuspidaria glacilis, Policordia densicostata, Bathyarca spp., and Yoldiella spp. Whereas a few specimens are well preserved and apparently pristine, most mollusk shells displayed extensive alteration features. Moreover, most shells were covered by millimeter scale tubes of the serpulid polychaete Spirorbis sp. suggesting transport from low intertidal or subtidal zone. Both the ecological affinity and known geographic distribution of identified bivalvia as named above support the hypothesis of transportation rather than local development. In addition to mollusk shells, more than a hundred fish otoliths were recovered in surface sediments. The otoliths mostly belong to the Gadidae family. Most of them are well preserved and without serpulid tubes attached to their surface, suggesting a local/regional origin, unlike the shell remains. Although recovered at the surface, the macrofaunal assemblages of the Lomonosov Ridge do not necessarily represent the "modern" environments as they may result from reworking and because their occurrence at the surface of the sediment may also be due to winnowing of finer particles. Although the shells were not dated, we suspect that their actual ages may range from modern to several thousands of

  19. A Cross-Arctic Geophysical Transect Collected from US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coakley, B.; Kristoffersen, Y.; Hopper, J.; Arthun, T.; Berge, H.; Brass, G.; Breien, H.; Bruvoll, V.; Dove, D.; Grindheim, E.; Henkart, P.; Ivanova, N.; Ludvigsen, F.; Monsen, K.; Reynoso-Peralta, W.; White, D.

    2005-12-01

    During the late Summer of 2005, when the pack ice was at its annual minimum, the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy undertook a research cruise across the Arctic Ocean. During this cruise, the ship collected continuous multi-beam bathymetry, sub-bottom profiler and gravity anomaly data. As ice conditions permitted, multi-channel seismic reflection and refraction data were collected. The source consisted of two 250 cubic inch airguns. The shots were received by a 200-300 m long streamer (16 to 24 channels) and more than 200 sonobuoy deployments. This cruise crossed all of the major basins and ridges that compose the Arctic Ocean. Ice conditions permitted acquisition of seismic reflection transects over the Chukchi Borderland and Mendeleev Ridge. More difficult ice conditions curtailed seismic work on Alpha Ridge. After rendezvous with the Swedish icebreaker Oden on the western flank of the Alpha Ridge, it was possible to collect MCS data through relatively heavy pack. These operations enabled collection of MCS data in the Makarov Basin and on Lomonosov Ridge. Continuing through the pole, additional data were collected over the Gakkel Ridge and the Yermak Plateau. Data collected in the Amerasian Basin show a pervasive mantled sedimentary layer, consistent with tectonic inactivity of this basin. Some locations lack this layer, suggesting localized erosion by bottom currents. Data collected in the Eurasian Basin will be used to study tectonics of the Gakkel Ridge and the Yermak Plateau.

  20. Cretaceous magmatism in the High Canadian Arctic: Implications for the nature and age of Alpha Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bono, Richard; Tarduno, John; Singer, Brad

    2013-04-01

    Cretaceous magmatism in the High Arctic, best expressed on Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere Island, can provide clues to the nature and age of the adjacent Alpha Ridge, which is in turn a key to understanding the tectonic evolution of the Arctic Ocean. Although the incorporation of some continental crust cannot be excluded, the prevailing view is that Alpha Ridge is dominantly thickened oceanic crust, analogous to oceanic plateaus of the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Together with the on-land volcanic exposures, Alpha Ridge composes the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (LIP), but the physical processes responsible for the magmatism remain unclear. Here we focus on two volcanic formations found on the Canadian Arctic margin. The Strand Fiord Formation is composed of a series of classic continental flood basalt flows, and represents the most voluminous expression of volcanism that has survived erosion. These basalts yield a 40Ar/39Ar age of ~95 Ma (Tarduno et al., Science, 1998) but this comes from the distant edge of the flood basalt exposures. The Hansen Point Volcanics consist of felsic and mafic rocks; previous age assignments range from the Maastrichtian (on the basis of palynomorphs, Falcon-Lang et al., Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2004) to 80 Ma (Rb/Sr isochron, Estrada and Henjes-Kunst, Z. dt. Geol. Ges, 2004). Here we report new 40Ar/39Ar radioisotopic and paleomagnetic data from the Hansen Point Volcanics. In contrast to the latest Cretaceous/Paleogene dates, we find ages of ~95 Ma and 88-90 Ma. Because of the proximity of the landward extension of Alpha Ridge to Hansen Point, these new ages suggest that volcanism that contributed to the construction of Alpha Ridge may have extended over at least a 7 million interval (although it could have occurred in pulses). We will discuss the implications of these new data for candidate mantle processes that could have been responsible for the emplacement of Alpha Ridge and the High Arctic LIP.

  1. Planktic foraminifer census data from Northwind Ridge Core 5, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foley, Kevin M.; Poore, Richard Z.

    1991-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey recovered 9 piston cores from the Northwind Ridge in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean from a cruise of the USCGC Polar Star during 1988. Preliminary analysis of the cores suggests sediments deposited on Northwind Ridge preserve a detailed record of glacial and interglacial cycles for the last few hundred-thousand to one million years. This report includes quantitative data on foraminifers and selected sediment size-fraction data in samples from Northwind Ridge core PI-88AR P5.

  2. Igneous rocks of Arctic Ocean deep sea ridges: new data on petrology, geochemistry and geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shokalsky, Sergey; Sobolev, Nikolay; Kashubin, Sergey; Shevchenko, Sergey; Sergeev, Sergey; Belyatsky, Boris; Shatov, Vitaly; Petrov, Eugeny

    2015-04-01

    The aggregate results of studies of igneous rocks, collected from the central part of the Arctic Ocean during scientific marine expeditions «Arctic-2000, 2005, 2007 and 2012» are presented and discussed in the frame of modern understanding of High Polar Arctic tectonic constraint. Petrological, geochemical and isotope-geochronological studies of more than 500 samples have shown that the sedimentary rocks are of dominated population among the rock fragments dredged from deep-sea bottom, and represented by metamorphosed dolomite and quartz sandstone, limestone, sometimes with the Devonian - Permian fauna. Igneous rocks are 10-15% only (Archean and Paleoproterozoic gneissouse granites and gabbro, Neoproterozoic dolerite) and metamorphic rocks (green shales, metabasites, gneisses). Apparently, these rocks are part of the acoustic basement underlying the Late Mesozoic - Cenozoic layered loose sediments. In addition to the dredged fragments of the ancient mafic rocks, some samples were taken as a core during deep-water drilling in the northern and southern slopes of the Mendeleev Ridge and represented by trachybasalts, marking the border of Late-Cenozoic deposit cover and acoustic basement and quite similar in composition to those of Early-Late Cretaceous basalts form northward of the Chukchi Plateau seamounts, Alpha Ridge, Franz Josef Land, De Long islands and other parts of the large igneous province of the High Arctic (HALIP). Video-filming of Mendeleev Ridge escarps proofs the existing of rock outcrops and supports local origin of most of the rock fragments found in the sampling areas. Thus the continental type of the earth's crust of the Central Arctic Ridges basement is based on all obtained results of our study of sea-bottom excavated rock material.

  3. JEODI Workshop: Arctic site survey challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jokat, W.; Backman, J.; Kristoffersen, Y.; Mikkelsen, N.; Thiede, J.

    2003-04-01

    In past decades the geoscientific activities in the High Arctic were rather low compared to other areas on the globe. The remoteness of the region and the difficult logistical conditions made Arctic research very expensive and the results unpredictable. In the late 80's this situation changed to the better since modern research icebreaker became available to the scientific community. These research platforms provided opportunities in terms of equipment, which was standard in other regions. Where necessary techniques were adapted allowing to conduct the experiments even in difficult ice conditions, e.g. multi-channel seismic. In the last decade the Arctic Ocean were identified to play a key role in our understanding of the Earth's climate. An urgent need for scientific deep drill holes in the central Arctic was obvious to better understand the climate evolution of the past in a regional and global sense. However, to select and prepare the drilling experiments sufficient site survey data, especially seismic data, are needed. These problems were addressed during a recent JEODI workshop in Copenhagen. The participants recommended dedicated expeditions tothe Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, the Lomonosov Ridge and the Gakkel Ridge to provide a critical amount of geophysical data for future drilling efforts. An international expedition to the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge was proposed as part of the International Geophysical Polar Year 2006/07 to investigate the least known oceanic ridge of the world's ocean. Besides scientific targets in the High Arctic it became obvious during the workshop that in the marginal seas and plateaux sufficient geophysical data exist to submit drilling proposals like for the Yermak Plateau, the Chukchi Plateau/Northwind Ridge and Laptew Sea continental margin. These proposals would perfectly complement the highly ranked drilling proposal on Lomonosov Ridge, which hopefully can be drilled in 2004 within the ODP/IODP programme. This presentation will provide

  4. Widespread Pleistocene submarine landslides and erosion on the Lomonosov Ridge (central Arctic Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Frank; Stein, Rüdiger; Sauermilch, Isabel; Jensen, Laura; Jokat, Wilfried; Geissler, Wolfram; Gebhardt, Catalina

    2016-04-01

    The Lomonosov Ridge is seen as a relict of continental crust, which drifted from its original Eurasian shelf-edge location into the central Arctic Ocean during the formation of the Eurasian Basin by sea-floor spreading. With a total length of 1800 km, widths between 50 and 220 km and submarine elevations of 3 km above the abyssal plain the Lomonosov Ridge has dimensions of an Alpine mountain chain. Seismic lines indicate that large areas of the ridge are covered by well-stratified undisturbed Cenozoic sediments of more than 400 m in thickness. This may suggest that the ridge is in a relatively stable tectonic setting and exposed to hemi-pelagic deposition over long time scales. However, there is now a growing number of evidence that the crest and upper slopes of the ridge are characterized by widespread mass wasting. Kristoffersen et al. (2007) described major sediment disruptions on the slopes associated with slide scars on the crest of the Lomonosov Ridge between 87°30' and 88°N as a local phenomenon. Since the expedition of RV "Polarstern" in 2014, which explored the Lomonosov Ridge from near the pole to the Eurasian margin, we now know that similar mass wasting has been common probably along the entire ridge. Detailed bathymetric mapping between 81° and 84°N exhibit numerous amphitheatre-like slide scars, under which large amounts of Cenozoic sediments were remobilized into mass-wasting features on both the Makarov and Amundsen sides of the ridge. Sub-bottom seismic profiling discovered at least three generations of debris-flow deposits near the ridge, which were generated by the slides. Underneath the slide scars escarpments of up to 400 m in height were formed, which exposed Cenozoic sediments at the sea floor. Sediment cores from these locations recovered unconformities related to the youngest erosional event, which are overlain by undisturbed sediments accumulated during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 1 to 6. An age of MIS-6 is also suggested for the

  5. Surface heat flow measurements from the East Siberian continental slope and southern Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Regan, Matt; Preto, Pedro; Stranne, Christian; Jakobsson, Martin; Koshurnikov, Andrey

    2016-05-01

    Surface heat flow data in the Arctic Ocean are needed to assess hydrocarbon and methane hydrate distributions, and provide constraints into the tectonic origins and nature of underlying crust. However, across broad areas of the Arctic, few published measurements exist. This is true for the outer continental shelf and slope of the East Siberian Sea, and the adjoining deep water ridges and basins. Here we present 21 new surface heat flow measurements from this region of the Arctic Ocean. On the Southern Lomonosov Ridge, the average measured heat flow, uncorrected for effects of sedimentation and topography, is 57 ± 4 mW/m2 (n = 4). On the outer continental shelf and slope of the East Siberian Sea (ESS), the average is 57 ± 10 mW/m2 (n = 16). An anomalously high heat flow of 203 ± 28 mW/m2 was measured at a single station in the Herald Canyon. With the exception of this high heat flow, the new data from the ESS are consistent with predictions for thermally equilibrated lithosphere of continental origin that was last affected by thermotectonic processes in the Cretaceous to early Cenozoic. Variability within the data likely arises from differences in radiogenic heat production within the continental crust and overlying sediments. This can be further explored by comparing the data with geophysical constraints on sediment and crustal thicknesses.

  6. A 600-ka Arctic sea-ice record from Mendeleev Ridge based on ostracodes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, Thomas M.; Polyak, L.V.; Reed, D.; Kandiano, E. S.; Marzen, R. E.; Council, E. A.

    2013-01-01

    Arctic paleoceanography and sea-ice history were reconstructed from epipelagic and benthic ostracodes from a sediment core (HLY0503-06JPC, 800 m water depth) located on the Mendeleev Ridge, Western Arctic Ocean. The calcareous microfaunal record (ostracodes and foraminifers) covers several glacial/interglacial cycles back to estimated Marine Isotope Stage 13 (MIS 13, ∼500 ka) with an average sedimentation rate of ∼0.5 cm/ka for most of the stratigraphy (MIS 5–13). Results based on ostracode assemblages and an unusual planktic foraminiferal assemblage in MIS 11 dominated by a temperate-water species Turborotalita egelida show that extreme interglacial warmth, high surface ocean productivity, and possibly open ocean convection characterized MIS 11 and MIS 13 (∼400 and 500 ka, respectively). A major shift in western Arctic Ocean environments toward perennial sea ice occurred after MIS 11 based on the distribution of an ice-dwelling ostracode Acetabulastoma arcticum. Spectral analyses of the ostracode assemblages indicate sea ice and mid-depth ocean circulation in western Arctic Ocean varied primarily at precessional (∼22 ka) and obliquity (∼40 ka) frequencies.

  7. Dynamic plumbing systems along the 100 km long Arctic Vestnesa Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plaza-Faverola, Andreia; Buenz, Stefan; Vadakkepuliyambatta, Sunil; Mienert, Jurgen; Chand, Shyam; Johnson, Joel; Greinert, Jens

    2014-05-01

    Vestnesa is a ridge-like contour-current controlled sediment succession that lies above young oceanic crust created during the tectonic opening of Fram Strait. It is surrounded by the Molloy transform fault to the southwest, the Molloy deep to the north-west, the Knipovich oceanic ridge to the south-east, and the continental margin of Svalbard to the northeast. Although interrupted in places, a mostly continuous bottom simulating reflector (BSR), the seismic indicator for the base of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), extends for tens of kilometers from the crest of the ridge towards its northern and southern flanks. High-resolution P-Cable 2D seismic data show vertical fluid migration pathways, distributed in clusters along the 100 km long ridge, connecting the free gas system beneath the GHSZ through a 160-180 m thick hydrate stability zone to seabed pockmarks at the crest of the ridge. Among these clusters only those lying towards the easternmost end of the ridge have been documented to be periodically active in terms of present-day seafloor gas seepage. The methane release activity shows particularly well on 18 kHz echosounder data over a time period from 2008 to 2013. Gas hydrates have been recovered in shallow sediment cores (<6 mbsf) at the active seafloor seepage site. Gas analyses show heavier gases in addition to methane, as a hydrate-forming gas. Within the framework of CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, we are investigating the development of the plumbing systems of the Arctic Vestnesa Ridge in space and time domains. We compare the modeled base of the GHSZ for different gas compositions against the depth of the BSR in the region and discuss the elements of fluid migration systems that could explain observed lateral changes in BSR depths and the switching between active and inactive plumbing systems. The Centre of Excellence is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (grant No. 223259) over a period of ten years.

  8. ­­­­Submarine Mass Wasting on Hovgaard Ridge, Fram Strait, European Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forwick, M.; Laberg, J. S.; Husum, K.; Gales, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Hovgaard Ridge is an 1800 m high bathymetric high in the Fram Strait, the only deep-water gateway between the Arctic Ocean and the other World's oceans. The slopes of the ridge provide evidence of various types of sediment reworking, including 1) up to 12 km wide single and merged slide scars with maximum ~30 m high headwalls and some secondary escarpments; 2) maximum 3 km wide and 130 m deep slide scars with irregular internal morphology, partly narrowing towards the foot of the slope; 3) up to 130 m deep, 1.5 km wide and maximum 8 km long channels/gullies originating from areas of increasing slope angle at the margins of a plateau on top of the ridge. Most slide scars result presumably from retrogressive failure related to weak layers in contourites or ash. The most likely trigger mechanism is seismicity related to tectonic activity within the nearby mid-ocean fracture zone. Gully/channel formation is suggested to result from cascading water masses and/or from sediment gravity flows originating from failure at the slope break after winnowing on the plateau of the ridge.

  9. Discovery of a black smoker vent field and vent fauna at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Rolf B.; Rapp, Hans Tore; Thorseth, Ingunn H.; Lilley, Marvin D.; Barriga, Fernando J. A. S.; Baumberger, Tamara; Flesland, Kristin; Fonseca, Rita; Früh-Green, Gretchen L.; Jorgensen, Steffen L.

    2010-01-01

    The Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) represents one of the most slow-spreading ridge systems on Earth. Previous attempts to locate hydrothermal vent fields and unravel the nature of venting, as well as the provenance of vent fauna at this northern and insular termination of the global ridge system, have been unsuccessful. Here, we report the first discovery of a black smoker vent field at the AMOR. The field is located on the crest of an axial volcanic ridge (AVR) and is associated with an unusually large hydrothermal deposit, which documents that extensive venting and long-lived hydrothermal systems exist at ultraslow-spreading ridges, despite their strongly reduced volcanic activity. The vent field hosts a distinct vent fauna that differs from the fauna to the south along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The novel vent fauna seems to have developed by local specialization and by migration of fauna from cold seeps and the Pacific. PMID:21119639

  10. Contrasting glacial/interglacial regimes in the western Arctic Ocean as exemplified by a sedimentary record from the Mendeleev Ridge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Polyak, L.; Curry, W.B.; Darby, D.A.; Bischof, J.; Cronin, T. M.

    2004-01-01

    Distinct cyclicity in lithology and microfaunal distribution in sediment cores from the Mendeleev Ridge in the western Arctic Ocean (water depths ca. 1. 5 km) reflects contrasting glacial/interglacial sedimentary patterns. We conclude that during major glaciations extremely thick pack ice or ice shelves covered the western Arctic Ocean and its circulation was restricted in comparison with interglacial, modern-type conditions. Glacier collapse events are marked in sediment cores by increased contents of ice-rafted debris, notably by spikes of detrital carbonates and iron oxide grains from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Composition of foraminiferal calcite ?? 18O and ??13C also shows strong cyclicity indicating changes in freshwater balance and/or ventilation rates of the Arctic Ocean. Light stable isotopic spikes characterize deglacial events such as the last deglaciation at ca. 12 14C kyr BP. The prolonged period with low ??18O and ??13C values and elevated contents of iron oxide grains from the Canadian Archipelago in the lower part of the Mendeleev Ridge record is interpreted to signify the pooling of freshwater in the Amerasia Basin, possibly in relation to an extended glaciation in arctic North America. Unique benthic foraminiferal events provide a means for an independent stratigraphic correlation of sedimentary records from the Mendeleev Ridge and other mid-depth locations throughout the Arctic Ocean such as the Northwind and Lomonosov Ridges. This correlation demonstrates the disparity of existing age models and underscores the need to establish a definitive chronostratigraphy for Arctic Ocean sediments. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The nature of the acoustic basement on Mendeleev and northwestern Alpha ridges, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruvoll, Vibeke; Kristoffersen, Yngve; Coakley, Bernard J.; Hopper, John R.; Planke, Sverre; Kandilarov, Aleksandre

    2012-01-01

    The Alpha-Mendeleev ridge complex, over 1500 km long and 250-400 km wide, is the largest submarine structure in the Arctic Ocean basin. Its origin is unknown, but often inferred to represent a large igneous province where domains of continental crust may also be a possibility. We investigate the basement geology of part of this large scale feature using 1100 km of multichannel seismic reflection data, sonobuoy recordings and marine gravity data acquired in 2005 from USCG icebreaker Healy. The sonobuoy results show top and intra-acoustic basement velocities in the range of 2.3-4.0 km/s and the seismic reflection attributes define three main acoustic facies: 1) continuous high amplitude reflections often with abrupt breaks, 3) weak wedge geometry and 3) segmented, disrupted to chaotic reflections. The acoustic characteristics and seismic velocities compare more closely with basement on Ontong Java Plateau than normal ocean crust or wedges of seaward dipping reflections at volcanic margins. The acoustic facies are interpreted to represent basalt flows and sills capping voluminous tuff deposits and possible sediments. At least two volcanic centres are identified. The upper volcanic carapace on the surveyed part of Mendeleev and northwestern Alpha ridges was emplaced during a brief igneous episode no later than Campanian (80 Ma) and most likely part of wider Late Cretaceous circum Arctic volcanism. The horst and graben morphology on Mendeleev Ridge is largely a result of post-emplacement faulting where a number of the major extensional faults remained active until a late Miocene intrusive event.

  12. Phytoplankton growth and microzooplankton grazing in the Chukchi borderland and Mendeleyev Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Eun-Jin; Lee, Dong-Jin; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2013-04-01

    During August and September 2012, we measured phytoplankton growth and microzooplankton grazing rate in the Chukchi borderland and Mendeleyev Ridge using the icebreaker R/V Araon. A variety of environmental condition and trophic condition were encountered, from low chlorophyll-a (< 0.1 ug L-1) in the Chukchi borderland to diatom bloom (maximum 17.1 ug L-1) in the southern part of Mendeleyev Ridge which is characterized by high phytoplankton biomass driven by the influx of more productive waters from the East Siberian Sea. The community of microzooplankton was dominated by naked ciliates and heterotrophic dinoflagellates (HDF). Ciliates dominated in low chlorophyll-a concentration sites and HDF dominated in high chlorophyll-a concentration sites. Microzooplankton biomass and size structure matched with the chlorophyll-a concentration and size-fraction. Grazing rate of microzooplankton varied from 0.01 to 0.85 d-1, on average 0.34 d-1. Phytoplankton growth rate varied from 0.09 to 0.76 d-1, on average 0.39 d-1. Phytoplankton growth rate and microzooplankton grazing rate were relatively higher in the Chukchi borderland than the Mendeleyev Ridge. Microzooplankton grazed from 10.3 to 122.8% (average 82.9%) of daily chlorophyll-a production and from 11.3 to 57.2% (average 28.4%) of initial standing stock. In this study area, microzooplankton grazing and phytoplankton growth were high compared to rates reported summer in the other Arctic Ocean. The results suggest that microzooplankton were the major consumers of primary production, and that their grazing is one of the most important losses affecting the phytoplankton biomass during summer in the Arctic Ocean.

  13. Threshold in North Atlantic-Arctic circulation controlled by the Oligocene-Miocene subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stärz, Michael; Jokat, Wilfried; Knorr, Gregor; Lohmann, Gerrit

    2016-04-01

    Changes in high latitude ocean gateways are thought to be main drivers of Cenozoic climate evolution. However, the link between global climate changes and the early ocean gateway formation between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean (incl. the Greenland and Norwegian Seas) controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge is poorly understood. Here, we use a coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model for Oligocene-Miocene boundary conditions to address a threshold behaviour for the ventilation of the Arctic Ocean controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. Our model simulations reveal that a deepening of the ridge from approx. 100 to 200 metres below sea-level forces major reorganizations in the North Atlantic-Arctic circulation associated with extreme salinity and temperature changes in the Arctic Ocean. These changes are induced by an abrupt regime shift from restricted estuarine conditions to a bi-directional flow regime similar to today. Taking uncertainties in timing into account this suggests that tectonic processes, which started at the late Eocene to Oligocene controlled the climate and circulation regime of the Arctic Ocean.

  14. Archean Arctic continental crust fingerprints revealing by zircons from Alpha Ridge bottom rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeev, Sergey; Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shevchenko, Sergey; Presnyakov, Sergey; Antonov, Anton; Belyatsky, Boris

    2015-04-01

    Whereas thick Cenozoic sedimentary cover overlapping bedrock of the Arctic Ocean, some tectonic windows were sampled by scientific submarine manipulator, as well as by grabbing, dredging and drilling during «Arctic-2012» Russian High-Arctic expedition (21 thousands samples in total, from 400-km profile along Alpha-Mendeleev Ridges). Among others, on the western slope of Alpha Ridge one 10x10 cm fragment without any tracks of glacial transportation of fine-layered migmatitic-gneiss with prominent quartz veinlets was studied. Its mineral (47.5 vol.% plagioclase + 29.6% quartz + 16.6% biotite + 6.1% orthoclase) and chemical composition (SiO2:68.2, Al2O3:14.9, Fe2O3:4.44, TiO2:0.54, MgO:2.03, CaO:3.13, Na2O:3.23, K2O:2.16%) corresponds to trachydacite vulcanite, deformed and metamorphozed under amphibolite facies. Most zircon grains (>80%) from this sample has an concordant U-Pb age 3450 Ma with Th/U 0.8-1.4 and U content of 100-400 ppm, epsilon Hf from -4 up to 0, and ca 20% - ca 3.3 Ga with Th/U 0.7-1.4 and 90-190 ppm U, epsilon Hf -6.5 to -4.5, while only 2% of the grains show Proterozoic age of ca 1.9 Ga (Th/U: 0.02-0.07, U~500 ppm, epsilon Hf about 0). No younger zircons were revealed at all. We suppose that magmatic zircon crystallized as early as 3450 Ma ago during acid volcanism, the second phase zircon crystallization from partial melt (or by volcanics remelting) under amphibolite facies metamorphism was at 3.3 Ga ago with formation of migmatitie gneisses. Last zircon formation from crustal fluids under low-grade metamorphic conditions was 1.9 Ga ago. There are two principal possibilities for the provenance of this metavolcanic rock. The first one - this is ice-rafted debris deposited by melted glacial iceberg. However, presently there are no temporal and compositional analogues of such rocks in basement geology of peri-oceanic regions, including Archean Itsaq Gneiss Complex, Lewisian Complex and Baltic Shield but these regions are far from the places of

  15. Biased thermohaline exchanges with the Arctic across the Iceland-Faroe Ridge in ocean climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, S. M.; Hansen, B.; Østerhus, S.; Quadfasel, D.; Valdimarsson, H.

    2016-04-01

    The northern limb of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and its transport of heat and salt towards the Arctic strongly modulate the climate of the Northern Hemisphere. The presence of warm surface waters prevents ice formation in parts of the Arctic Mediterranean, and ocean heat is directly available for sea-ice melt, while salt transport may be critical for the stability of the exchanges. Through these mechanisms, ocean heat and salt transports play a disproportionally strong role in the climate system, and realistic simulation is a requisite for reliable climate projections. Across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge (GSR) this occurs in three well-defined branches where anomalies in the warm and saline Atlantic inflow across the shallow Iceland-Faroe Ridge (IFR) have been shown to be particularly difficult to simulate in global ocean models. This branch (IF-inflow) carries about 40 % of the total ocean heat transport into the Arctic Mediterranean and is well constrained by observation during the last 2 decades but associated with significant inter-annual fluctuations. The inconsistency between model results and observational data is here explained by the inability of coarse-resolution models to simulate the overflow across the IFR (IF-overflow), which feeds back onto the simulated IF-inflow. In effect, this is reduced in the model to reflect only the net exchange across the IFR. Observational evidence is presented for a substantial and persistent IF-overflow and mechanisms that qualitatively control its intensity. Through this, we explain the main discrepancies between observed and simulated exchange. Our findings rebuild confidence in modelled net exchange across the IFR, but reveal that compensation of model deficiencies here through other exchange branches is not effective. This implies that simulated ocean heat transport to the Arctic is biased low by more than 10 % and associated with a reduced level of variability, while the quality of the simulated salt

  16. Lena Trough (Arctic Ocean): Active mantle exhumation on a continental rifted margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Hellebrand, E.; von der Handt, A.; Nauret, F.

    2004-12-01

    Lena Trough is the northern continuation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge through Fram Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. The rifting of Lena Trough began in the Miocene, and significantly, is the final and the most recent event in the separation of the North American from the Eurasian continent. Lena Trough was mapped in 1999, 2001 and 2004 by PFS Polarstern (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany), revealing sea floor structures that are inconsistent with any normally conceived mid-ocean ridge spreading, and instead indicative of late continental rifting. Lena Trough is shown to be a deep, fault-bounded basin with depths of 3800-4200m, and irregular, steep valley sides that are oblique to the spreading direction. Basement horst structures that outcrop as sigmoidal ridges with steeply dipping sides project out of the valley floor. These basement ridges are roughly parallel along flow lines to the valley walls on either side. Ridge-orthogonal topography is simply absent (ie no segments trending parallel nor fracture zones perpendicular to Gakkel Ridge). Most faults trend approximately SSE-NNW, an obliquity with respect to Gakkel Ridge (SW-NE) of about 55°. The basement ridges are composed nearly entirely of fertile mantle peridotite, as are the valley walls. Only at the northern and southern extremities of Lena Trough do basalts appear at all. The peridotites compositions are consistent with either continental or oceanic (asthenospheric) mantle. They show evidence of low-degree mantle melting, followed by high-level stagnation in a thick lithosphere. This evidence (veining, impregnation) is more evident where little or no basaltic cover is present, while peridotites dredged in the vicinity of basalts tend to be more residual. This may indicate some degree of magmatic focusing in the absence of a basaltic crust per se. Lena Trough contains rare, highly alkaline basalts that are unlike any compositions dredged from mid-ocean ridges

  17. Lena Trough (Arctic Ocean): Active mantle exhumation on a continental rifted margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Hellebrand, E.; von der Handt, A.; Nauret, F.

    2007-12-01

    Lena Trough is the northern continuation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge through Fram Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. The rifting of Lena Trough began in the Miocene, and significantly, is the final and the most recent event in the separation of the North American from the Eurasian continent. Lena Trough was mapped in 1999, 2001 and 2004 by PFS Polarstern (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany), revealing sea floor structures that are inconsistent with any normally conceived mid-ocean ridge spreading, and instead indicative of late continental rifting. Lena Trough is shown to be a deep, fault-bounded basin with depths of 3800-4200m, and irregular, steep valley sides that are oblique to the spreading direction. Basement horst structures that outcrop as sigmoidal ridges with steeply dipping sides project out of the valley floor. These basement ridges are roughly parallel along flow lines to the valley walls on either side. Ridge-orthogonal topography is simply absent (ie no segments trending parallel nor fracture zones perpendicular to Gakkel Ridge). Most faults trend approximately SSE-NNW, an obliquity with respect to Gakkel Ridge (SW-NE) of about 55°. The basement ridges are composed nearly entirely of fertile mantle peridotite, as are the valley walls. Only at the northern and southern extremities of Lena Trough do basalts appear at all. The peridotites compositions are consistent with either continental or oceanic (asthenospheric) mantle. They show evidence of low-degree mantle melting, followed by high-level stagnation in a thick lithosphere. This evidence (veining, impregnation) is more evident where little or no basaltic cover is present, while peridotites dredged in the vicinity of basalts tend to be more residual. This may indicate some degree of magmatic focusing in the absence of a basaltic crust per se. Lena Trough contains rare, highly alkaline basalts that are unlike any compositions dredged from mid-ocean ridges

  18. Microbial community diversity in seafloor basalt from the Arctic spreading ridges.

    PubMed

    Lysnes, Kristine; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Steinsbu, Bjørn Olav; Øvreås, Lise; Torsvik, Terje; Pedersen, Rolf B

    2004-11-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting recent (< or =1 million years old; Ma) seafloor basalts from the Arctic spreading ridges were analyzed using traditional enrichment culturing methods in combination with culture-independent molecular phylogenetic techniques. Fragments of 16S rDNA were amplified from the basalt samples by polymerase chain reaction, and fingerprints of the bacterial and archaeal communities were generated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. This analysis indicates a substantial degree of complexity in the samples studied, showing 20-40 dominating bands per profile for the bacterial assemblages. For the archaeal assemblages, a much lower number of bands (6-12) were detected. The phylogenetic affiliations of the predominant electrophoretic bands were inferred by performing a comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Sequences obtained from basalts affiliated with eight main phylogenetic groups of Bacteria, but were limited to only one group of the Archaea. The most frequently retrieved bacterial sequences affiliated with the gamma-proteobacteria, alpha-proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. The archaeal sequences were restricted to the marine Group 1: Crenarchaeota. Our results indicate that the basalt harbors a distinctive microbial community, as the majority of the sequences differed from those retrieved from the surrounding seawater as well as from sequences previously reported from seawater and deep-sea sediments. Most of the sequences did not match precisely any sequences in the database, indicating that the indigenous Arctic ridge basalt microbial community is yet uncharacterized. Results from enrichment cultures showed that autolithotrophic methanogens and iron reducing bacteria were present in the seafloor basalts. We suggest that microbial catalyzed cycling of iron may be important in low-temperature alteration of ocean crust basalt. The phylogenetic and physiological diversity of the seafloor basalt

  19. Beryllium Isotope Dating of Sediment Cores From the Alpha Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellen, E.; Jakobsson, M.; Kubik, P. W.; Frank, M.

    2007-12-01

    Poor preservation of biogenic calcium carbonate and biosilica in Arctic Ocean sediments has led to large problems regarding the establishment of a reliable chronostratigraphy. There are currently two differing sedimentation rate scenarios proposed for the Arctic Ocean. The first suggests sedimentation rates on the order of mm/ka and is based on cores from the Amerasian Basin, whereas the second suggests sedimentation rates on the order of cm/ka mainly derived from Eurasian Basin cores. Here we present dating results from cores HLY0503-09JPC and HLY0503-14JPC retrieved from the Alpha Ridge during the Healy-Oden Trans-Arctic Expedition 2005 (HOTRAX). These cores have been analyzed for seawater-derived beryllium (Be) isotopes in order to establish a chronostratigraphy. The isotopes 10Be and 9Be were extracted simultaneously from sample aliquots by using a leaching procedure. The decrease of 10Be concentration (half-life = 1.51 Million years) with depth in core provides first order sedimentation rates for the sampled cores. To eliminate the dilution effect of beryllium caused by short-term changes in sedimentation rate and grain size variability, the 10Be concentration was normalized to the stable isotope 9Be. The preliminary results show low downcore 10Be concentrations in both cores from the Alpha Ridge. Plotting 10Be against depth suggests an average sedimentation rate of ~2.9 mm/ka for core HLY0503-09JPC and ~2.3 mm/ka for HLY0503- 14JPC. The calculated 10Be/9Be ratios point to even lower average sedimentation rates of ~1.9 mm/ka for core HLY0503-09JPC and ~1.6 mm/ka for HLY0503-14JPC. However, core HLY0503-14JPC shows a pronounced variability of the 10Be concentration as well as for the 10Be/9Be ratio, which results in a large uncertainty of the calculated sedimentation rates. The 10Be concentrations for this core will be compared with the grain size record in order to reduce the scatter of the data. The preliminary beryllium isotope chronostratigraphy supports

  20. Seismic investigations along the western sector of Alpha Ridge, Central Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jokat, Wilfried

    2003-01-01

    During the summer of 1998 a two-ship experiment with the Russian nuclear icebreaker Arktika and RV Polarstern probed the central part of Alpha Ridge in the High Arctic. In total 320 km of multichannel seismic data were acquired along three profiles supplemented by four sonobuoys. The sonobuoys provided velocity control for the sedimentary sequences and for the upper crust. The sediment velocities range from 1.6 to 2.7 km s-1 and the sediment thicknesses vary between 500 and 1200 m. The units lie conformably on the basement. Only minor faulting is visible in the area of Lyons Seamount. In general, the sediments can be divided into two units. Their age is quite hypothetical: the upper unit is most probably to be of Cenozoic and the lower of Cretaceous age. The interpretation of the seismic velocities suggests oceanic basement. The basement velocities range from 4.3 to 6.7 km s-1. In combination with a recovered basalt sample there is little doubt of the oceanic origin of Alpha Ridge, at least in its western sector.

  1. New multichannel seismic reflection data along the eastern part of Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauermilch, Isabel; Jokat, Wilfried

    2015-04-01

    During the RV Polarstern cruise ARK XXVIII/4 in summer 2014, multichannel seismic reflection data were collected along the eastern part of the Lomonosov Ridge with the aim to provide an appropriate database for an IODP drilling proposal as well as to enhance the knowledge of sedimentary and tectonic processes in this area. Depending on the sea ice conditions and required resolution of the data, four survey set-ups with different streamer settings (300 m, 600 m, 3000 m) and airgun clusters (3, 4 G-Guns, 2 GI-Guns) were used. The dataset contains more than 3000 km of seismic profiles, including one transect along as well as several profiles across the ridge and two detailed networks close to the proposed drilling sites. An erosional unconformity, whose presence has been confirmed first by Moran et al. (2006) by scientific drilling at the Lomonosov Ridge in 2004, is visible in the entire seismic dataset as a continuous prominent reflector band. In the seismic data, this unconformity can be found over the entire length of the investigated ridge. Below, the strata show folded and slightly disturbed Mesozoic sediments, which are lying on top of the basement with intensive faulting. These structures might be created by two past rifting events which are significant for the evolution of the Arctic Ocean. The basement faults might be as old as the Mesozoic formation of the Amerasia Basin, and may have been overprinted during the subsequent unconformity-forming event that initiated the Amundsen Basin and the final ridge's break-up. Within the southern seismic survey additional data were gathered around the primary IODP drilling location. Aim of the drilling program is to reach layers of Oligocene and older sediment. Although, the Miocene sediment cover in this area has an almost constant thickness, at the northern end of a topographic channel the seismic data imaged a 500 m high slide scarp where the entire sedimentary column is exposed down to the proposed Oligocene. This

  2. Structure and tectonic evolution of the Southern Eurasia Basin, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekretov, Sergey B.

    2002-07-01

    Multichannel seismic reflection data acquired by Marine Arctic Geological Expedition (MAGE) of Murmansk, Russia in 1990 provide the first view of the geological structure of the Arctic region between 77-80°N and 115-133°E, where the Eurasia Basin of the Arctic Ocean adjoins the passive-transform continental margin of the Laptev Sea. South of 80°N, the oceanic basement of the Eurasia Basin and continental basement of the Laptev Sea outer margin are covered by 1.5 to 8 km of sediments. Two structural sequences are distinguished in the sedimentary cover within the Laptev Sea outer margin and at the continent/ocean crust transition: the lower rift sequence, including mostly Upper Cretaceous to Lower Paleocene deposits, and the upper post-rift sequence, consisting of Cenozoic sediments. In the adjoining Eurasia Basin of the Arctic Ocean, the Cenozoic post-rift sequence consists of a few sedimentary successions deposited by several submarine fans. Based on the multichannel seismic reflection data, the structural pattern was determined and an isopach map of the sedimentary cover and tectonic zoning map were constructed. A location of the continent/ocean crust transition is tentatively defined. A buried continuation of the mid-ocean Gakkel Ridge is also detected. This study suggests that south of 78.5°N there was the cessation in the tectonic activity of the Gakkel Ridge Rift from 33-30 until 3-1 Ma and there was no sea-floor spreading in the southernmost part of the Eurasia Basin during the last 30-33 m.y. South of 78.5°N all oceanic crust of the Eurasia Basin near the continental margin of the Laptev Sea was formed from 56 to 33-30 Ma.

  3. Age and origin of the Lomonosov Ridge: a key continental fragment in Arctic Ocean reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcussen, Christian; Knudsen, Christian; Hopper, John R.; Funck, Thomas; Ineson, Jon R.; Bjerager, Morten

    2015-04-01

    The Lomonosov Ridge is a trans-oceanic seafloor high that separates the Eurasia Basin from the Amerasia Basin. It extends for a distance of almost 1800 km across the Arctic Ocean from the Lincoln Shelf off Greenland and Canada to the East Siberian Shelf. Although known from the ACEX drilling expedition to be a sliver of continental crust, it remains an enigmatic feature and many details of its history are unknown. In the summer of 2012, GEUS recovered dredge samples from two locations along the flank of the ridge facing the Eurasian Basin. The samples comprise 100 kg and 200 kg of rocks and rock pieces ranging in size from 0.1 to 80 kg which were recovered from two different scarps associated with rotated continental fault blocks. A significant quantity of rocks with identical structures and isotopic fingerprints show that they formed at the same time and from the same geological material. This combined with the broken and angular nature of many of the pieces recovered indicates that the material is from in situ bedrock and does not represent dropstones brought to the area by drifting ice. Two main sedimentary rock types were recovered - an arkosic metasedimentary rock, and a quartz rich non-metamorphic sandstone. The arkosic metasedimentary rock shows compositional layering (primary heterolithic fabric) that is deformed and with a well-developed schistosity. These metasedimentary rocks contain muscovite with textural evidence that shows the muscovite is metamorphic and not detrital, and thus formed at the time the rocks were deformed. The metamorphic fabrics and mineralogy indicate deformation under greenschist facies conditions, indicating that the metamorphism was associated with an orogenic event; the metamorphic muscovite has yielded an Ar/Ar age of around 470 Ma. Thus the rock is interpreted as a Proterozoic to lower Palaeozoic heterolithic sandstone that was involved in an orogenic event during the Ordovician. This event may be related to the Mid

  4. A Review of Magnetic Anomaly Field Data for the Arctic Region: Geological Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Patrick T.; vonFrese, Ralph; Roman, Daniel; Frawley, James J.

    1999-01-01

    Due to its inaccessibility and hostile physical environment remote sensing data, both airborne and satellite measurements, has been the main source of geopotential data over the entire Arctic region. Ubiquitous and significant external fields, however, hinder crustal magnetic field studies. These potential field data have been used to derive tectonic models for the two major tectonic sectors of this region, the Amerasian and Eurasian Basins. The latter is dominated by the Nansen-Gakkel or Mid-Arctic Ocean Ridge and is relatively well known. The origin and nature of the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges, Chukchi Borderland and Canada Basin of the former are less well known and a subject of controversy. The Lomonosov Ridge divides these large provinces. In this report we will present a summary of the Arctic geopotential anomaly data derived from various sources by various groups in North America and Europe and show how these data help us unravel the last remaining major puzzle of the global plate tectonic framework. While Magnetic anomaly data represent the main focus of this study recently derived satellite gravity data (Laxon and McAdoo, 1998) are playing a major role in Arctic studies.

  5. A Review of Magnetic Anomaly Field Data for the Arctic Region: Geological Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Patrick T.; vonFrese, Ralph; Roman, Daniel; Frawley, James J.

    1999-01-01

    Due to its inaccessibility and hostile physical environment remote sensing data, both airborne and satellite measurements, has been the main source of geopotential data over the entire Arctic region. Ubiquitous and significant external fields, however, hinder crustal magnetic field studies These potential field data have been used to derive tectonic models for the two major tectonic sectors of this region, the Amerasian and Eurasian Basins. The latter is dominated by the Nansen-Gakkel or Mid-Arctic Ocean Ridge and is relatively well known. The origin and nature of the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges, Chukchi Borderland and Canada Basin of the former are less well known and a subject of controversy. The Lomonosov Ridge divides these large provinces. In this report we will present a summary of the Arctic geopotential anomaly data derived from various sources by various groups in North America and Europe and show how these data help us unravel the last remaining major puzzle of the global plate tectonic framework. While magnetic anomaly data represent the main focus of this study recently derived satellite gravity data are playing a major role in Arctic studies.

  6. Paleomagnetic Studies of Marine Sediments for Evaluation of Sedimentation Rates on the Mendeleev Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkina, D.

    2014-12-01

    Nowadays the Arctic Ocean is an area of higher scientific interest. Investigation of composition, genesis, sources and source areas of marine sediments is necessary for a gain of geological knowledge and geo-engineering development of the region. One should note that the dating issue in the Arctic Ocean is a challenge by itself. However, magnetostratigraphy can offer a powerful stratigraphic tool applying to marine sediments here. The 6-meters length core was retrieved from the Mendeleev Ridge in 2012 and subjected to paleomagnetic studies. The examined core was revealed to dominate by normal polarity up to 123 cm below seafloor (cmbsf) and assigned there to the Brunhes polarity chron of the geomagnetic field (0.78 Ma). Then prevalence of reverse polarity persists up to 394-397 cmbsf, assigned to Matuyama age, and short positive intervals are believed to be subchrons of normal polarity. Change from reverse to normal polarity at 394-397 cmbsf is considered as the Matuyama - Gauss (2.58 Ma) boundary and is traced up to 530-531 cmbsf including one short reversal. After this depth a drop back to reverse polarity is ascribed to the beginning of the Gilbert polarity chron (3.58 Ma). The resultant magnetostratigraphy is presented on Figure 1. The stepwise alternating field demagnetization and demagnetization by heating were performed to remove viscous overprints and then to define component magnetization directions. Spikes of natural remanent magnetization intensity and magnetic susceptibility are discovered near almost all assigned chron boundaries, and it may act as an independent factor for determination of polarity boundaries. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility is also considered in order to find out additional peculiarities of the sedimentation. The relative abundance of shallow inclinations at least implies the existence of secondary processes, which may have altered the paleomagnetic record. The mean sedimentation rates on the Mendeleev Ridge do not exceed 1

  7. FRAM-2012: Norwegians return to the High Arctic with a Hovercraft for Marine Geophysical Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J. K.; Kristoffersen, Y.; Brekke, H.; Hope, G.

    2012-12-01

    After four years of testing methods, craft reliability, and innovative equipment, the R/H SABVABAA has embarked on its first FRAM-201x expedition to the highest Arctic. Named after the Inupiaq word for 'flows swiftly over it', the 12m by 6m hovercraft has been home-based in Longyearbyen, Svalbard since June 2008. In this, its fifth summer of work on the ice pack north of 81N, the craft is supported by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) via the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) in Bergen, and the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research. FRAM-2012 represents renewed Norwegian interest in returning to the highest Arctic some 116 years after the 1893-96 drift of Fridtjof Nansen's ship FRAM, the first serious scientific investigation of the Arctic. When replenished by air or icebreaker, the hovercraft Sabvabaa offers a hospitable scientific platform with crew of two, capable of marine geophysical, geological and oceanographic observations over long periods with relative mobility on the ice pack. FRAM-2012 is the first step towards this goal, accompanying the Swedish icebreaker ODEN to the Lomonosov Ridge, north of Greenland, as part of the LOMROG III expedition. The science plan called for an initial drive from the ice edge to Gakkel Ridge at 85N where micro-earthquakes would be monitored, and then to continue north to a geological sampling area on the Lomonosov Ridge at about 88N, 65W. The micro-earthquake monitoring is part of Gaute Hope's MSc thesis and entails five hydrophones in a WiFi-connected hydrophone array deployed over the Gakkel Rift Valley, drifting with the ice at up to 0.4 knots. On August 3 the hovercraft was refueled from icebreaker ODEN at 84-21'N and both vessels proceeded north. The progress of the hovercraft was hampered by insufficient visibility for safe driving and time consuming maneuvering in and around larger fields of rubble ice impassable by the hovercraft, but of little concern to the icebreaker. It

  8. Energy landscapes shape microbial communities in hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

    PubMed Central

    Dahle, Håkon; Økland, Ingeborg; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pederesen, Rolf B; Steen, Ida H

    2015-01-01

    Methods developed in geochemical modelling combined with recent advances in molecular microbial ecology provide new opportunities to explore how microbial communities are shaped by their chemical surroundings. Here, we present a framework for analyses of how chemical energy availability shape chemotrophic microbial communities in hydrothermal systems through an investigation of two geochemically different basalt-hosted hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: the Soria Moria Vent field (SMVF) and the Loki's Castle Vent Field (LCVF). Chemical energy landscapes were evaluated through modelling of the Gibbs energy from selected redox reactions under different mixing ratios between seawater and hydrothermal fluids. Our models indicate that the sediment-influenced LCVF has a much higher potential for both anaerobic and aerobic methane oxidation, as well as aerobic ammonium and hydrogen oxidation, than the SMVF. The modelled energy landscapes were used to develop microbial community composition models, which were compared with community compositions in environmental samples inside or on the exterior of hydrothermal chimneys, as assessed by pyrosequencing of partial 16S rRNA genes. We show that modelled microbial communities based solely on thermodynamic considerations can have a high predictive power and provide a framework for analyses of the link between energy availability and microbial community composition. PMID:25575309

  9. Energy landscapes shape microbial communities in hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    PubMed

    Dahle, Håkon; Økland, Ingeborg; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pederesen, Rolf B; Steen, Ida H

    2015-07-01

    Methods developed in geochemical modelling combined with recent advances in molecular microbial ecology provide new opportunities to explore how microbial communities are shaped by their chemical surroundings. Here, we present a framework for analyses of how chemical energy availability shape chemotrophic microbial communities in hydrothermal systems through an investigation of two geochemically different basalt-hosted hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: the Soria Moria Vent field (SMVF) and the Loki's Castle Vent Field (LCVF). Chemical energy landscapes were evaluated through modelling of the Gibbs energy from selected redox reactions under different mixing ratios between seawater and hydrothermal fluids. Our models indicate that the sediment-influenced LCVF has a much higher potential for both anaerobic and aerobic methane oxidation, as well as aerobic ammonium and hydrogen oxidation, than the SMVF. The modelled energy landscapes were used to develop microbial community composition models, which were compared with community compositions in environmental samples inside or on the exterior of hydrothermal chimneys, as assessed by pyrosequencing of partial 16S rRNA genes. We show that modelled microbial communities based solely on thermodynamic considerations can have a high predictive power and provide a framework for analyses of the link between energy availability and microbial community composition. PMID:25575309

  10. Quaternary Sea-ice history in the Arctic Ocean based on a new Ostracode sea-ice proxy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, T. M.; Gemery, L.; Briggs, W.M.; Jakobsson, M.; Polyak, L.; Brouwers, E.M.

    2010-01-01

    Paleo-sea-ice history in the Arctic Ocean was reconstructed using the sea-ice dwelling ostracode Acetabulastoma arcticum from late Quaternary sediments from the Mendeleyev, Lomonosov, and Gakkel Ridges, the Morris Jesup Rise and the Yermak Plateau. Results suggest intermittently high levels of perennial sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 (25-45 ka), minimal sea ice during the last deglacial (16-11 ka) and early Holocene thermal maximum (11-5 ka) and increasing sea ice during the mid-to-late Holocene (5-0 ka). Sediment core records from the Iceland and Rockall Plateaus show that perennial sea ice existed in these regions only during glacial intervals MIS 2, 4, and 6. These results show that sea ice exhibits complex temporal and spatial variability during different climatic regimes and that the development of modern perennial sea ice may be a relatively recent phenomenon. ?? 2010.

  11. Sedimentary and crustal structure from the Ellesmere Island and Greenland continental shelves onto the Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahl-Jensen, T.; Jackson, H. R.; Lorita Working Group

    2009-04-01

    Two wide-angle refraction/reflection lines were acquired jointly by the geological surveys of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and Canada (GCS) on the sea ice north of Ellesmere Island and Greenland. The aim was to investigate the junction of the Lomonosov Ridge with the polar margin, crossing from the continental shelf over a bathymetric trough out onto the Lomonosov Ridge. A 14 km deep sedimentary basin consisting of two layers interpreted to be part of the Arctic Continental Terrace Wedge and under these a 9 km thick layer interpreted the to be continuation offshore of the Mesozoic to Paleozoic Sverdrup Basin sequence were found. Underneath the basin a layer with velocities consistent with metasedimentary rocks from the lower Paleozoic Franklinian Basin was modeled. The sedimentary basin and underlying metasedimentary rocks continue from the shelf out onto the Lomonosov Ridge. The underlying crust has velocities consistent with continental crust. On the shallow section of the Lomonosov Ridge, a basement high approaches the seafloor, creating the 220 km broad foot of the Ridge. Consistent with the wide-angle results, two short seismic reflection profiles in the vicinity penetrated only a thin veneer of sediments overlying basement. Furthermore, a pattern of radiating linear magnetic anomalis emanating from a circular high is coincident with the shallow basement. Onshore magnetic anomalies near north-western Ellesmere Island are reminiscent in pattern and amplitude to the anomaly on the southern end of the Ridge suggesting a similar source. In addition, the velocity structure is similar to that on the foot of the Ridge. Onshore, the anomalies are produced by the Hansen Point volcanic rocks. The proposed volcanic structure on the foot of the Ridge is by analogy to the Hansen Point volcanics and by its position in the velocity model is assumed to be intruded through continental crust, possibly as part of a failed rift zone proceeding opening of the Eurasia Basin. The

  12. Crustal types of the Circumpolar Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashubin, Sergey; Pavlenkova, Ninel; Petrov, Oleg; Milshtein, Evgenia; Shokalsky, Sergey; Erinchek, Yuri

    2016-04-01

    Deep seismic studies revealed unusual crustal structure in the Arctic Ocean. The thin (about 10 km) oceanic crust with seismic velocities Vp= 6.8-7.2 km/s is observed only in the narrow mid-oceanic ridge zone (the Gakkel ridge). The thick (25-35 km) continental crust covers the whole continental margins and the central part of the ocean. The continental type of the magnetic field with large local anomalies of different signs and irregular shapes is also observed in this area. However, the crust of the central Arctic (the Lomonosov, Mendeleev and Alpha ridges) differ from the crust of the Eurasia by the lower thickness of the upper granite-gneiss layer (velocities Vp=6.0-6.6 km/s): it is only 5-7 km in comparison with 15-20 km in the continent. The origin of such crust may be explained in two ways. Most frequently it is accounted for by the destruction and transformation of the continental crust by the basification that implies the enrichment of the crust by the rocks of basic composition from the mantle and the metamorphization of the continental rocks at the higher temperature and pressure. But in the central part of the Arctic Ocean the crust looks as an original one. The regular form of the large ridges and the continental type magnetic field were not destroyed by the basification processes which are usually irregular and most intensive in some local zones. The basification origin may be proposed for the Canadian and the South-Barents deep sedimentary basins with "suboceanic" crust (10-15 km of sediments and 10-15 km of the lower crust with Vp= 6.8-7.2 km/s). The other basins which stretch along fault zones outlined the central deep water part of the Arctic Ocean have the ''subcontinental' crust: the thickness of the granite-gneiss layer decreases in these basins and sometimes the high velocity intrusions are observed in the lower parts. The different crustal types are observed in the North Atlantic where the oceanic crust with linear magnetic anomalies is

  13. Late Quaternary environments on the western Lomonosov Ridge (Arctic Ocean) - first results from RV Polarstern expedition PS87 (2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielhagen, Robert F.; Stein, Rüdiger; Mackensen, Andreas; PS87 Shipboard Scientific Party

    2016-04-01

    The interior Arctic Ocean is still one of the least known parts of the earth's surface. In particular this holds true for the deep-sea area north of Greenland which has been reached by research ships only within the last decade. The region is of special interest for climate researchers because numerical climate models predict that under future global warming the shrinking summer sea ice cover will finde a place of refuge here until it totally disappears. In summer 2014 several short and long undisturbed large-volume sediment cores were obtained from the western Lomonosov Ridge between 86.5°N and the North Pole. Here we present first results from site PS87/030 situated at 88°40'N. The combined sedimentary record of a box core and a kasten core analyzed so far is interpreted to represent the environmental variability in the last ca. 200,000 years and can be correlated to comparable records from the eastern Lomonosov Ridge and the Morris Jesup Rise. The well-defined coarse layers with abundant ice-rafted detritus reflect the history of circum-Arctic ice sheets. Planktic foraminifers with a distinct dominance of the polar species were found in most of the analyzed samples and allow to reconstruct the water mass history for this part of the Arctic Ocean. Planktic oxygen and carbon isotope records allow to identify several freshwater events which can be correlated to the decay of ice sheets surrounding the Arctic Ocean. The results presented are, however, preliminary and will be refined by future work including an improved temporal resolution of the records and the addition of further proxy records.

  14. Late Quaternary Sedimentary Records of Core MA01 in the Mendeleev Ridge, the Western Arctic Ocean: Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, K.; Kim, S.; Khim, B. K.; Wang, R.; Mei, J.; Xiao, W.; Polyak, L. V.

    2014-12-01

    Late Quaternary deep sea sediments in the Arctic Ocean are characterized by brown layers intercalated with yellowish to olive gray layers. It has been known that the brown and gray layers were deposited during interglacial (or interstadial) and glacial (or stadial) periods, respectively. A 5.5-m long gravity core MA01 was obtained from the Mendeleev Ridge in the western Arctic Ocean by R/V Xue Long during scientific cruise CHINARE-V. Age (~1.0 Ma) of core MA01 was tentatively decided by correlation of sediment color cycles, XRF Mn and Ca cycles, and geomagnetic inclinations with core HLY0503-8JPC (Adler et al., 2009) and core HLY0503-06JPC(Cronin et al., 2013) that were also collected from the Mendeleev Ridge area. A total of 23 brown layers are characterized by low L* and b*, high Mn concentration, and abundant foraminifera. In contrast, gray layers are characterized by high L* and b*, low Mn concentration, and few foraminiferal tests. Foraminifera abundance peaks are not well correlated to CaCO3 peaks which are accompanied with the coarse-grained (>63 μm) fractions (i.e., IRD) both in brown and gray layers. A strong positive correlation coefficient (r2=0.89) between TOC content and C/N ratio indicates that the major source of organic matter is terrestrial. The good correlations of CaCO3 content to TOC (r2=0.56) and C/N ratio (r2=0.69) imply that IRDs contain detrital CaCO3 fraction which mainly originated from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In addition, high kaolinite/chlorite (K/C) ratios mostly correspond to CaCO3 peaks, also suggesting that the fine-grained particles in the Mendeleev Ridge were transported from the northern coasts of the Alaska and Canada. Thus, the Beaufort Gyre, the predominant surface current in the western Arctic Ocean, has played an important role in the sediment delivery to the Mendeleev Ridge. It is worthy of note that TOC and CaCO3 peaks are obviously distinct in the upper part of core MA01, whereas these peaks are reduced in the

  15. Seismofocal zones and mid-ocean ridges - look outside of the plate paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anokhin, Vladimir; Kholmianskii, Mikhail

    2014-05-01

    Seismofocal zones and mid-ocean ridges - look outside of the plate paradigm Vladimir M. Anokhin, Mikhail A. Kholmianskii Configuration of the seismofocal zones (SFZ), visible in a real position of the focuses of earthquakes, has a significant step component (jagged) expressed by the presence of several sub-horizontal "seismoplanes", which concentrates focuses of earthquakes (depths 10, 35 km and other). Orientation of seismolines inside of SFZ tends to 4 main directions: 0-5 dgr, 120-145 dgr, 40-55 dgr, 85-90 dgr. These facts suggest significantly block, a terraced structure of the body of Benioff zone. The borders of blocks have orientation according directions regmatic net of the Earth. In accordance with this, SFZ can be presented as the most active segments of the border of the crossing: «continent-ocean», having the following properties: - block (terraced) structure; - in some sites - dive under the continental crust (in present time); - prevailing compression (in present time), perhaps, as the period of the oscillatory cycle; Infinite "subduction" in SFZ is unlikely. One of the areas where there is proof of concept of far "spreading" is the southernmost tip of the mid-oceanic Gakkel ridge in the Laptev sea (Arctic ocean). Here active "spreading" ridge normal approaches to the boundary of the continental crust - the shelf of the Laptev sea. On the shelf there are a number of subparallel NW grabens. NE fault zone Charlie, controlling the continental slope is established stepped fault without shift component. This means that the amount of extending of the offshore grabens does not significantly differ from the scale of spreading in the Gakkel ridge. However, the total spreads grabens (50-100 km) 6-10 times less than the width of the oceanic crust (600 km) in the surrounding area. Conclusion: the oceanic crust in the Laptev sea was formed mainly not due to "spreading". It is very likely that here was sinking and the processing of continental crust in the ocean

  16. Phanerozoic stratigraphy of Northwind Ridge, magnetic anomalies in the Canada Basin, and the geometry and timing of rifting in the Amerasia Basin, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, A.; Clark, D.L.; Phillips, R.L.; Srivastava, S.P.; Blome, C.D.; Gray, L.-B.; Haga, H.; Mamet, B.L.; McIntyre, D.J.; McNeil, D.H.; Mickey, M.B.; Mullen, M.W.; Murchey, B.I.; Ross, C.A.; Stevens, C.H.; Silberling, Norman J.; Wall, J.H.; Willard, D.A.

    1998-01-01

    Cores from Northwind Ridge, a high-standing continental fragment in the Chukchi borderland of the oceanic Amerasia basin, Arctic Ocean, contain representatives of every Phanerozoic system except the Silurian and Devonian systems. Cambrian and Ordovician shallow-water marine carbonates in Northwind Ridge are similar to basement rocks beneath the Sverdrup basin of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Upper Mississippian(?) to Permian shelf carbonate and spicularite and Triassic turbidite and shelf lutite resemble coeval strata in the Sverdrup basin and the western Arctic Alaska basin (Hanna trough). These resemblances indicate that Triassic and older strata in southern Northwind Ridge were attached to both Arctic Canada and Arctic Alaska prior to the rifting that created the Amerasia basin. Late Jurassic marine lutite in Northwind Ridge was structurally isolated from coeval strata in the Sverdrup and Arctic Alaska basins by rift shoulder and grabens, and is interpreted to be a riftogenic deposit. This lutite may be the oldest deposit in the Canada basin. A cape of late Cenomanian or Turonian rhyodacite air-fall ash that lacks terrigenous material shows that Northwind Ridge was structurally isolated from the adjacent continental margins by earliest Late Cretaceous time. Closing Amerasia basin by conjoining seafloor magnetic anomalies beneath the Canada basin or by uniting the pre-Jurassic strata of Northwind Ridge with kindred sections in the Sverdrup basin and Hanna trough yield simular tectonic reconstructions. Together with the orientation and age of rift-marine structures, these data suggest that: 1) prior to opening of the Amerasia basin, both northern Alaska and continental ridges of the Chukchi borderland were part of North America, 2) the extension that created the Amerasia basin formed rift-margin graben beginning in Early Jurassic time and new oceanic crust probably beginning in Late Jurassic or early Neocomian time. Reconstruction of the Amerasia basin on the

  17. Planktic foraminifer census data from Northwind Ridge cores PI-88-AP P3, PI-88-AR P7 and PI-88-AR P9, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foley, Kevin M.; Poore, Richard Z.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey recovered 9 piston cores from the Northwind Ridge in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean from a cruise of the USCGC Polar Star during 1988. Preliminary analysis of the cores suggests sediments deposited on Northwind Ridge preserve a detailed record of glacial and interglacial cycles for the last few hundred-thousand to one million years. This report includes quantitative data on foraminifers and selected sediment size-fraction data in 98 samples from Northwind Ridge core PI-88AR P3, 51 samples from core PI-88-AR P7 and 117 samples from core PI-88-AR P9.

  18. Seismic Tomography of the Arctic Lithosphere and Asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Andrew; Lebedev, Sergei

    2015-04-01

    Lateral variations in seismic velocities in the upper mantle, mapped by seismic tomography, primarily reflect variations in the temperature of the rocks at depth. Seismic tomography thus provides a proxy for lateral changes in the temperature and thickness of the lithosphere, in addition to delineating the deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different properties and age of the lithosphere. Our new, 3D tomographic model of the upper mantle and the crust of the Arctic region is constrained by an unprecedentedly large global dataset of broadband waveform fits (over one million seismograms) and provides improved resolution of the lithosphere, compared to other available models. The most prominent high-velocity anomalies, seen down to 150-200 km depths, indicate the cold, thick, stable mantle lithosphere beneath Precambrian cratons. The northern boundaries of the Canadian Shield's and Greenland's cratonic lithosphere closely follow the coastlines, with the Greenland and North American cratons clearly separated from each other. Sharp velocity gradients in western Canada indicate that the craton boundary at depth closely follows the Rocky Mountain Front. High velocities between the Great Bear Arc and Beaufort Sea provide convincing evidence for the recently proposed 'MacKenzie Craton', unexposed at the surface. In Eurasia, cratonic continental lithosphere extends northwards beneath the Barents and eastern Kara Seas. The boundaries of the Archean cratons and intervening Proterozoic belts mapped by tomography indicate the likely offshore extensions of major Phanerozoic sutures and deformation fronts. The old oceanic lithosphere of the Canada Basin is much colder and thicker than the younger lithosphere beneath the adjacent Amundsen Basin, north of the Gakkel Ridge. Beneath the slow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, we detect the expected low-velocity anomaly associated with partial melting in the uppermost mantle; the anomaly is weaker, however, than beneath faster

  19. Meltwater history inferred from authigenic carbonates and fine grained glaciomarine sediments from the Mendeleev Ridge in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nam, Seung-Il; Woo, Kyung Sik; Ji, Hyo Seon; Stein, Ruediger; Mackensen, Andreas; Matthiessen, Jens

    2015-04-01

    Authigenic carbonates and mud fractions of the glaciomarine sediments were investigated texturally and geochemically. The sediment core (PS72/410-1) was retrieved using a giant box corer from the central Mendeleev Ridge of the western Arctic Ocean (Station location= Lat. 80°30.37"N, Long. 175°44.38"W) during the Polarstern Arctic expedition (PS72) in 2008. The core is 39 cm long with age of ca. 76 ka BP and was collected from the water depth of 1,802 meters. The sediments show various colours from grey to brown as previously reported in other Arctic deep sea sediments, reflecting glacial-interglacial and/or stadial-interstadial cycles. Authigenic carbonate minerals are present through the whole sequence except for a few centimetres. These authigenic carbonates are composed of high Mg-calcite, low Mg-calcite and aragonite. Various crystal shapes of aragonite and calcite together with clear growth shapes of the crystals suggest that they are inorganic in origin. Highly enriched carbon isotope compositions (δ13C = 0 ~ +5‰ vs. PDB) strongly indicate that they formed in methanogenic zone below sediment/water interface by the reaction between anoxic pore fluids and host sediments induced by methanogenic bacteria. However, a wide range of oxygen isotope values (δ18O = -5 ~ +5‰ vs. PDB) may indicate that porewater has been changed due to reaction between residual seawater and volcanic sediments. Relatively higher contents of K, Al, Fe and Be values from muddy sediments as well as low δ18O compositions of authigenic carbonates may imply strong input of meltwater from volcanic region (Eastern Arctic region) whereas higher oxygen isotope compositions of authigenic carbonates and higher Sr and K contents of mud sediments may reflect stronger influence from carbonate-rich region (Canadian Arctic region). Mineralogical changes form low to high Mg-calcite together with decrease in Mg, Sr and Fe contents strongly support less freshwater input from glacial mode to

  20. Loki's Castle: Discovery and geology of a black smoker vent field at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, R.; Thorseth, I. H.; Lilley, M. D.; Barriga, F. J.; Früh-Green, G.; Nakamura, K.

    2010-12-01

    Previous attempts to locate hydrothermal vent fields and unravel the nature of venting at the ultraslow spreading and magma starved parts of the Arctic Mid Ocean Ridge (AMOR) have been unsuccessful. A black smoker vent field was eventually discovered at the Mohns-Knipovich bend at 73.5°N in 2008, and the field was revisited in 2009 and 2010. The Loki’s Castle vent field is located on the crest of an axial volcanic ridge that is bordered by a tectonic terrain dominated by core complexes to the NW, and a ridge flank that is buried by sediments from the Bear Island Fan to the SE. Fluid compositions are anomalous to other basalt-hosted fields and indicate interactions with sediments at depths. The vent field is associated with an unusually large hydrothermal deposit, which documents that extensive venting occurs at ultraslow spreading ridges despite the strongly reduced magmatic heat budget. ROV surveys have shown that venting occurs in two areas separated by around 100 m. Micro-bathymetry acquired by a Hugin AUV documents that two 20-30 tall mounds that coalesce at the base have developed around the vent sites. The micro-bathymetry also shows that the venting is located above two normal faults that define the NW margin of a rift that runs along the crest of the volcano. The black smoker fluids reach 317 °C, with an end-member SiO2 content of 16 mmol/kg. End-member chlorinity is around 85% of seawater suggesting that the fluids have phase-separated at depth. The fluid compositions indicate that the rock-water reactions occur around 2 km below the seafloor. The crustal thickness is estimated to be 4 +/- 0.5 km in the area. Whereas the depth of the reaction zone is comparable with faster spreading ridges, the fraction of crust cooled convectively by hydrothermal circulation is two times that of vent fields at ridges with normal crustal thickness.

  1. Late Quaternary Ostracodes and Paleoceanography from HOTRAX core HLY0503-18, Lomonosov Ridge, Central Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gemery, L.; Cronin, T. M.; Darby, D. A.; Jakobsson, M.; Polyak, L. V.

    2009-12-01

    Most Quaternary sediment records from the central Arctic Ocean have low temporal resolution (1-2 cm/kyr), limiting our understanding of millennial-scale climate events such as the Younger Dryas, Preboreal Oscillation and early Holocene thermal maximum. Cores recovered on the 2005 HOTRAX cruise to the central Lomonosov Ridge include intervals with sedimentation rates as high as 10 cm/kyr for the last deglacial interval. Using modern species’ ecology from a modern ostracode database, we analyzed ostracode assemblages from core HLY0503-18TC to reconstruct deglacial and early Holocene bottom water conditions and surface ocean circulation, productivity, and sea-ice conditions. Results show millennial-scale changes in the dominance of indicator ostracode taxa (Polycope, Krithe, Cytheropteron) during the BØlling/AllerØd, Younger Dryas, and early Holocene that we interpret as signifying rapid changes in surface productivity, surface-to-benthic flux of organic material and reduced sea-ice or even ice-free summer conditions. In addition to paleoceanographic implications, ostracode assemblages provide faunal tiepoints that can be used to correlate central Arctic cores, augmenting nannofossil and foraminiferal biostratigraphy and radiocarbon dates complicated by reservoir effects.

  2. A new international tectonic map of the Arctic (TeMAr) at 1:5 M scale and geodynamic evolution in the Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, Oleg; Smelror, Morten; Shokalsky, Sergey; Morozov, Andrey; Kashubin, Sergey; Grikurov, Garrik; Sobolev, Nikolay; Petrov, Evgeny

    2013-04-01

    A new tectonic map of the Arctic (TeMAr) at 1:5 M scale is a part of the international Atlas of Geological Maps of the Circumpolar Arctic, which is being compiled under the aegis of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW). Compilation of the TeMAr was initiated in 2009 after the publication of base maps of the Atlas - geological map (geological survey of Canada) and magnetic and gravity maps (geological survey of Norway) - with the use of a wide range of bathymetric, geophysical, geological, isotope and geochronological data, including new dated seabed samples and new bedrock samples obtained during recent field studies on the Arctic territory. Making use of these data in the map legend employing tectonic settings enabled correlation of various onshore and offshore fragments of the map. The map reflects Arctic regions' tectonic structure, which consists principally of orogenic belts of the Neoproterozoic to the Late Mesozoic age, platform and basin sediments that overlie them and rift structures formed in part as a consequence of seafloor spreading in the North East Atlantic. Furthermore, many structures are traced from the land throughout shelf regions and into deepwater parts of the Arctic Ocean and show a tendency to become younger northwards toward the Canada Basin. For example, collisional structures of South Ural were formed in the Late Carboniferous, those in the Middle Urals in the Permian, and those of Polar Ural, Pay-Khoy and Novaya Zemlya in the Late Permian and Triassic. The Triassic traps of Eastern and Western Siberia were followed by Cretaceous basalts of the High Arctic large igneous province (HALIP). Cenozoic rifting and subsequent spreading (ca. 56 Ma) was caused by the propagation of sea-floor spreading in the North East Atlantic penetration into the Central Arctic along the Gakkel Ridge

  3. AAGRUUK: the Arctic Archive for Geophysical Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, P. D.; Edwards, M. H.; Wright, D.; Dailey, M.

    2005-12-01

    one point to another. Depths in these circuitous tracks depict a hummocky seafloor texture that is not observed in data covering the same region that were collected when there was open water. Navigation offsets in the SCICEX data are more likely to produce a checkerboard pattern in the topography or even knife-edge ridges running down canyons. Despite the problems detected, the combined bathymetric database already shows strong potential for illuminating scientific investigations. For example, AAGRUUK integrated data for the Alaska margin have increased the coverage of any one individual dataset by several orders of magnitude. Analogous datasets for other arctic ridges including Gakkel Ridge, Lomonosov Ridge,Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, the Chukchi Borderland and the Yermak Plateau are planned for release over the next two years.

  4. Investigations of a novel fauna from hydrothermal vents along the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapp, H.; Schander, C.; Halanych, K. M.; Levin, L. A.; Sweetman, A.; Tverberg, J.; Hoem, S.; Steen, I.; Thorseth, I. H.; Pedersen, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Arctic deep ocean hosts a variety of habitats ranging from fairly uniform sedimentary abyssal plains to highly variable hard bottoms on mid ocean ridges, including biodiversity hotspots like seamounts and hydrothermal vents. Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are usually associated with a highly specialized fauna, and since their discovery in 1977 more than 400 species of animals have been described. This fauna includes various animal groups of which the most conspicuous and well known are annelids, mollusks and crustaceans. The newly discovered deep sea hydrothermal vents on the Mohns-Knipovich ridge north of Iceland harbour unique biodiversity. The Jan Mayen field consists of two main areas with high-temperature white smoker venting and wide areas with low-temperature seepage, located at 5-700 m, while the deeper Loki Castle vent field at 2400 m depth consists of a large area with high temperature black smokers surrounded by a sedimentary area with more diffuse low-temperature venting and barite chimneys. The Jan Mayen sites show low abundance of specialized hydrothermal vent fauna. Single groups have a few specialized representatives but groups otherwise common in hydrothermal vent areas are absent. Slightly more than 200 macrofaunal species have been identified from this vent area, comprising mainly an assortment of bathyal species known from the surrounding area. Analysis of stable isotope data also indicates that the majority of the species present are feeding on phytodetritus and/or phytoplankton. However, the deeper Loki Castle vent field contains a much more diverse vent endemic fauna with high abundances of specialized polychaetes, gastropods and amphipods. These specializations also include symbioses with a range of chemosynthetic microorganisms. Our data show that the fauna composition is a result of high degree of local specialization with some similarities to the fauna of cold seeps along the Norwegian margin and wood-falls in the abyssal Norwegian Sea

  5. Late Quaternary sediment deposition of core MA01 in the Mendeleev Ridge, the western Arctic Ocean: Preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Kwang-Kyu; Kim, Sunghan; Khim, Boo-Keun; Xiao, Wenshen; Wang, Rujian

    2014-05-01

    Late Quaternary deep marine sediments in the Arctic Ocean are characterized by brown layers intercalated with yellowish to olive gray layers (Poore et al., 1999; Polyak et al., 2004). Previous studies reported that the brown and gray layers were deposited during interglacial (or interstadial) and glacial (or stadial) periods, respectively. A 5.5-m long gravity core MA01 was obtained from the Mendeleev Ridge in the western Arctic Ocean by R/V Xue Long during scientific cruise CHINARE-V. Age (~450 ka) of core MA01 was tentatively estimated by correlation of brown layers with an adjacent core HLY0503-8JPC (Adler et al., 2009). A total of 22 brown layers characterized by low L* and b*, high Mn concentration, and abundant foraminifera were identified. Corresponding gray layers are characterized by high L* and b*, low Mn concentration, and few foraminiferal tests. Foraminifera abundance peaks are not well correlated to CaCO3 peaks which occurred with the coarse-grained (>0.063 mm) fractions (i.e., IRD) both in brown and gray layers. IRDs are transported presumably by sea ice for the deposition of brown layers and by iceberg for the deposition of gray layers (Polyak et al., 2004). A strong correlation coefficient (r2=0.89) between TOC content and C/N ratio indicates that the major source of organic matter is terrestrial. The good correlations of CaCO3 content to TOC (r2=0.56) and C/N ratio (r2=0.69) imply that IRDs contain detrital CaCO3 which mainly originated from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In addition, high kaolinite/chlorite (K/C) ratios mostly correspond to CaCO3 peaks, which suggests that the fine-grained particles in the Mendeleev Ridge are transported from the north coast Alaska and Canada where Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata are widely distributed. Thus, the Beaufort Gyre, the predominant surface current in the western Arctic Ocean, played an important role in the sediment delivery to the Mendeleev Ridge. It is worthy of note that the TOC and CaCO3 peaks are

  6. Fluid composition of the sediment-influenced Loki's Castle vent field at the ultra-slow spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumberger, Tamara; Früh-Green, Gretchen L.; Thorseth, Ingunn H.; Lilley, Marvin D.; Hamelin, Cédric; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Okland, Ingeborg E.; Pedersen, Rolf B.

    2016-08-01

    The hydrothermal vent field Loki's Castle is located in the Mohns-Knipovich bend (73°N) of the ultraslow spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) close to the Bear Island sediment fan. The hydrothermal field is venting up to 320° C hot black smoker fluids near the summit of an axial volcanic ridge. Even though the active chimneys have grown on a basaltic ridge, geochemical fluid data show a strong sedimentary influence into the hydrothermal circulation at Loki's Castle. Compelling evidence for a sediment input is given by high alkalinity, high concentrations of NH4+, H2, CH4, C2+ hydrocarbons as well as low Mn and Fe contents. The low δ13C values of CO2 and CH4 and the thermogenic isotopic pattern of the C2+ hydrocarbons in the high-temperature vent fluids clearly point to thermal degradation of sedimentary organic matter and illustrate diminution of the natural carbon sequestration in sediments by hydrothermal circulation. Thus, carbon-release to the hydrosphere in Arctic regions is especially relevant in areas where the active Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge system is in contact with the organic matter rich detrital sediment fans.

  7. A Distributed Data Management System to Support Arctic Geology and Geophysics: A Resource for Extended EEZ Claims

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, M.; Johnson, P.; Wright, D.; Dailey, M.

    2005-12-01

    Over the past decade there has been an explosion in the volume of geophysical data collected in the Arctic Basin. Prior to the 1990's geophysical data for the Arctic Ocean largely consisted of a few scattered multi-channel seismic lines, single-beam bathymetric profiles and comprehensive aeromagnetic and aerogravity datasets. The deployment of the nuclear-powered submarines in the arctic during the 1993-1999 Science Ice Exercises (SCICEX) increased the quantity of available arctic geophysical data by several orders of magnitude, providing the first comprehensive bathymetric and sidescan surveys of most of the topographic highs in the Arctic Basin including the Lomonosov and Gakkel Ridges and large portions of the Alaska margin and Chukchi Borderland. Many of these ridges figure prominently in the claims of arctic nations to extend their exclusive economic zones into the Arctic Ocean. Since 2000, surveys conducted on icebreakers have continued to rapid expansion of arctic geophysical datasets. The collection of geophysical data collected during SCICEX and subsequent icebreaker cruises includes swath bathymetry, sidescan and amplitude data, gravity subbottom chirp profiles and this year, multi-channel seismic data. We are currently developing an online data archive that combines a data repository with a web-based archive-linking infrastructure to produce a distributed Data Management System (DMS) named the "Arctic Archive for Geophysical Research: Unlocking Undersea Knowledge" (AAGRUUK). This DMS promotes the ability to locate specific types of data as well as diverse types of data for specific locations. It provides access to derived products plus processed and, where feasible, raw data. AAGRUUK also provides the ability to integrate diverse types of data from distributed databases and archives, access to metadata, standardized approaches for incorporating newly acquired data, and contact and reference information for datasets in the archive. The AAGRUUK datasets

  8. Chapter 49: A first look at the petroleum geology of the Lomonosov Ridge microcontinent, Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, T.E.; Grantz, A.; Pitman, J.K.; Brown, P.J.

    2011-01-01

    The Lomonosov microcontinent is an elongated continental fragment that transects the Arctic Ocean between North America and Siberia via the North Pole. Although it lies beneath polar pack ice, the geological framework of the microcontinent is inferred from sparse seismic reflection data, a few cores, potential field data and the geology of its conjugate margin in the Barents-Kara Shelf. Petroleum systems inferred to be potentially active are comparable to those sourced by condensed Triassic and Jurassic marine shale of the Barents Platform and by condensed Jurassic and (or) Cretaceous shale probably present in the adjacent Amerasia Basin. Cenozoic deposits are known to contain rich petroleum source rocks but are too thermally immature to have generated petroleum. For the 2008 USGS Circum Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA), the microcontinent was divided into shelf and slope assessment units (AUs) at the tectonic hinge line along the Amerasia Basin margin. A low to moderate probability of accumulation in the slope AU yielded fully risked mean estimates of 123 MMBO oil and 740 BCF gas. For the shelf AU, no quantitative assessment was made because the probability of petroleum accumulations of the 50 MMBOE minimum size was estimated to be less than 10% owing to rift-related uplift, erosion and faulting. ?? 2011 The Geological Society of London.

  9. Late Weichselian (Valdaian) and Holocene vegetation and environmental history of the northern Timan Ridge, European Arctic Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paus, Aage; Svendsen, John Inge; Matiouchkov, Alexei

    2003-11-01

    Lake and peat deposits from the Timan Ridge, Arctic Russia, were pollen analysed, reconstructing the vegetation history and paleoenvironment since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) 20-18,000 years ago. The sites studied are located inside the margins of a large paleolake of about 20 km2, by us named Lake Timan. This lake developed in the Late Weichselian, more than 30,000 years after the deglaciation of this region, and was formed due to increased precipitation and warmer summers that accelerated the melting of stagnant ice within its catchment. The lake was drained during the early Holocene when the outlet rivers eroded the spillways. A new generation of much smaller lakes formed during the Holocene when the last remnants of buried glacier ice melted away causing the exposed floor of Lake Timan to subside. Since deglaciation, the following regional vegetation development has been recorded: (1) During the initial stage of Lake Timan, the dominant vegetation was discontinuous steppe/tundra, with patches of snow bed vegetation. (2) A dwarf-shrub tundra established during the Late Weichselian interstadial (Aller ød), probably reflecting warmer and moister conditions. (3) The Younger Dryas cooling is recognised by a reversal to steppe/tundra and snowbeds on unstable mineral-soils, and higher palynological richness. (4) Soon after the transition into the Holocene, a birch-forest established on the Timan Ridge. (5) A cooling starting around 8200 cal. years BP initiated the deforestation of the exposed hills. In the most protected sites, birch trees persisted until later than 4000 years ago, reflecting a gradual development into the present treeless dwarf-shrub tundra.

  10. Fluid flow rate, temperature and heat flux at Mohns Ridge vent fields: evidence from isosampler measurements for phase separated hydrothermal circulation along the arctic ridge system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, A.; Pedersen, R. B.; Thorseth, I. H.; Taylor, P.; Flynn, M.

    2005-12-01

    An expedition to the Mohns Ridge in the Norwegian-Greenland sea was carried out in July-August 2005 as part of BIODEEP, lead by University of Bergen (UoB). UoB had previously detected water column methane along this very slow spreading ridge. Previous ROV observations along the ridge (71 deg 18'N, 5 deg 47'W, 605 mbsl) near Jan Mayen had uncovered a broad area of ferric hydroxide-rich bacterial/mineral assemblages, comprising large populations of gallionella bacteria. This area was revisted in 2005. Characteristic of sections of this area ("Gallionella Garden") are chimney-like structures standing ~15 cm tall, often topped by a sea lily (heliometra glacialis). The interior of the structures comprised quasi-concentric bands with vertically-oriented channels. The Oregon State University/Cardiff University Isosampler sensor determined that some of these assemblages support fluid flow through their interior. The outflow from the chimney structures was typically +0.5 deg C, against background temperatures of -0.3 deg C. Flow anomalies were also identified atop extensive bacterial mats. Gallionella Gardens is several km in extent with active, albeit extremely low temperature hydrothermal flow. A field of active high temperature smoker chimney structures was located near Gallionella Garden at 540 mbsl. This field extends ~500 m along a scarp wall, with hydrothermal mounds extending along faults running perpendicular to the scarp, each of which has multiple smoker vents and areas of diffuse flow. There was evidence for phase separation, with a negatively buoyant fluid phase exiting some vent orifices and descending along the vent wall; and evidence for gas phase condensing after leaving some vent orifices. Gas bubble emissions were not uncommon. Isosampler sensors were available that were configured for lower temperature measurements at Gallionella Garden. While capable of detecting variations in effluent at the 4 millidegree level, the temperature ceiling for the sensor

  11. Seismic Tomography of the Arctic: Continental Cratons, Ancient Orogens, Oceanic Lithosphere and Convecting Mantle Beneath (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedev, S.; Schaeffer, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    Lateral variations in seismic velocities in the upper mantle, mapped by seismic tomography, reflect primarily the variations in the temperature of the rock at depth. Seismic tomography thus reveals lateral changes in the temperature and thickness of the lithosphere; it maps deep boundaries between tectonic blocks with different properties and with different age of the lithosphere. Our new global, shear-wave tomographic model of the upper mantle and the crust is constrained by an unprecedentedly large number of broadband waveform fits (nearly one million seismograms, with both surface and S waves included) and provides improved resolution of the lithosphere across the whole of the Arctic region, compared to other available models. The most prominent high-velocity anomalies, seen down to 150-200 km depths, indicate the cold, thick, stable mantle lithosphere beneath Precambrian cratons. The northern boundaries of the Canadian Shield's and Greenland's cratonic lithosphere closely follow the coastlines, with the Greenland and North American cratons clearly separated from each other. In Eurasia, in contrast, cratonic lithosphere extends hundreds of kilometres north of the coast of the continent, beneath the Barents and eastern Kara Seas. The boundaries of the Archean cratons mapped by tomography indicate the likely offshore extensions of major Phanerozoic sutures in northern Eurasia. The old oceanic lithosphere of the Canada Basin is much colder and thicker than the younger lithosphere beneath the adjacent Amundsen Basin, north of the Gakkel Ridge. Beneath the slow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, we detect the expected low-velocity anomaly associated with partial melting in the uppermost mantle; the anomaly is weaker, however, than beneath faster-spreading ridges globally. South of the ridge, the Nansen Basin shows higher seismic velocities in the upper mantle beneath it, compared to the Amundsen Basin. At 150-250 km depth, most of the oceanic portions of the central Arctic (the

  12. Two Vent Fields Discovered at the Ultraslow Spreading Arctic Ridge System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, R. B.; Thorseth, I. H.; Hellevang, B.; Schultz, A.; Taylor, P.; Knudsen, H. P.; Steinsbu, B. O.

    2005-12-01

    Two high-temperature vent fields were discovered at the Mohns Ridge during an expedition with the Norwegian research vessel "G.O. Sars" in July 2005. Both vent fields are located within the southernmost segment of the Mohns Ridge approximately 50 km north of the West Jan Mayen Fracture Zone. Water depths along this segment range from 3800 meters close to the fracture zone to ~500 meters at the segment centre where the vent fields are located. The largest field - named "Gallionella Garden" - is situated within a rift graben where high- and low-temperature venting occurs along ridge-parallel normal faults and fissures. Presently we have documented high- and low-temperature venting along more then 2 km of the fault and fissure system in the area. The high-temperature venting takes place at around 550 mbsl at the base of a 100 meter high fault wall and was traced ~500 meters along strike. The field consists of at least 10 major vent sites, each composed of multiple chimneys that are up to 5-10 meters tall. There are also large areas of diffuse flow. The temperature of the vent fluids was measured to be above 260°C at a chimney orifice. This is at the boiling point of seawater at these water depths, and gas bubbling was observed at several of the vent sites. A sample of the top of a chimney consists of anhydrite, barite, sphalerite and pyrite. Outside the high-temperature vent area mounds of ferric iron are abundant. Such deposits have presently been traced along ~2 km of the faults and fissure system in the area. The deposits are predominantly made up of branching and twisted stalks comparable to those formed by the iron oxidizing bacteria Gallionella ferruginea showing that the precipitation is mediated by microbial activity. The temperatures below the upper crust of a mound were measured to be one degree above the ambient water temperature. The Fe-oxyhydroxides show Nd-isotope compositions similar to the basaltic crust and Sr-isotope compositions close to that of

  13. Rare gases in lavas from the ultraslow spreading Lena Trough, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauret, F.; Moreira, M.; Snow, J. E.

    2010-06-01

    Mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) from the Arctic Ocean have been much less studied than those from the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific due to the difficulty of access related to ice cover. In 2001 and 2004 the Arctic ridges (Gakkel Ridge and Lena Trough) were intensively sampled. In this study we present the first helium, neon, and argon concentrations and isotopic ratios in a suite of samples from the ultraslow spreading Lena Trough (˜0.75 cm/yr effective full rate). Central Lena Trough (CLT) lavas display 4He/3He between 89,710 and 97,530 (R/Ra between 7.4 and 8.1), similar to the mean MORB ratio of 90,000 ± 10,000 (R/Ra = 8 ± 1). In a three neon isotope diagram, the samples fall on the MORB line, without showing any excess of nucleogenic 21Ne. The 40Ar/36Ar ratios vary from 349 to 6964. CLT samples have a typical MORB He and Ne isotopic composition. Rare gases do not indicate any mantle heterogeneities or contribution of subcontinental lithospheric mantle, although this has been suggested previously on the basis of the Sr-Nd and Pb isotopic systems. Based on noble gas systematics, a DUPAL-like anomaly is not observed in the Arctic Ocean. We propose two possible models which reconcile the rare gases with these previous studies. The first is that the Lena Trough mantle has a marble cake structure with small-scale heterogeneities (<1 km), allowing rapid diffusion and homogenization of rare gases compared to elements such as Sr, Nd, and Pb. The second model proposes that the recycled component identified by other isotopic systems was fully degassed at a recent date. It would therefore have a negligible mass budget of rare gases compared to other isotopic systems. This would suggest that the mantle enrichment beneath Lena Trough was generated by rift-forming processes and not by recycling.

  14. Volcanic rocks of the Mendeleev Ridge (Arctic Ocean) - evidences for existence of the large igneous provinces within Arctic region: on the data of the High Arctic Russian Expedition "Arctic-2012"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeev, Sergey; Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Kremenetsky, Alexander; Gusev, Evgeny; Shevchenko, Sergey; Krymsky, Robert; Belyatsky, Boris; Antonov, Anton; Rodionov, Nikolay

    2013-04-01

    rocks and progressive magmas evolution during mixing of asthenospheric substances of the upwelling plume with the lithospheric component. Relatively high-radiogenic osmium isotope composition of the studied basalts (187Os/188Omeas=0.51525-1.07316) indicates the presence of significant share of the enriched lithospheric component in the source of basalt melts and the formation of this source at expense of relatively aged substances (model Re-Os ages from 600 to 1200 Ma). Age determination of the studied basalts effusions by argon-argon method is ongoing process but we have separated about 30 zircon grains mainly magmatic appearance (Th/U=0.6-2.0, long-prismatic grains without any visible signs of digestion and recrystallization, and overgrowths) from 4 samples and determined their U-Pb SHRIMP ages. Obtained age clusters indicate existence of old sialic basement underlying Mendeleev Ridge rocks (captured zircons with the ages of 2.7, 1.9, 1.6 and 0.8-1.2 Ga), which composition could be correlated with continental complexes of the Eurasia margins. At the same time, the finding of the volcanogenic zircons within the basalts with the ages of 127 and 260 Ma does not exclude the plausible existence on the studied territory of Polar Arctic of basalt effusions of two (or more) of igneous complexes corresponded with activities of mantle plumes - Cretaceous-Cenozoic (HALIP) and Triassic-Permian (resembling Siberian traps) ages

  15. Quantitative and phylogenetic study of the Deep Sea Archaeal Group in sediments of the Arctic mid-ocean spreading ridge

    PubMed Central

    Jørgensen, Steffen L.; Thorseth, Ingunn H.; Pedersen, Rolf B.; Baumberger, Tamara; Schleper, Christa

    2013-01-01

    In marine sediments archaea often constitute a considerable part of the microbial community, of which the Deep Sea Archaeal Group (DSAG) is one of the most predominant. Despite their high abundance no members from this archaeal group have so far been characterized and thus their metabolism is unknown. Here we show that the relative abundance of DSAG marker genes can be correlated with geochemical parameters, allowing prediction of both the potential electron donors and acceptors of these organisms. We estimated the abundance of 16S rRNA genes from Archaea, Bacteria, and DSAG in 52 sediment horizons from two cores collected at the slow-spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, using qPCR. The results indicate that members of the DSAG make up the entire archaeal population in certain horizons and constitute up to ~50% of the total microbial community. The quantitative data were correlated to 30 different geophysical and geochemical parameters obtained from the same sediment horizons. We observed a significant correlation between the relative abundance of DSAG 16S rRNA genes and the content of organic carbon (p < 0.0001). Further, significant co-variation with iron oxide, and dissolved iron and manganese (all p < 0.0000), indicated a direct or indirect link to iron and manganese cycling. Neither of these parameters correlated with the relative abundance of archaeal or bacterial 16S rRNA genes, nor did any other major electron donor or acceptor measured. Phylogenetic analysis of DSAG 16S rRNA gene sequences reveals three monophyletic lineages with no apparent habitat-specific distribution. In this study we support the hypothesis that members of the DSAG are tightly linked to the content of organic carbon and directly or indirectly involved in the cycling of iron and/or manganese compounds. Further, we provide a molecular tool to assess their abundance in environmental samples and enrichment cultures. PMID:24109477

  16. Macrofauna of shallow hydrothermal vents on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge at 71N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schander, C.; Rapp, H. T.; Pedersen, R. B.

    2007-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are usually associated with a highly specialized fauna and since their discovery in 1977, more than 400 species of animals have been described. Specialized vent fauna includes various animal phyla, but the most conspicuous and well known are annelids, mollusks and crustaceans. We have investigated the fauna collected around newly discovered hydrothermal vents on the Mohns Ridge north of Jan Mayen. The venting fields are located at 71°N and the venting takes place within two main areas separated by 5 km. The shallowest vent area is at 500-550 m water depth and is located at the base of a normal fault. This vent field stretches approximately 1 km along the strike of the fault, and it is composed of 10-20 major vent sites each with multiple chimney constructions discharging up to 260°C hot fluids. A large area of diffuse, low- temperature venting occurs in the area surrounding the high-temperature field. Here, partly microbial mediated iron-oxide-hydroxide deposits are abundant. The hydrothermal vent sites do not show any high abundance of specialized hydrothermal vent fauna. Single groups (i.e. Porifera and Mollusca) have a few representatives but groups otherwise common in hydrothermal vent areas (e.g. vestimentifera, Alvinellid worms, mussels, clams, galathaeid and brachyuran crabs) are absent. Up until now slightly more than 200 species have been identified from the vent area. The macrofauna found in the vent area is, with few exceptions, an assortment of bathyal species known in the area. One endemic, yet undescribed, species of mollusc has been found so far, an gastropod related to Alvania incognita Warén, 1996 and A. angularis Warén, 1996 (Rissoidae), two species originally described from pieces of sunken wood north and south of Iceland. It is by far the most numerous mollusc species at the vents and was found on smokers, in the bacterial mats, and on the ferric deposits. A single specimen of an undescribed tanaidacean has also

  17. Quaternary history of sea ice and paleoclimate in the Amerasia Basin, Arctic Ocean, as recorded in the cyclical strata of Northwind Ridge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, R.L.; Grantz, A.

    1997-01-01

    The 19 middle-early Pleistocene to Holocene bipartite lithostratigraphic cycles observed in high-resolution piston cores from Northwind Ridge in the Amerasia Basin of the Arctic Ocean, provide a detailed record of alternating glacial and interglacial climatic and oceanographic conditions and of correlative changes in the character and thickness of the sea-ice cover in the Amerasia Basin. Glacial conditions in each cycle are represented by gray pelagic muds that are suboxic, laminated, and essentially lacking in microfossils, macrofossils, trace fossils, and generally in glacial erratics. Interglacial conditions are represented by ochre pelagic muds that are oxic and bioturbated and contain rare to abundant microfossils and abundant glacial erratics. The synglacial laminated gray muds were deposited when the central Amerasia Basin was covered by a floating sheet of sea ice of sufficient thickness and continuity to reduce downwelling solar irradiance and oxygen to levels that precluded photosynthesis, maintenance of a biota, and strong oxidation of the pelagic sediment. Except during the early part of 3 of the 19 synglacial episodes, when it was periodically breached by erratic-bearing glacial icebergs, the floating Arctic Ocean sea-ice sheet was sufficiently thick to block the circulation of icebergs over Northwind Ridge and presumably other areas of the central Arctic Ocean. Interglacial conditions were initiated by abrupt thinning and breakup of the floating sea-ice sheet at the close of glacial time, which permitted surges of glacial erratic-laden ice-bergs to reach Northwind Ridge and the central Arctic Ocean, where they circulated freely and deposited numerous, and relatively thick, erratic clast-rich beds. Breakup of the successive synglacial sea-ice sheets initiated deposition of the interglacial ochre mud units under conditions that allowed sunlight and increased amounts of oxygen to enter the water column, resulting in photosynthesis and biologic

  18. Experimental study of structure-forming deformations in obliquely spreading ultra-slow ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, Evgeniy; Kokhan, Andrey; Grokholsky, Andrey

    2013-04-01

    This paper is dedicated to obliquely spreading ultra-slow ridges of North Atlantic and Arctic. The study covers four ridges: Reikjanes, Kolbeynsey, Mohns and Knipovich They are rather young (spreading initiated 58-60 Myr ago) and angles between their trends and spreading direction are from 33 to 85°. All the ridges have peculiarities in structure patterns, kinematics, and morphology and develop in specific geodynamical environments. Kolbeynsey and Reikjanes ridges are developing under influence of Iceland hotspot. Knipovich ridge is developing in ancient slip zone along the heavily sedimented Spitzbergen margin. Spreading at Mohns ridge occurs in conditions of thick lithosphere and extremely narrow heating zone. In order to study geodynamical features of structure-forming on these ridges we apply experimental modeling The model material used in modeling is a colloidal system composed of mineral oils, solid hydrocarbon and surface-active substances. It has elastic-viscous-plastic properties, under temperature and strain rate, it is capable of failure like a brittle body. Reikjanes (ridge obliquity 60-65°) and Kolbeynsey (80-85°) ridges show changes of morphology with increasing distance from Iceland mantle plume. In proximity with Iceland they are characterized by axial rise with long s-shaped axial volcanic ridges (AVRs) offset by small discontinuities. Far from Iceland the AVRs are short and offset by large non-transform offsets which are situated in axial valley. In conditions of all these features are explained by influence of mantle flow from the Iceland mantle plum initiating the increasing of mantle temperature. It results in decreasing of lithospheric brittle layer with approaching to Iceland. In experimental sets reproducing conditions of proximate to Iceland part of the ridge were reproduced in sets with the widest weak zone and the smallest crustal thickness and vice versa. In sets reproducing conditions of proximate to Iceland received long and non

  19. Operation of a Hovercraft Scientific Platform Over Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean Transpolar Drift (81 - 85N): The FRAM-2012 Experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J. K.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    2013-12-01

    We have tested the feasibility of hovercraft travel through predominantly first year ice of the Transpolar Drift between 81°N - 85°N north of Svalbard. With 2-9 ridges per kilometer, our hovercraft (Griffon TD2000 Mark II), with an effective hover height of about 0.5 m, had to travel a distance 1.3 times the great circle distance between the point of origin and the final destination. Instantaneous speeds were mostly 5-7 knots. Two weeks later icebreaker Oden completed the same transit under conditions with no significant pressure in the ice at a speed mostly 1 knot higher than the hovercraft and travelled 1.2 times the great circle distance. The hovercraft spent 25 days monitoring micro-earthquake activity of the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge at a section of the spreading center where no seismicity has been recorded by the global seismograph network. More than ten small earthquake events per day were recorded. Visibility appears to be the most critical factor to hovercraft travel in polar pack ice. Improved control of hovercraft motion would substantially increase the potential usefulness of hovercraft in the sea ice environment. University of Bergen graduate student Gaute Hope emplacing one of the hydrophones in the triangular array used to locate small earthquakes over the Gakkel Ridge rift valley around 85N during FRAM-2012. The research hovercraft R/H SABVABAA is in the background.

  20. Observing the Arctic Ocean under melting ice - the UNDER-ICE project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagen, Hanne; Ullgren, Jenny; Geyer, Florian; Bergh, Jon; Hamre, Torill; Sandven, Stein; Beszczynska-Möller, Agnieszka; Falck, Eva; Gammelsrød, Tor; Worcester, Peter

    2014-05-01

    The sea ice cover of the Arctic Ocean is gradually diminishing in area and thickness. The variability of the ice cover is determined by heat exchange with both the atmosphere and the ocean. A cold water layer with a strong salinity gradient insulates the sea ice from below, preventing direct contact with the underlying warm Atlantic water. Changes in water column stratification might therefore lead to faster erosion of the ice. As the ice recedes, larger areas of surface water are open to wind mixing; the effect this might have on the water column structure is not yet clear. The heat content in the Arctic strongly depends on heat transport from other oceans. The Fram Strait is a crucial pathway for the exchange between the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean. Two processes of importance for the Arctic heat and freshwater budget and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation take place here: poleward heat transport by the West Spitzbergen Current and freshwater export by the East Greenland Current. A new project, Arctic Ocean under Melting Ice (UNDER-ICE), aims to improve our understanding of the ocean circulation, water mass distribution, fluxes, and mixing processes, sea ice processes, and net community primary production in ice-covered areas and the marginal ice zone in the Fram Strait and northward towards the Gakkel Ridge. The interdisciplinary project brings together ocean acoustics, physical oceanography, marine biology, and sea ice research. A new programme of observations, integrated with satellite data and state-of-the-art numerical models, will be started in order to improve the estimates of heat, mass, and freshwater transport between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. On this poster we present the UNDER-ICE project, funded by the Research Council of Norway and GDF Suez E&P Norge AS for the years 2014-2017, and place it in context of the legacy of earlier projects in the area, such as ACOBAR. A mooring array for acoustic tomography combined with

  1. Methane-generated( ) pockmarks on young, thickly sedimented oceanic crust in the Arctic. Vestnesa ridge, Fram strait

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, P.R.; Crane, K. ); Sundvor, E. ); Max, M.D. ); Pfirman, S.L. )

    1994-03-01

    Acoustic backscatter imagery in the Farm strait (between Greenland and Spitzbergen) reveals a 1-3-km-wide, 50-km-long belt of -50 pointlike backscatter objects decorating the -1300-m-deep crest of Vestnesa Ridge, a 1 [minus]> 2 km thick sediment drift possibly underlain by a transform-parallel oceanic basement ridge (crustal ages approximately 3-14 Ma). A 3.5 kHz seismic-reflection profile indicates that at least some objects are pockmarks approximately 100-200 m in diameter and 10-20 m deep. The pockmarks (possibly also mud dipairs) may have been formed by evolution of methane generated by the decomposition of marine organic matter in the Vestnesa ridge sediment drift. The ridge may be underlain by an anticlinical carapace of methane-hydrate calculated to be 200-300 m thick, comparable to the hydrate thickness measured just to the south. The rising methane would collect in the ridge-crest trap, intermittently escaping to the sea floor. This hypothesis is supported by multichannel evidence for bright spots and bottom-simulating reflectors in the area. The pockmark belt may also be located above a transcurrent fault. Sediment slumps on the flanks of Vestnesa ridge and northeast of Molloy ridge may have been triggered by plate-boundary earthquakes and facilitated by methane hydrates. 11 refs., 4 figs.

  2. Rift to drift transition in Siberian Arctic and its impact on continental margin architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drachev, S. S.

    2003-04-01

    The East Siberian Arctic Continental Margin (ESAM) represents a rare case of rifting to spreading transition. Present-day geodynamics of this plate tectonic interplay is characterized by a very slow plate divergence in the Laptev Sea as this regions is located just landward of the slowest spreading center worldwide (the Gakkel Ridge), close to the pole of North American/Eurasian plate rotation. However the existing geological and geophysical data, mainly seismic reflection and potential field data, allow conclusion that this situation has been far different in the past. Just after its formation at the end of Late Cretaceous through a series of plate convergence and folding episodes the crust of the ESAM has been strongly modified by an intense rifting. The earliest rift episode took place eastward of the present Laptev Sea, in the East Siberian Sea and probably Chukchi seas, where presently abandoned rifts are stretched landward along the principal weakened zones in the ESAM basement. This rifting might have been related to a spreading episode in the Amerasia Basin and perhaps was triggered by a mantle plume ca. 120 mln. yr. ago (De Long and Franz Joseph Land basalts). Outer parts of the ERAM might have also been rifted away to create marginal blocks, as the Arlis and Chukchi plateau. Second rift event was clearly related to the opening of the Eurasia Basin, preceding it and remaining active through the Cenozoic. The rift to drift transition has been taking place in a huge, “dry” and still active Laptev Rift System, which is a landward projection of the Gakkel Ridge spreading axis. This extension had a major effect on the western ERAM causing strong normal faulting and crustal thinning, up to 70% in some places. However, total crustal extension in the Laptev Rift System is considerably smaller than a value of total opening of the Eurasia Basin, so the spreading is not completely accommodated by the rifting. It may be speculated that a major portion of this

  3. Exploring Paleoclimatic and -Oceanographic Consequences for Arctic Beringia by the Eocene Formation and Progressive E-W Lengthening of the Aleutian Ridge (arc) Across the North Pacific Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholl, D. W.

    2013-12-01

    INTRODUCTION: During the past ~50 Myr, magmatic growth of the offshore Aleutian Ridge (AR) or arc and its progressive tectonic lengthening to the west cordoned off the NW corner of the Pacific Basin to formed the deep water (3000-4000 m), marginal sea of the Bering Sea Basin (BSB). Cordoning continuously altered the paths, depths, and locations of water-exchange passes controlling the circulation of waters between the north Pacific and the Bering Sea (BS), and, via the fixed Bering Strait, that entering the Pacific sector of the Arctic Basin. PRESENT PATTERN OF PACIFIC-BERING-ARCTIC WATER EXCHANGE: Cool, low salinity water of the Alaska Stream flowing west along the Pacific side of the AR crosses northward into the BS via tectonically controlled, inter-island passes. The largest volume (~9 SV) enters near the western end of the AR via Near Pass. Flow turns back to the east and CCW northward over the BSB. Surface water exits southward around the western end of the AR through the far western, deep-water (~4000 m) pass of Kamchatka Strait. Because water salinity is low, vertical thermohaline circulation (THC) does not occur over the BSB. However, the deposition of the larger Meiji Drift body, which is charged with Bering-sourced, detritus, on the Pacific side of Kamchatka Strait implies THC may have occurred in the past. Deep-water circulation is presently linked to the inflow of Pacific abyssal water via Kamchatka Strait. A small volume (~0.8 SV) of cool, low salinity water entering the BS mainly through eastern, shallow-silled passes continues northward across the broad Beringian shelf to enter the Arctic Ocean via the Bering Strait. EVOLUTION OF ALEUTIAN RIDGE: At it's inception, the arc massif of the AR likely extended only about 1200 km west of Alaska. Because convergence is increasingly oblique to the west, plate-boundary-driven, right-lateral strike-slip faulting extensionally fragmented the AR and progressively rotated and transported blocks and slivers

  4. New tectonic concept of the Arctic region evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, O. V.; Morozov, A.; Grikurov, G.; Shokalsky, S.; Kashubin, S.; Sobolev, N. V.; Petrov, E.

    2012-12-01

    -Early Cretaceous continental rifting and volcanic activity. Reactivation of rifting in the Central Arctic at the beginning of Cenozoic led to the onset of spreading 56 million years ago along the emerging Gakkel Ridge and to the subsequent formation of the Eurasian Basin. Approximately 33 million years ago, the newly formed Eurasian oceanic basin connected with the Norwegian-Greenland Basin of the North Atlantic. Combined interpretation of seismostratigraphic data and drilling results suggests that during the Paleogene shallow-water sedimentation in the Central Arctic occurred, which indicates the high-standing sea level. Only in the Early Miocene (about 20 million years ago) the sea bottom sank sharply reaching its present-day depth and causing transition to deep-water deposition. This essential tectonic event is recorded throughout the Central Arctic elevations by a regional unconformity in seismostratigraphic sections. The Cenozoic expansion of the North Atlantic into the Central Arctic occurred across the structural assemblages whose formation was controlled by the preceding evolution of the Asian paleo-ocean.

  5. Critical Metals In Western Arctic Ocean Ferromanganese Mineral Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hein, J. R.; Spinardi, F.; Conrad, T. A.; Conrad, J. E.; Genetti, J.

    2013-12-01

    Little exploration for minerals has occurred in the Arctic Ocean due to ice cover and the remote location. Small deposits of seafloor massive sulfides that are rich in copper and zinc occur on Gakkel Ridge, which extends from Greenland to the Laptev Sea, and on Kolbeinsey and Mohns ridges, both located between Greenland and mainland Europe. However, rocks were recently collected by dredge along the western margin of the Canada Basin as part of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) program north of Alaska. Sample sites include steep escarpments on the Chukchi Borderland, a newly discovered seamount informally named Healy seamount, the southern part of Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, and several basement outcrops in Nautilus Basin. These dredge hauls yielded three types of metal-rich mineralized deposits: ferromanganese crusts, ferromanganese nodules, and hydrothermal iron and manganese deposits. Chemical analyses of 43 crust and nodule samples show high contents of many critical metals needed for high-technology, green-technology, and energy and military applications, including cobalt (to 0.3 wt.%), vanadium (to 0.12 wt.%), zirconium (to 459 grams/tonne=ppm), molybdenum (to 453 g/t), the rare-earth elements (including scandium and yttrium; yttrium to 229 g/t), lithium (to 205 g/t), tungsten (to 64 g/t), and gallium (to 26 g/t). The metal contents of these Arctic Ocean crusts and nodules are comparable to those found throughout the global ocean, however, these Arctic Ocean samples are the first that have been found to be enriched in rare metal scandium. The metal contents of these samples indicate a diagenetic component. Crusts typically form by precipitation of metal oxides solely from seawater (hydrogenetic) onto rock surfaces producing a pavement, whereas nodules form by accretion of metal oxides, from both seawater and pore waters (diagenetic), around a nucleus on the surface of soft sediment. The best evidence for this diagenetic input to the crusts is that crusts

  6. Tracking paleo-SMT positions using a magnetic susceptibility proxy approach from sediments on the Arctic Vestnesa Ridge, offshore western Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Joel; Phillips, Stephen; Panieri, Giuliana; Sauer, Simone; Knies, Jochen; Mienert, Jurgen

    2014-05-01

    Methane in marine sediments, often existing ephemerally as gas hydrate, constitutes one of the largest reservoirs of natural gas on Earth and fluxes of methane in marine sediments are an important component in the global carbon cycle. Tracking changes in past methane flux, however, remains difficult and there are few available proxies that persist through geologic time. CAGE - Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment, and Climate initiates a ten year interdisciplinary research and education program aimed at achieving a quantitative understanding of feedbacks between methane in sub-seabed reservoirs, the seabed and the ocean. In our recent work on the Indian continental margin we document that drawdowns in magnetic susceptibility, constrained by magnetic properties, and integrated with core sedimentology, XRF elemental data, authigenic mineralogy, and pore water geochemistry, can be used to track the paleo-positions of the SMT (sulfate-methane transition). Relative positions of the SMT in marine sediments are controlled by the balance of methane and sulfate fluxes. The products of the anaerobic oxidation of methane at the SMT, hydrogen sulfide and bicarbonate, allow for the dissolution of detrital magnetite, and the precipitation of authigenic carbonates and iron sulfides. We recently obtained 21 gravity cores in and between active and inactive pockmarks along the crest of the Vestnesa Ridge, an Arctic gas and gas hydrate bearing contourite sediment drift located offshore western Svalbard. Magnetic susceptibility records from reference cores outside of pockmarks show the stratigraphy across the ridge is quite uniform, whereas magnetic susceptibility records within the pockmarks, with and without observed water column gas flares, are significantly depleted. Integration of multiple data sets from these records and comparison with reconstructions of paleo-methane emissions at the seafloor from benthic foraminifera will allow us to interpret these drawdowns in

  7. Evidence for an important tectonostratigraphic seismic marker across Canada Basin and southern Alpha Ridge of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimeld, J.; Chian, D.; Jackson, R.; Hutchinson, D. R.; Mosher, D. C.; Wade, J.; Chapman, B.

    2010-12-01

    Using a modern ice-strengthened seismic acquisition system, more than 12,000 km of high quality 16-channel, vertical incidence seismic reflection and wide-angle sonobuoy data, along with single- and multibeam bathymetric soundings and gravimetric profiles have been acquired across Canada Basin and the southern flank of Alpha Ridge. These datasets are being used to determine the crustal types, rifting processes, subsidence history, and sedimentary sequences of this poorly known region. More than a dozen regional seismostratigraphic units are identified, exceeding ~6.5 km in total sediment thickness in the south, thinning northward toward Alpha Ridge. The oldest regionally mappable unit is informally named “bisque” and is characterized by high-amplitude, continuous, parallel and subparallel internal reflections. The bisque unit averages ~600 m thick, with significant local variability. Along southern Alpha Ridge, the base of the bisque unit is marked by a prominent angular unconformity which can be traced southwards into Canada Basin before becoming obscured by thick overlying units. Though affected by faulting and compaction drape, the bisque unit appears to be concordant with the topography of the underlying acoustic basement. It is also spatially and temporally associated with large structures that are interpreted to be volcanic edifices. Most of the 129 available sonobuoy records show clear wide-angle refractions/reflections from sedimentary and upper and lower crustal layers, which can be ray-traced and velocity modeled using constraints from coincident reflection profiles. Slight ray angle dependent anisotropy is found to best describe these observed data, and is used for conversion between two-way travel time and vertical depth domains. Two distinct features are identified for the bisque layer: 1) a wide-angle reflection observed on nearly all sonobuoy data; and 2) S waves (named PsP), doubly converted at the bisque layer. P-wave refractors from bisque

  8. Diversity of microbial communities of Loki's Castle black smoker field at the ultra-slow spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaeschke, A.; Bernasconi, S. M.; Thorseth, I. H.; Pedersen, R.; Früh-Green, G.

    2010-12-01

    Here we present an organic geochemical study of Loki’s Castle, a black smoker field recently discovered at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea at around 73.2°N. Located at the Mohn-Knipovich Ridge, which is one of the slowest spreading ridge segments on Earth, Loki’s Castle is the most northerly major hydrothermal vent field known to date. The vent field is composed of five actively venting (320°C) black-smoker chimneys that tower on top of a large mound of hydrothermal sulfide deposits. Loki’s Castle is a basalt-hosted hydrothermal system, but high methane and ammonium contents in the vent fluids strongly indicate a sedimentary component below the volcanic ridge. In 2009, another site of low-temperature hydrothermal venting hosting numerous barite chimneys was discovered in the vicinity of the black smokers, which probably results from subsurface mixing of diffuse hydrothermal fluid with seawater. In our study, variations in microbial communities associated with the formation of actively venting, sulfide and sulfate chimneys in this essentially unexplored ultraslow spreading ridge system are assessed based on biomarker lipid and compound-specific carbon isotope analyses. Lipid extracts from an active, high-temperature sulfide chimney yielded abundant archaeal di- and tetraether lipids as well as irregular isoprenoidal hydrocarbons (PMIs) that are associated with archaeal methanogens and methanotrophs. Predominant archaeal biomarker lipids include archaeol, sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol as well as glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) containing 0-4 cyclopentyl moieties. In addition, GDGTs with an additional covalent bond between the isoprenoid hydrocarbon chains, so-called H-shaped GDGTs, containing 0-4 cyclopentyl rings were also found to be abundant components and are indicative of hyperthermophilic methanogens. Biomarkers characteristic of eukaryotes (sterols) and bacteria (fatty acids and hopanoids) were less prevalent in

  9. Fram-2014/2015: A 400 Day Investigation of the Arctic's Oldest Sediments over the Alpha Ridge with a Research Hovercraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J. K.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The thickest multi-year ice in the Arctic covers a secret. Four short cores raised from the Alpha Ridge in the 1970s and 1980s from drift stations T-3 and CESAR showed ages between 45 and 76 my. The reason for these old ages became clear when examination of legacy seismic data from T-3 showed that in some places up to 500 m of sediments had been removed within an area of some 200 by 600 km, presumably by an impact of asteroid fragments. To investigate the impact area, the authors conceived an innovative research platform in 2007. Named the R/H SABVABAA, this 12m by 6m hovercraft has been home-based in Svalbard since June 2008. During the following 6 years the craft and its evolving innovative light-weight equipment have made 18 trips to the summer ice pack, traveling some 4410 km over ice during some six months of scientific investigations. An opportunity to get a lift to this area, some 1500 km from Svalbard, came in a 2011 invitation to join AWI's icebreaker POLARSTERN in its ARK-XXVIII/4 expedition departing Tromsö August 5, 2014. The 400 day drift will be the first wintering over, ever, of a mobile research platform with geophysical, geological, and oceanographic capabilities. The Arctic ice pack continually moves due to winds and currents. While at the main camp, observations will consist of marine geophysics (seismic profiling with four element CHIRP, a 20 in³ airgun with single hydrophone, as well as 12 kHz bathymetry and 200 kHz sounding of the deep scattering layer), marine geology (coring with a hydrostatically-boosted 3 or 6 m corer; bottom photography; and two rock dredges), and oceanography. Deployed away from the camp, four sonobuoys will allow 3-D seismic acquisition. Access to the depths below the ice is via a hydraulic capstan winch, with 6500 m of Kevlar aramid fiber rope with 2.8 ton breaking strength. Ice thickness monitoring of the local 100 km² will be made with the craft's EM-31 probe when away from the camp, moving to choice locations for

  10. Version 2.0 of the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean: A new Database for Oceanographers and Mapmakers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobsson, M.; Macnab, R.; Edwards, M.; Schenke, H.; Hatzky, J.

    2007-12-01

    Gakkel Vents 2007 (AGAVE) expedition while mapping missions aboard the USCGC Healy have revealed the "real" shape of the sea floor of the central Lomonosov Ridge and in areas off Northern Alaska in the Western Arctic. This paper presents an overview of the new data included in Version 2.0 as well as a brief discussion on the improvements and their possible implications for IBCAO users. Jakobsson, M., Cherkis, N., Woodward, J., Macnab, R. and Coakley, B., 2000. New grid of Arctic bathymetry aids scientists and mapmakers. EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 81: 89, 93, 96. Naryshkin, G., 1999. Bottom relief of the Arctic Ocean. In: H.D.o.N.a. Oceanography and A.-R.R.I.f.G.a.M.R.o.t.W. Ocean (Editors). Russian Academy of Sciences, pp. Bathymetric contour map.

  11. Alpha / Mendeleev Ridge and Chukchi Borderland 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology and Geochemistry: Character of the First Submarine Intraplate Lavas Recovered from the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukasa, Samuel B.; Mayer, Larry A.; Aviado, Kimberly; Bryce, Julie; Andronikov, Alex; Brumley, Kelley; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Petrov, Oleg; Shokalsky, Sergey

    2015-04-01

    At least three episodes of magmatic activity have been recognized on the basis of 40Ar/39Ar age determinations in the submarine basaltic samples dredged, drilled or grabbed with a manipulation arm from Alpha / Mendeleev Ridge and Chukchi Borderland of the Arctic Ocean by US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy, in August-September 2008, and Russian research vessel Captain Dranitsin in August-October 2012: ca. 112 Ma, ca. 100 Ma and ca. 85-73 Ma. Major-oxide and trace-element concentrations, and Pb, Sr, Nd, and Hf isotopic ratios of the recovered lavas provide important constraints on the composition and sources for the original melts. Lavas erupted at ca. 112 Ma (Group 1) have alkali basalt major-oxide compositions. Their low degree of rare-earth-element (REE) fractionation (CeN/YbN = 1.7-2.5), combined with high overall HREE (22-24 times chondrite) and Mg# ~54, suggest derivation from a garnet-free source followed by only minimal crystal fractionation for this group. Pb-Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic systematics of the lavas (206Pb/204Pb = 18.73-18.79; 207Pb/204Pb = 15.54-15.56; 208Pb/204Pb = 38.28-38.35; 143Nd/144Nd = 0.512594-0.512610; 87Sr/86Sr = 0.709458-0.709601; 176Hf/177Hf = 0.283224), together with ratios of highly incompatible trace elements (Th/Ce = 0.09-0.11; Ce/Nb = 2.58-3.09; Th/Nb = 0.24-0.33), point toward a lithospheric source for the magmas. Eruptions at ca. 100 Ma and 85-73 Ma produced two types of lavas: low-Ti tholeiitic basalts - LT, and high-Ti alkali basalts - HT, both assigned to Group 2. This distribution of low- and high-Ti lavas is common in continental flood basalt (CFB) provinces elsewhere, and has been attributed to plume activity in some studies. The trace-element abundance patterns for these Group 2 Arctic lavas are also very similar to those of CFBs elsewhere. Their low degrees of REE fractionation (CeN/YbN = 2.0-3.3) accompanied by progressively decreasing Mg#s (from 53 to 33) suggest a garnet-free source, with the derivative magmas experiencing

  12. Seismic velocities within the sedimentary succession of the Canada Basin and southern Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, Arctic Ocean: evidence for accelerated porosity reduction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimeld, John; Li, Qingmou; Chian, Deping; Lebedeva-Ivanova, Nina; Jackson, Ruth; Mosher, David; Hutchinson, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    The Canada Basin and the southern Alpha-Mendeleev ridge complex underlie a significant proportion of the Arctic Ocean, but the geology of this undrilled and mostly ice-covered frontier is poorly known. New information is encoded in seismic wide-angle reflections and refractions recorded with expendable sonobuoys between 2007 and 2011. Velocity-depth samples within the sedimentary succession are extracted from published analyses for 142 of these records obtained at irregularly spaced stations across an area of 1.9E + 06 km2. The samples are modelled at regional, subregional and station-specific scales using an exponential function of inverse velocity versus depth with regionally representative parameters determined through numerical regression. With this approach, smooth, non-oscillatory velocity-depth profiles can be generated for any desired location in the study area, even where the measurement density is low. Practical application is demonstrated with a map of sedimentary thickness, derived from seismic reflection horizons interpreted in the time domain and depth converted using the velocity-depth profiles for each seismic trace. A thickness of 12-13 km is present beneath both the upper Mackenzie fan and the middle slope off of Alaska, but the sedimentary prism thins more gradually outboard of the latter region. Mapping of the observed-to-predicted velocities reveals coherent geospatial trends associated with five subregions: the Mackenzie fan; the continental slopes beyond the Mackenzie fan; the abyssal plain; the southwestern Canada Basin; and, the Alpha-Mendeleev magnetic domain. Comparison of the subregional velocity-depth models with published borehole data, and interpretation of the station-specific best-fitting model parameters, suggests that sandstone is not a predominant lithology in any of the five subregions. However, the bulk sand-to-shale ratio likely increases towards the Mackenzie fan, and the model for this subregion compares favourably with

  13. Late Eocene to present isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb) and geochemical evolution of sediments from the Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean: Implications for continental sources and linkage with the North Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, Ross; Poirier, André; Véron, Alain; Carignan, Jean; Hillaire-Marcel, Claude

    2015-09-01

    New geochemical and isotopic (Sr, Nd, Pb) data are presented for a composite sedimentary record encompassing the past 50 Ma of history of sedimentation on the Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic Ocean. The sampled sediments encompass the transition of the Arctic basin from an enclosed anoxic basin to an open and ventilated oxidized ocean basin. The transition from anoxic basin to open ventilated ocean is accompanied by at least three geochemical and isotopic shifts and an increase in elements (e.g., K/Al) controlled by detrital minerals highlighting significant changes in sediment types and sources. The isotopic compositions of the sediments prior to ventilation are more variable but indicate a predominance of older crustal contributions consistent with sources from the Canadian Shield. Following ventilation, the isotopic compositions are more stable and indicate an increased contribution from younger material consistent with Eurasian and Pan-African crustal sources. The waxing and waning of these sources in conjunction with the passage of water through Fram Strait underlines the importance of the exchange of water mass between the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans.

  14. First scientific dives of the Nereid Under Ice hybrid ROV in the Arctic Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    German, C. R.; Boetius, A.; Whitcomb, L. L.; Jakuba, M.; Bailey, J.; Judge, C.; McFarland, C.; Suman, S.; Elliott, S.; Katlein, C.; Arndt, S.; Bowen, A.; Yoerger, D.; Kinsey, J. C.; Mayer, L.; Nicolaus, M.; Laney, S.; Singh, H.; Maksym, T. L.

    2014-12-01

    The first scientific dives of the new Nereid Under Ice (NUI) hybrid ROV were conducted in the Arctic Ocean in July 2014 on RV Polarstern cruise PS86, a German-US collaboration. NUI is the latest in a family of vehicles derived from the Nereus prototype, using a single optical fiber to provide real-time telemetry to and from a battery-powered vehicle allowing much greater lateral maneuverability relative to its support ship than a conventional ROV. During PS86, dives conducted in the Arctic Ocean (typical water depths ~4000m) were completed in >80% ice cover beneath multi-year ice that was typically 2-4m thick (increasing to depths of up to 20m beneath ridges). Dives extended up to 800m away from the ship and, over dive durations of approximately 5 hours each, covered survey tracklines of up to 3.7km at depths varying from "landing" on the underside of the sea-ice to maximum depths of 45m to conduct upward looking multibeam sonar mapping. Ultimately, the vehicle will be capable of both AUV and ROV mode operations at ranges of 10-20km away from the support ship and at up to 2000m water depth (including seafloor as well as under ice operations). During the current cruise, the following major science suites were utilized to prove a range of scientific capabilities of the vehicle in ice-covered oceans: multibeam mapping of rugged topography beneath multi-year sea-ice; video- and digital still photography of the under side of the ice, biota associated with the ice-water interface (algal material) and abundant fauna in the immediately underlying water column (ctenophores, larvaceans, copepods were all notable for their abundance in our study site over the Gakkel Ridge near 83N, 6W). Other scientific activities included: vertical profiles combining CTD data with a suite of biosensors to investigate the structure of primary productivity and biogeochemical cycling in minimally distrubed areas of the sunlit under-ice water column, revealing high stratification associated with

  15. Mantle anisotropy beneath the Earth's mid-ocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowacki, Andy; Kendall, J.-Michael; Wookey, James

    2012-02-01

    Observations of seismic anisotropy at oceanic spreading centres offer insights into mid-ocean ridge processes and the formation of new plates. Here, remote observations of seismic anisotropy beneath mid-ocean ridges are made using measurements of source-side shear wave splitting. Over 100 high-quality measurements are made using earthquakes that occur near mid-ocean ridges and transform faults, but are observed at teleseismic distances. In general, for off-axis ridge events, the polarisation of fast shear waves, ϕ″, is approximately parallel to the spreading direction. Nearer the ridge (<~50 km), ϕ″ becomes more scattered and is often ridge-parallel. Delay times, δt, tend to increase from < 1 s near the ridge axis to ˜ 3 s further away. Slow-spreading regions (Gakkel and Southwest Indian Ridges) show smaller amounts of splitting than faster spreading centres. At transform zones, the pattern is more complex. Coverage beneath the East Pacific Rise is especially good, and we observe a systematic increase in delay times in S wave splitting measurements compared to previous SKS splitting observations made at ocean-bottom seismometers. One compatible explanation is the presence of horizontally-aligned, connected layers of melt at depth; this is also compatible with other observations of the 'LAB' discontinuity and surface-wave derived measurements of radial anisotropy.

  16. Hydrothermal activity and core complex formation at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: An overview of preliminary results of the H2DEEP expedition to the southern Knipovich Ridge at 73N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, R. B.; Thorseth, I. H.; Olson, E.; Hellevang, H.; Okland, I.; Baumberger, T.; Lilley, M.; Bruvoll, V.; Mjelde, R.; Haflidason, H.

    2007-12-01

    The oblique spreading Mohns Ridge passes into the highly oblique spreading Knipovich Ridge through a near 90 degree bend in the ridge axis at 73-74N. Multibeam mapping of this area shows that a 30 km long axial volcanic ridge (AVR) with a 500m high summit occupy the rift valley floor in the central part of the bend where the axis is perpendicular to the spreading direction. The volcanic activity decreases northwards as the obliquity of the spreading increases and this is associated with an increase in the water depth from 2000-2500 m to 3000-3500 m. A hydrothermal plume was located at the eastern side of the AVR with methane values reaching 260 nmol/l and hydrogen values 53 nmol/l. These anomalies are associated with small positive temperature anomaly, but no significant particle anomaly could be detected. The rift valley in the area is partly filled with sediments derived from the nearby Bjornoya fan, and reflection seismic profiles across the ridge demonstrate that sediments thicknesses in the rift valley locally exceeds several hundred meters. Gravity cores of the upper 4 m of these sediments show multiple glass- and iron-rich laminas and layers, demonstrating that these sediments represent a record of hydrothermal and volcanic activity in the area. Seamounts at the western flank of the ridge extend to 600 m below sea level and are limited by low angle detachment faults to the east. A flat summit area suggests that one of the seamounts has been at or close to sea level. Gabbros, troctolites and serpentinites were sampled from the fault surfaces, demonstrating that lower crust and mantle rocks have been exhumed in the area, and bathymetry data indicates that this oceanic core complex cover an area of about 500 km2. A younger detachment fault appears to develop at the inner rift wall just west of the AVR. The rift valley sediments are affected by the faulting and the seismic stratigraphy of these sediments constrain the history of core complex formation.

  17. Crustal structures across Canada Basin and southern Alpha Ridge of the Arctic Ocean from P- and S-wave sonobuoy wide-angle studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chian, D.; Shimeld, J.; Jackson, R.; Hutchinson, D. R.; Mosher, D. C.

    2010-12-01

    During 2007-2009, a total of 127 expendable sonobuoys (SB) were deployed across Canada Basin and southern Alpha Ridge to record wide-angle reflections and refractions from more than 10,000 km of inline, short-offset seismic reflection surveying. Most of the SB data show clear wide-angle refractions/reflections from various sedimentary and crustal layers at offsets up to 35 km. Source-receiver offsets are calculated using direct water waves. Subsequent processing includes compensation for spherical divergence and attenuation, despiking, filtering, deconvolution, and NMO correction. During wide-angle modeling, inline reflection data are converted to depth using velocity models/interpretations, iteratively updated based on wide-angle raytracing. Slight ray angle dependent anisotropy is found to best describe observed data, and is used for time-depth conversions. Clear deep refractions from upper, middle and lower crusts are recorded by most SB. Across southern Canada Basin, a regionally consistent velocity structure exists: velocities of ~4.5 km/s overlie a sub-basement layer of 5.5-5.8 km/s at depths of 12-13 km which, in turn, overlie a lower crust of 6.7-7.2 km/s. This structure is intersected by a central gravity low (previously interpreted to be an extinct spreading center), west of which the basement and sub-basement layers are consistently shallower by >1 km than the eastern side. Further northward, significant velocity variations exist. For example, the southern Alpha Ridge has a lower crust of 6.0-6.6 km/s or 6.8-7.0 km/s. Volcanic intrusions, inferred from high basement velocities of ~5.7 km/s at unusually shallow depths (~5 km), exist at discrete locations along southern Alpha Ridge. Between Northwind Ridge and Alpha Ridge, a typical continent-type crustal structure is observed. PmP is occasionally observed, modeling of which results in a Moho depth of 12-15 km. Velocities of 4.2-4.5 km/s in the northern study area are associated with a regional

  18. Arctic geodynamics: Arctic science and ERS-1 satellite altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Allen Joel; Sandwell, David T.

    1994-01-01

    A detailed gravity field map of the mid Arctic Ocean, spreading ridge system was produced on the basis of ERS-1 satellite altimetry data. Areas of special concern, the Barents and Kara Seas, and areas surrounding the islands of Svalbard, Frans Josef Land and Novoya Zemlya are reviewed. ERS-1 altimetry covers unique Arctic and Antarctic latitudes above 72 degrees. Before ERS-1 it was not possible to study these areas with satellite altimetry. Gravity field solutions for the Barents Sea, portions of the Arctic Ocean and the Norwegian sea are shown. The largest gravity anomalies occur along the Greenland fracture zone as well as along transform faults near Svalbard.

  19. Sweden sees Arctic, subsea challenges

    SciTech Connect

    LeBlanc, L.A.

    1984-02-01

    Marine research organizations in Sweden are developing solutions in three broad areas of maritime research - Artic and sub-Arctic technology, underwater engineerng and marine environment monitoring. One of the Arctic projects already under way is a solution to safe navigation through the Arctic ice pack. Icebergs and deep-keeled ice ridges are imbedded in the ice pack and present a hazard to transiting vessels. Underwater programs are being established to deal with the problem of poor underwater visibilty due to turbid water conditions near the bottom. A device is being tested which will allow a diver or submerged vehicle to be accurately tracked using short-baseline acoustics.

  20. Arctic thermal design

    SciTech Connect

    Lunardini, V.J.

    1985-05-01

    Arctic engineering theories and techniques are discussed. The problems associated with ameliorating cold-climate effects is examined. External accumulation of ice on solid surfaces, floating ice sheets, icebergs, multiyear ice, and ice ridges are discussed, and the problems associated with these hazards are analyzed. The author believes that it is possible to deal rationally with these problems if the engineer is aware of them, and that ignorance can cause spectacular failures in the cold regions.

  1. Data Modeling, Development, Installation and Operation of the ACEX Offshore Drilling Information System for the Mission Specific Platform Expedition to the Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conze, R.; Krysiak, F.; Wallrabe-Adams, H.; Graham, C. C.

    2004-12-01

    During August/September 2004, the Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) was used to trial a new Offshore Drilling Information System (OffshoreDIS). ACEX was the first Mission Specific Platform (MSP) expedition of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP), funded by the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD). The British Geological Survey in conjunction with the University of Bremen and the European Petrophysics Consortium were the ECORD Science Operator (ESO) for ACEX. IODP MSP expeditions have very similar data management requirements and operate in similar working environments to the lake drilling projects conducted by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP), for example, the GLAD800, which has very restricted space on board and operates in difficult conditions. Both organizations require data capture and management systems that are mobile, flexible and that can be deployed quickly on small- to medium-sized drilling platforms for the initial gathering of data, and that can also be deployed onshore in laboratories where the bulk of the scientific work is conducted. ESO, therefore, decided that an adapted version of the existing Drilling Information System (DIS) used by ICDP projects would satisfy its requirements. Based on the existing DIS, an OffshoreDIS has been developed for MSP expeditions. The underlying data model is compatible with IODP(JANUS), the Bremen Core Repository, WDC-MARE/PANGAEA and the LacCore in Minneapolis. According to the specific expedition platform configuration and on-board workflow requirements for the Arctic, this data model, data pumps and user interfaces were adapted for the ACEX-OffshoreDIS. On the drill ship Vidar Viking the cores were catalogued and petrophysically logged using a GeoTek Multi-Sensor Core Logger System, while further initial measurements, lithological descriptions and biostratigraphic investigations were undertaken on the Oden, which provided laboratory facilities for the

  2. Oceanic Core Complexes on the Mohns Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denny, A. R.; Pedersen, R. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Mohns Ridge, an ultra-slow spreading ridge in the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge system, is host to multiple volcanic and tectonic spreading segments. This oblique-spreading ridge is hotspot influenced at its southern terminus and is bound to the north by a curvilinear contact with the highly oblique Knipovich Ridge. This study examines EM120 multibeam bathymetry of the Mohns Ridge collected from 1999-2001 and gridded to 50 m cell size. Geomorphic interpretation of near-axis and off-axis structures reveals multiple expressions of potential oceanic core complexes (OCCs) along the 550 km long spreading axis. The OCCs form only on the western side of the spreading axis, consistent with the increased tectonic vs. volcanic morphology of the western flank of the Mohns Ridge. In the southern Mohns Ridge OCCs occur adjacent to on-axis active volcanic spreading centers. In the northern Mohns Ridge OCCs appear related to both ';V' shaped northern-propagating ridge spreading centers and spreading-parallel strings of core complexes extending at least 60 km off axis in the direction of spreading. This geomorphic interpretation should be further refined by dedicated ship-based investigations to fully describe this unique oblique-spreading Arctic Ridge system.

  3. Long-term investigations of summertime chlorophyll a, particulate organic carbon and continuously observations of vertical particle flux in Fram Strait and the central Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nöthig, Eva-Maria; Bauerfeind, Eduard; Bracher, Astrid; Cherkasheva, Alexandra; Fahl, Kirsten; Lalande, Catherine; Metfies, Katja; Peeken, Ilka; Salter, Ian; Boetius, Antje; Soltwedel, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic Ocean is one of the key regions where the effect of climate change is most pronounced due to massive reduction of sea ice volume and extent. Most of the sea ice is transported out of the Arctic Ocean with the cold East Greenland Current (EGC) in the western Fram Strait, while warm Atlantic water enters the Arctic Ocean with the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) in the eastern Fram Strait. In this scenario we conducted several cruises to Fram Strait and the central Arctic Ocean (CAO) between 1991 and 2015 to monitor phytoplankton biomass, particulate organic carbon standing stocks during summer at discrete depth using water bottle samples, and the sedimentation of organic matter by means of moored sediment traps throughout the year. With our study we aim at tracing effects of environmental changes in the pelagic system and impacts on the fate of organic matter produced in the upper water column in a region that is anticipated to react rapidly to climate change. We will present data sets of phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll a) and particulate organic carbon (POC) from the upper 100 m of the water column as well as results from vertical particle flux measurements with yearly deployed sediment traps at the LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) observatory HAUSGARTEN in eastern Fram Strait (79°/4°E) between 2000 and 2012 and from two locations in the CAO close to the Lomonosov Ridge (1995/96) and the Gakkel Ridge (2011/12). Analyses of the material collected by the sediment traps allowed us to track seasonal and inter-annual changes in the upper water column at HAUSGARTEN and in the CAO. Whereas chlorophyll a (integrated values 0 -100 m) showed only a slight increase in eastern Fram Strait, it stayed more or less constant in the CAO and western Fram Strait, with the exception of 2015 exhibiting less biomass during late summer in the CAO. Highest biomass was found in the eastern Fram Strait and lowest in the heavily ice-covered regions. POC distribution

  4. Hydrothermal Exploration of the Mid-Cayman Spreading Center: Isolated Evolution on Earth’s Deepest Mid-Ocean Ridge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    German, C. R.; Bowen, A.; Coleman, M. L.; Huber, J. A.; Seewald, J.; van Dover, C.; Whitcomb, L. L.; Yoerger, D.; Connelly, D.; Honig, D. L.; Jakuba, M.; Kinsey, J. C.; McDermott, J.; Nakamura, K.; Sands, C.; Smith, J.; Sylva, S.

    2009-12-01

    We report the first systematic exploration for and characterization of hydrothermal vents and vent ecosystems on the short (~110 km), deep (> 5000 m), ultra-slow-spreading (<20 mm yr-1) Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean Sea. This work was carried out aboard the RV Cape Hatteras in October-November 2009 as part of the ChEss Project of the Census of Marine Life, funded through NASA’s ASTEP program and represents the first scientific field program funded to use WHOI’s new hybrid deep submergence vehicle, Nereus, first in AUV mode then in ROV mode. Prior to this work, evidence for hydrothermal venting had been found on every active spreading center investigated, including the comparably ultra-slow spreading ridges in the SW Indian Ocean and in the Arctic (Mohns, Knipovich & Gakkel Ridges). The organisms colonizing vents are renowned for their endemicity, their adaptations to the extreme chemical and physical conditions encountered and for differences in species level from one ocean basin to another. Consequently, the identification of any organisms colonizing vents of the Mid-Cayman Spreading Center offers a critical opportunity to build upon our understanding of the dispersion of vent species and the potential role of the rise of the Isthmus of Panama (dating from ~5 Ma) as a vicariant event leading to the evolutionary divergence of Atlantic and Pacific vent faunas. Further, the MCSC is so deep that any vents present may occur at depths greater than all previously known vent systems, extending the known limits to life on our planet in terms of pressure, temperature, and vent-fluid chemistry. Finally, hydrothermal circulation through ultramafic rocks can generate abiotic synthesis of organic matter: an analog for the prebiotic basis for the origin of life on early Earth and Mars. In future years of this 4-year study, therefore, we will also aim to assess the relative importance of abiotic organic synthesis versus recycling of bio-organic material and/or chemical

  5. Seismic reflection and refraction data acquired in Canada Basin, Northwind Ridge and Northwind Basin, Arctic Ocean in 1988, 1992 and 1993

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grantz, Arthur; Hart, Patrick E.; May, Steven D.

    2004-01-01

    Seismic reflection and refraction data were collected in generally ice-covered waters of the Canada Basin and the eastern part of the Chukchi Continental Borderland of the Amerasia Basin, Arctic Ocean, during the late summers of 1988, 1992, and 1993. The data were acquired from a Polar class icebreaker, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, using a seismic reflection system designed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The northernmost data extend to 78? 48' N latitude. In 1988, 155 km of reflection data were acquired with a prototype system consisting of a single 195 cubic inch air gun seismic source and a two-channel hydrophone streamer with a 150-m active section. In 1992 and 1993, 500 and 1,900 km, respectively, of seismic reflection profile data were acquired with an improved six air gun, 674 to 1303 cubic inch tuned seismic source array and the same two-channel streamer. In 1993, a 12-channel streamer with a 150-m active section was used to record five of the reflection lines and one line was acquired using a three air gun, 3,000 cubic inch source. All data were recorded with a DFS-V digital seismic recorder. Processed sections feature high quality vertical incidence images to more than 6 km of sub-bottom penetration in the Canada Basin. Refraction data were acquired with U.S. Navy sonobuoys recorded simultaneously with the seismic reflection profiles. In 1988 eight refraction profiles were recorded with the single air gun, and in 1992 and 1993 a total of 47 refraction profiles were recorded with the six air gun array. The sonobuoy refraction records, with offsets up to 35 km, provide acoustic velocity information to complement the short-offset reflection data. The report includes trackline maps showing the location of the data, as well as both digital data files (SEG-Y) and images of all of the profiles.

  6. The Influence of Ridge Geometry at Ultraslow Spreading Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dick, H. J.; Standish, J.

    2004-12-01

    Ridges spreading at ultraslow rate less than 20 mm/yr have been identified as a unique class of ocean ridge as different from slow spreading as slow spreading are from fast 1. Ridge characteristics, such as the presence or absence of amagmatic accretionary segments, transform faults, axial valleys or axial rises, however, are not a simple function of spreading rate, and it is therefore difficult to define precisely ridge classes simply on this criterion. Ridge morphology, tectonics, and geochemistry are also largely a function of mantle thermal structure, upwelling rate, fertility, and ridge geometry. However, examination of ridge crustal structure with spreading rate clearly shows a sharp break, with seismic measurements of crustal thickness indicating highly variable, generally thin crust associated with spreading rates below 20 mm/yr. In contrast, crust formed at spreading rates greater than 20 mm/yr is generally thicker and less variable thickness, averaging between 6 and 7 km, without a clear relationship to spreading rate. The generally accepted explanation is the influence of conductive heat loss and the formation of a thick axial lithosphere due to slow mantle upwelling rates, thereby limiting melt production at ultraslow spreading rates 2. Comparatively, the influence of conductive heat loss at spreading rates greater than 20 mm/yr is likely negligible except near major large offset transforms. The latter effect is predicted by modeling to increase sharply with decreasing spreading rate below 20 mm/yr. Thus perturbations in ridge geometry that would otherwise have a negligible effect, can dramatically influence melt production and ridge tectonics at ultraslow spreading rates. Investigation of the SW Indian Ridge and along the Gakkel Ridge, for example, shows that where the effective spreading rate for mantle upwelling, which ridge obliquity, falls below ~12 mm/yr, long amagmatic accretionary ridge segments form and replace both magmatic accretionary ridge

  7. Arctic Clouds

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ...     View Larger Image Stratus clouds are common in the Arctic during the summer months, and are ... formats available at JPL August 23, 2000 - Stratus clouds help modulate the arctic climate. project:  ...

  8. Characteristics of Hydrothermal Mineralization in Ultraslow Spreading Ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, H.; Yang, Q.; Ji, F.; Dick, H. J.

    2014-12-01

    Hydrothermal activity is a major component of the processes that shape the composition and structure of the ocean crust, providing a major pathway for the exchange of heat and elements between the Earth's crust and oceans, and a locus for intense biological activity on the seafloor and underlying crust. In other hand, the structure and composition of hydrothermal systems are the result of complex interactions between heat sources, fluids, wall rocks, tectonic controls and even biological processes. Ultraslow spreading ridges, including the Southwest Indian Ridge, the Gakkel Ridge, are most remarkable end member in plate-boundary structures (Dick et al., 2003), featured with extensive tectonic amagmatic spreading and frequent exposure of peridotite and gabbro. With intensive surveys in last decades, it is suggested that ultraslow ridges are several times more effective than faster-spreading ridges in sustaining hydrothermal activities. This increased efficiency could attributed to deep mining of heat and even exothermic serpentinisation (Baker et al., 2004). Distinct from in faster spreading ridges, one characteristics of hydrothermal mineralization on seafloor in ultraslow spreading ridges, including the active Dragon Flag hydrothermal field at 49.6 degree of the Southwest Indian Ridge, is abundant and pervasive distribution of lower temperature precipitated minerals ( such as Fe-silica or silica, Mn (Fe) oxides, sepiolite, pyrite, marcasite etc. ) in hydrothermal fields. Structures formed by lower temperature activities in active and dead hydrothermal fields are also obviously. High temperature precipitated minerals such as chalcopyrite etc. are rare or very limited in hydrothermal chimneys. Distribution of diverse low temperature hydrothermal activities is consistence with the deep heating mechanisms and hydrothermal circulations in the complex background of ultraslow spreading tectonics. Meanwhile, deeper and larger mineralization at certain locations along the

  9. Plate motions at the transition from the Lomonosov Ridge to Eurasian Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene; Chekhovich, Peter; Petrov, Eugene

    2016-04-01

    Distribution of the Cenozoic plate motions in the Amerasian Basin is a serious problem. Cenozoic opening of the Gakkel Ridge has resulted in the eastward drift of the Lomonosov Ridge and Podvodnikov Basin. According to a popular point of view these two structures are separated from the Eurasian continent by the Khatanga-Lomonosov Transform Fault. It is supposed that this fault with a right-lateral displacement of about 300 km begins at the southern end of the Gakkel Ridge, passes between the southern end of the Lomonosov Ridge and the Asian Shelf probably continuing further to the east into the Podvodnikov Basin. During the last decade the area was covered by a number of seismic profiles. In 2007 reference profile A-7 was shot (Kazanin, Ivanov, UNCLOS Symposium, St.-Petersburg, May 26, 27 2014). This longitudinal profile 832 km long includes both seismic reflection and deep seismic profiling. It follows the eastern slope of the Lomonosov Ridge in the north and crosses the Asian Continental Rise and shelf of the Laptev Sea terminating near the Novosibirsk Islands in the south. The quality of the data is very high because at that time the area was completely free of ice. Transform faults with large strike-slip displacement are crossing many sedimentary basins (Liemiszki, Brown, GSA Bull., 1988, v. 100, p. 665-676 and others). In such basins the structure of the sedimentary cover changes completely across the fault. Not only sedimentary beds become disrupted but the thicknesses of synchronous sedimentary units on the fault walls commonly appear to be quite different. This indicates that during their movement the units were far one from another. The Khatanga-Lomonosov Transform Fault, if it exists, should cross profile A-7 in its middle part. The profile includes some normal faults slightly disrupting the sedimentary sequences. However, on both fault walls the thickness of the main units of the sedimentary cover separated by regional unconformities remains the same

  10. Kinematics of Mid-Ocean Ridge Relative Motions in the Indo-Atlantic Frame of Reference: Passive and Active Spreading Ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, C. J.; Rowley, D. B.; Forte, A. M.

    2011-12-01

    A kinematic analysis of the motions of mid-ocean ridges is presented in the Indo-Atlantic hotspot frame of reference. Relative motions of all major divergent plate boundaries are computed, including an assessment of uncertainties in their motions, back to 83 Ma (C34ny). As is expected from the general assumption that ridges are passive components of the plate boundary and mantle convective system, most ridges migrate across the underlying mantle along simple paths, largely perpendicular to the trend of the ridge. In the Indo-Atlantic reference frame, the Nansen-Gakkel ridge has migrated away from Europe by ~800 km along a NE trajectory. The Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) just north of the Azores triple junction (TJ) has moved away from Europe by ~1800km towards the WNW. South of the Azores TJ the MAR has moved away from Africa by ~1600 km towards the W. The slow to ultraslow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge has migrated slightly away from Antarctica, with a considerable fraction of the motion approximately parallel to the ridge trend. The Carlsberg Ridge has moved ~3400 km away from Africa towards the NNE in the past 65 Ma, while the Mid-Indian Ridge has migrated to the NNE away from Africa by ~3950 km over 83 Ma. The Southeast Indian Ridge, west of the 90°E ridge (Capricorn-Australia-East Antarctica TJ), has migrated ~3950 km to the NE away from Antarctica. Farther east, divergence between Australia and Antarctica has resulted in ~1800 km of northward motion of the ridge away from Antarctica. The Southwest Pacific Ridge, between the Pacific and West Antarctic plates has migrated ~1500 km to the NW away from west Antarctica. These motions are entirely consistent with intuition, given that Africa and Antarctica are largely surrounded by spreading systems. In contrast to the rest of the global ridge system, despite its high spreading rate the East Pacific Ridge has undergone essentially no (<±500 km) ridge perpendicular (E-W) migration in the past 80 Ma, and neglible

  11. Arctic Watch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orcutt, John; Baggeroer, Arthur; Mikhalevsky, Peter; Munk, Walter; Sagen, Hanne; Vernon, Frank; Worcester, Peter

    2015-04-01

    The dramatic reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will increase human activities in the coming years. This will be driven by increased demand for energy and the marine resources of an Arctic Ocean more accessible to ships. Oil and gas exploration, fisheries, mineral extraction, marine transportation, research and development, tourism and search and rescue will increase the pressure on the vulnerable Arctic environment. Synoptic in-situ year-round observational technologies are needed to monitor and forecast changes in the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system at daily, seasonal, annual and decadal scales to inform and enable sustainable development and enforcement of international Arctic agreements and treaties, while protecting this critical environment. This paper will discuss multipurpose acoustic networks, including subsea cable components, in the Arctic. These networks provide communication, power, underwater and under-ice navigation, passive monitoring of ambient sound (ice, seismic, biologic and anthropogenic), and acoustic remote sensing (tomography and thermometry), supporting and complementing data collection from platforms, moorings and autonomous vehicles. This paper supports the development and implementation of regional to basin-wide acoustic networks as an integral component of a multidisciplinary, in situ Arctic Ocean Observatory.

  12. Variations in Seismic Anisotropy and Olivine LPO in Peridotites From Four Mid-Ocean Ridges: the Effect of Melt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Achenbach, K. L.; Cheadle, M. J.; Dick, H. J.; Swapp, S.

    2008-12-01

    We present results of an electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) study of abyssal peridotites from four mid- ocean ridges. Included in the study are peridotites from: a) the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) at 15°39' N (full spreading rate ~2.6 cm/year), b) the Atlantis II Fracture Zone (57°E) on the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) (full spreading rate ~1.4 cm/year), c) the Gakkel Ridge at 84°38'N and 4°13'E (full spreading rate ~1.2 cm/year), and d) Hess Deep (2°N) on the East Pacific Rise (EPR) (full spreading rate ~12.3 cm/year). All samples preserve distinct crystal lattice-preferred orientations (LPOs) indicative of high-temperature (>1100°C) deformation in the dislocation creep regime. LPOs were used to predict seismic properties following the method of Mainprice (1990). The samples from the MAR and SWIR preserve olivine [010] axes perpendicular to the foliation, and olivine [100] axis maxima within the plane of foliation, indicative of slip in the (010)[100] or "Type A" slip system commonly observed in high- temperature environments of low differential stress and low water content. Predicted P-wave anisotropy ranges from 5.8 to 8.6%. The Gakkel Ridge sample also preserves an olivine [010] axis maxima perpendicular to the foliation, but has a girdle of olivine [100] axes within the plane of the foliation. Holtzman et al. (2003) observed this latter LPO pattern during deformation experiments of olivine + MORB, and suggested that it is characteristic of olivine deformation in the presence of oriented melt pockets. Predicted P-wave anisotropy is 6.8%. The EPR sample preserves both olivine [010] and [100] axis maxima within the plane of the foliation and olivine [001] axis maxima perpendicular to the foliation. We interpret the EPR olivine slip system as (001)[100], which is in agreement with findings by Boudier et al. (1996) from the same sample suite. This"Type E" slip system is thought to form in high-temperature low diferential stress environments, either with

  13. Metopic ridge

    MedlinePlus

    ... infant is made up of bony plates. The gaps between the plates allow for growth of the skull. The places where these plates connect are called sutures or suture lines. They do not fully close until the 2nd or 3rd year of life. A metopic ridge occurs when the ...

  14. Computational problems in Arctic Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, I.

    2016-02-01

    This article is to inform about main problems in the area of Arctic shelf seismic prospecting and exploitation of the Northern Sea Route: simulation of the interaction of different ice formations (icebergs, hummocks, and drifting ice floes) with fixed ice-resistant platforms; simulation of the interaction of icebreakers and ice- class vessels with ice formations; modeling of the impact of the ice formations on the underground pipelines; neutralization of damage for fixed and mobile offshore industrial structures from ice formations; calculation of the strength of the ground pipelines; transportation of hydrocarbons by pipeline; the problem of migration of large ice formations; modeling of the formation of ice hummocks on ice-resistant stationary platform; calculation the stability of fixed platforms; calculation dynamic processes in the water and air of the Arctic with the processing of data and its use to predict the dynamics of ice conditions; simulation of the formation of large icebergs, hummocks, large ice platforms; calculation of ridging in the dynamics of sea ice; direct and inverse problems of seismic prospecting in the Arctic; direct and inverse problems of electromagnetic prospecting of the Arctic. All these problems could be solved by up-to-date numerical methods, for example, using grid-characteristic method.

  15. Arctic hydroclimatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherry, Jessica Ellen

    Arctic air temperature, precipitation, ground temperature, river runoff, clouds, and radiation are all changing quickly in a warming climate. Interactions and feedbacks between these features are not well understood. In particular, the relative role of local climate processes and large-scale ocean-atmosphere dynamics in driving observed Arctic changes is difficult to ascertain because of the sparsity of observations, inaccuracy of those that do exist, biases in global circulation models and analyses, and fundamental physics of the Arctic region. Four studies of Arctic hydroclimatology herein attempt to overcome these challenges. The first study, analysis of the Lena river basin hydroclimatology, shows canonical acceleration of the hydrologic cycle and amplification of global warming. Winter and spring are warming and increased frozen precipitation is contributing to permafrost melting by increasing soil insulation. Increasing runoff and soil moisture is leading to increasing evapotranspiration and changes in clouds. Changes in clouds are cooling summer days but warming summer nights, melting additional permafrost. Model simulations suggests that a deepening active layer will lead to an increasingly wet Arctic. The second two studies describe the development of the Pan-Arctic Snowfall Reconstruction (PASR). This product addresses the problem of cold season precipitation gauge biases for 1940-1999. The NASA Interannual-to-Seasonal Prediction Project Catchment-based Land Surface Model is used to reconstruct solid precipitation from observed snow depth and surface air temperatures. Error estimation is done via controlled simulations at Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, in Idaho. The method is then applied to stations in the pan-Arctic hydrological catchment. Comparison with existing products suggests that the PASR is a better estimate of actual snowfall for hydroclimatological studies. The final chapter is a case study on hydroclimatological variability driven by

  16. Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography and Future IODP Drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, Ruediger

    2015-04-01

    Although the Arctic Ocean is a major player in the global climate/earth system, this region is one of the last major physiographic provinces on Earth where the short- and long-term geological history is still poorly known. This lack in knowledge is mainly due to the major technological/logistical problems in operating within the permanently ice-covered Arctic region which makes it difficult to retrieve long and undisturbed sediment cores. Prior to 2004, in the central Arctic Ocean piston and gravity coring was mainly restricted to obtaining near-surface sediments, i.e., only the upper 15 m could be sampled. Thus, all studies were restricted to the late Pliocene/Quaternary time interval, with a few exceptions. These include the four short cores obtained by gravity coring from drifting ice floes over the Alpha Ridge, where older pre-Neogene organic-carbon-rich muds and laminated biosiliceous oozes were sampled. Continuous central Arctic Ocean sedimentary records, allowing a development of chronologic sequences of climate and environmental change through Cenozoic times and a comparison with global climate records, however, were missing prior to the IODP Expedition 302 (Arctic Ocean Coring Expedition - ACEX), the first scientific drilling in the central Arctic Ocean. By studying the unique ACEX sequence, a large number of scientific discoveries that describe previously unknown Arctic paleoenvironments, were obtained during the last decade (for most recent review and references see Stein et al., 2014). While these results from ACEX were unprecedented, key questions related to the climate history of the Arctic Ocean remain unanswered, in part because of poor core recovery, and in part because of the possible presence of a major mid-Cenozoic hiatus or interval of starved sedimentation within the ACEX record. In order to fill this gap in knowledge, international, multidisciplinary expeditions and projects for scientific drilling/coring in the Arctic Ocean are needed. Key

  17. Expanded record of Quaternary oceanographic change: Amerasian Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ishman, S.E.; Polyak, L.V.; Poore, R.Z.

    1996-01-01

    Four sediment cores collected from the Northwind and Mendeleyev ridges, Arctic Ocean, from 1089 m to 1909 m water depth, provide an oceanographic record extending back into the Matuyama reversed polarity chron. Benthic foraminiferal analyses show four prominent assemblage zones: Bolivina arctica, Cassidulina teretis, Bulimina aculeata, and Oridorsalis tener from the upper Matuyama reversed polarity chronozone through the Brunhes normal polarity chronozone. These assemblage zones represent depth-dependent benthic foraminiferal biofacies changes associated with oceanographic events that occurred in the Amerasian basin at ??? 780 and 300 ka, and indicate oceanographic influence from the North Atlantic. Recognition of these benthic assemblage zones in Arctic cores from the Alpha Ridge indicates that the benthic foraminiferal zonations in intermediate to deep water (>1000 m) Arctic cores may be more useful than preexisting lithostratigraphic zonations and should provide important information pertaining to the Quaternary paleoceanographic evolution of the Arctic Ocean.

  18. Arctic Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth's four major oceans, covering 14x10(exp 6) sq km located entirely within the Arctic Circle (66 deg 33 min N). It is a major player in the climate of the north polar region and has a variable sea ice cover that tends to increase its sensitivity to climate change. Its temperature, salinity, and ice cover have all undergone changes in the past several decades, although it is uncertain whether these predominantly reflect long-term trends, oscillations within the system, or natural variability. Major changes include a warming and expansion of the Atlantic layer, at depths of 200-900 m, a warming of the upper ocean in the Beaufort Sea, a considerable thinning (perhaps as high as 40%) of the sea ice cover, a lesser and uneven retreat of the ice cover (averaging approximately 3% per decade), and a mixed pattern of salinity increases and decreases.

  19. Polar Ridges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03662 Polar Ridges

    This ridge system is located in the south polar region.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -81.7N, Longitude 296.5E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  20. Arctic Social Sciences: Opportunities in Arctic Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, Fairbanks, AK.

    The U.S. Congress passed the Arctic Research and Policy Act in 1984 and designated the National Science Foundation (NSF) the lead agency in implementing arctic research policy. In 1989, the parameters of arctic social science research were outlined, emphasizing three themes: human-environment interactions, community viability, and rapid social…

  1. An ultraslow-spreading class of ocean ridge.

    PubMed

    Dick, Henry J B; Lin, Jian; Schouten, Hans

    2003-11-27

    New investigations of the Southwest Indian and Arctic ridges reveal an ultraslow-spreading class of ocean ridge that is characterized by intermittent volcanism and a lack of transform faults. We find that the mantle beneath such ridges is emplaced continuously to the seafloor over large regions. The differences between ultraslow- and slow-spreading ridges are as great as those between slow- and fast-spreading ridges. The ultraslow-spreading ridges usually form at full spreading rates less than about 12 mm yr(-1), though their characteristics are commonly found at rates up to approximately 20 mm yr(-1). The ultraslow-spreading ridges consist of linked magmatic and amagmatic accretionary ridge segments. The amagmatic segments are a previously unrecognized class of accretionary plate boundary structure and can assume any orientation, with angles relative to the spreading direction ranging from orthogonal to acute. These amagmatic segments sometimes coexist with magmatic ridge segments for millions of years to form stable plate boundaries, or may displace or be displaced by transforms and magmatic ridge segments as spreading rate, mantle thermal structure and ridge geometry change. PMID:14647373

  2. Arctic Languages: An Awakening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collis, Dermid R. F., Ed.

    This work is a study of Arctic languages written in an interdisciplinary manner. Part of the Unesco Arctic project aimed at safeguarding the linguistic heritage of Arctic peoples, the book is the outcome of three Unesco meetings at which conceptual approaches to and practical plans for the study of Arctic cultures and languages were worked out.…

  3. Arctic technology and policy

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, I.; Chryssostomidis, C.

    1984-01-01

    Topics covered include: legal regime of the arctic, including national and international legal frameworks that govern arctic resource development; environmental policy and socio-economic issues, focusing on the political and economic considerations of LNG transport in icebound waterways; risk and safety assessment for arctic offshore projects, drilling systems for the arctic; arctic offshore technology, including island, steel, and concrete structures; icebreaking technology, focusing on the current state of the art and indicating future research areas; arctic oceanography, summarizing characteristics of ice from field experiments pertaining to the design of structures, ships, and pipelines; arctic seismic exploration, detailing signal processes for underwater communication in the context of arctic geology and geophysics; ice morphology, providing information about ice shapes, particularly critical to the determination of overall strength of ice masses; remote sensing; modeling of arctic ice fields, including information about the design and construction of offshore facilities in polar areas; and engineering properties of ice, providing theoretical and experimental studies.

  4. Arctic Ocean Gravity Field Derived From ERS-1 Satellite Altimetry.

    PubMed

    Laxon, S; McAdoo, D

    1994-07-29

    The derivation of a marine gravity field from satellite altimetry over permanently ice-covered regions of the Arctic Ocean provides much new geophysical information about the structure and development of the Arctic sea floor. The Arctic Ocean, because of its remote location and perpetual ice cover, remains from a tectonic point of view the most poorly understood ocean basin on Earth. A gravity field has been derived with data from the ERS-1 radar altimeter, including permanently ice-covered regions. The gravity field described here clearly delineates sections of the Arctic Basin margin along with the tips of the Lomonosov and Arctic mid-ocean ridges. Several important tectonic features of the Amerasia Basin are clearly expressed in this gravity field. These include the Mendeleev Ridge; the Northwind Ridge; details of the Chukchi Borderland; and a north-south trending, linear feature in the middle of the Canada Basin that apparently represents an extinct spreading center that "died" in the Mesozoic. Some tectonic models of the Canada Basin have proposed such a failed spreading center, but its actual existence and location were heretofore unknown. PMID:17752757

  5. Arctic and offshore research. Technology status report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-10-01

    The DOE Arctic and Offshore Research (AOR) effort is designed to meet the needs for a centralized, high-quality, Arctic energy-related data base and for long-term, high-risk research. The ultimate purpose of the DOE effort is to promote extensive private use of the evolving AOR technology data base in order to accelerate development of Arctic oil and gas resources. In assessing the Arctic energy-related research needs as delineated in this report, the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC), with the DOE Fossil Energy Office of Oil, Gas, and Shale Technology, developed the following activities: AOR Energy-Related Technology Data Base Development; AOR Seminars and Workshops; Arctic and Offshore Energy Research Coordination; Sea Ice Research; Seafloor/Soils Research; and Subice Systems Development. The DOE AOR effort was initiated in FY 1983, the early development activities were performed in January and February 1983, and the effort evolved to its present form by the conclusion of FY 1984. The current activities have included determining the Arctic bibliographic data base and initiating most pieces of the research described above (except multiyear ice properties and pipeline research). Some of the FY 1984 major accomplishments are: four to five ice islands 1 to 2 miles in length drifting off the Ellesmere ice shelves north of Ellesmere Island were aerially surveyed. A report was completed on the location of the ice shelf edge, breakup, and regrowth of the Ellesmere ice shelves over the past two decades. Ice-ridging shear zone studies have shown that the 6- to 10-feet high shoals usually under the shear zone are not totally destroyed from ice gouging from one year to the next, but that the ice gouging may be instrumental in initiating and maintaining the shoals, which may protect Arctic offshore structures. Airborne radar sensing techniques were used to determine the electromagnetic properties of sea ice and physical properties.

  6. Seasonality of Arctic Mediterranean Exchanges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieper, Christoph; Quadfasel, Detlef

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic Mediterranean communicates through a number of passages with the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Most of the volume exchange happens at the Greenland-Scotland-Ridge: warm and saline Atlantic Water flows in at the surface, cold, dense Overflow Water flows back at the bottom and fresh and cold Polar Water flows out along the East Greenland coast. All surface inflows show a seasonal signal whereas only the outflow through the Faroe Bank Channel exhibits significant seasonality. Here we present a quantification of the seasonal cycle of the exchanges across the Greenland-Scotland ridge based on volume estimates of the in- and outflows within the last 20 years (ADCP and altimetry). Our approach is comparatistic: we compare different properties of the seasonal cycle like the strength or the phase between the different in- and outflows. On the seasonal time scale the in- and outflows across the Greenland-Scotland-Ridge are not balanced. The net flux thus has to be balanced by the other passages on the Canadian Archipelago, Bering Strait as well as runoff from land.

  7. U-Pb geochronology of the Kap Washington Volcanic Province, North Greenland: Constraints on the timing of continental rifting and implications for the development of the Arctic Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorarinsson, S. B.; Holm, P. M.; Tappe, S.; Heaman, L.; Tegner, C.

    2009-12-01

    bracket seems to preclude any relation to initial spreading on the Nansen-Gakkel Ridge (52 Ma-present) and an association with spreading in the Labrador Sea-Baffin Bay-Makarov Basin system seems the most probable. We propose that the Kap Washington magmatism ceased with the onset of seafloor spreading in the Northeast Atlantic-Eurasia Basin system, which shifted the tectonic regime in North Greenland from extensional to compressional, culminating with the Eurekan deformation in early Eocene (Holm et al., this session). References: Batten et al. (1981): Nature 294: 150-152. Brown et al. (1987): J Geol. Soc. Lond. 144: 707-715. Kontak et al. (2001): Can. Mineral. 39: 997-1020

  8. Sedimentation in Canada Basin, Western Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, D. C.; Shimeld, J.; Jackson, R.; Hutchinson, D. R.; Chapman, B.; Chian, D.; Childs, J. R.; Mayer, L. A.; Edwards, B. D.; Verhoef, J.

    2010-12-01

    The Canada Basin of the western Arctic Ocean is the least studied ocean basin on Earth. Marine seismic field programs were conducted during the past 5 years in order to study the geology, sedimentary history and geomorphology of the region. As part of this program, five annual icebreaker expeditions acquired bathymetric, seismic reflection and seismic refraction data on a regional scale. More than 12,000 km of multi-channel seismic reflection data and 120 sonobuoy seismic refraction records over abyssal plain and continental rise regions of Canada Basin, Northwind Ridge and Alpha Ridge were acquired. The success of these programs was achieved through novel technical modifications to equipment to permit towing in heavy ice conditions and through collaboration between multiple Canadian and US agencies and institutions, enabling utilization of two ice breakers during seismic and multibeam data acquisition in heavy ice. The seafloor of the Canada Basin is remarkably flat-lying in its central region, with little bathymetric change over most of its extent. The sedimentary succession is generally flat lying with reflections extending over hundreds of km. These reflections onlap bathymetric highs, such as Alpha and Northwind ridges. The sedimentary succession is thickest in the Beaufort Sea region, reaching more than 6.5 km, and generally thins to the north and west. Reflection characteristics suggest that sediment volume input to the Arctic Ocean has been high and dominated by turbidity current deposition, similar to Amundsen and Nansen Basins of the eastern Arctic. These turbidites originate from the eastern and southern continental margins. There is no evidence of contemporaneous or post-depositional reworking by bottom currents. Additionally, there is little evidence of tectonic deformation after primary basin-forming events except in the NE quadrant, nearer Alpha Ridge. In this area, there is significant normal faulting propagating from basement through much of the

  9. Arctic climate tipping points.

    PubMed

    Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-02-01

    There is widespread concern that anthropogenic global warming will trigger Arctic climate tipping points. The Arctic has a long history of natural, abrupt climate changes, which together with current observations and model projections, can help us to identify which parts of the Arctic climate system might pass future tipping points. Here the climate tipping points are defined, noting that not all of them involve bifurcations leading to irreversible change. Past abrupt climate changes in the Arctic are briefly reviewed. Then, the current behaviour of a range of Arctic systems is summarised. Looking ahead, a range of potential tipping phenomena are described. This leads to a revised and expanded list of potential Arctic climate tipping elements, whose likelihood is assessed, in terms of how much warming will be required to tip them. Finally, the available responses are considered, especially the prospects for avoiding Arctic climate tipping points. PMID:22270703

  10. Grafts for Ridge Preservation

    PubMed Central

    Jamjoom, Amal; Cohen, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    Alveolar ridge bone resorption is a biologic phenomenon that occurs following tooth extraction and cannot be prevented. This paper reviews the vertical and horizontal ridge dimensional changes that are associated with tooth extraction. It also provides an overview of the advantages of ridge preservation as well as grafting materials. A Medline search among English language papers was performed in March 2015 using alveolar ridge preservation, ridge augmentation, and various graft types as search terms. Additional papers were considered following the preliminary review of the initial search that were relevant to alveolar ridge preservation. The literature suggests that ridge preservation methods and augmentation techniques are available to minimize and restore available bone. Numerous grafting materials, such as autografts, allografts, xenografts, and alloplasts, currently are used for ridge preservation. Other materials, such as growth factors, also can be used to enhance biologic outcome. PMID:26262646

  11. Circum-Arctic lithospheric transects from onshore to offshore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pease, V.; Coakley, B.; Faleide, J. I.; Jokat, W.; Miller, E. L.; Stephenson, R.; Meisling, K. E.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the evolution of the lithosphere over time involves the integration and interpretation of geological and geophysical data, combined with good knowledge of the physical processes at work in the lithosphere giving rise to past and present structures. Tectonic activity related to the rifting process created the present-day structure of today's Arctic basins and bathymetric highs, and in the process modified older structures and architecture of the crust and lithosphere. The correlation of circum-Arctic terranes and orogens help to not only reconstruct paleogeography but to also define the role and determine the nature of the lithospheric processes that were active in the complex tectonic evolution of the Arctic. CALE (Circum Arctic Lithosphere Evolution), an international and multidisciplinary effort involving c. 35 geologists and geophysicists from ten different countries working to link the onshore and offshore regions across the circum-Arctic region, is a scientific network in it's last year of a 5-year program. Sedimentary cover and crust to mantle cross-sections from onshore to offshore have been created integrating the latest scientific knowledge and data sets available for the Arctic. The project's principal Arctic transects include: Ellesmere-Canada Basin, Pacific Ocean-Lomonosov Ridge through the Bering Strait, across the Laptev Sea rift to the DeLong Islands, Barents and Kara regions across Timan-Pechora and Taimyr. These sections, the culmination of the CALE project, and their principle findings will be presented for the first time with discussion of outstanding issues yet to be resolved.

  12. The Cenozoic palaeoenvironment of the Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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, M.; Palike, H.; Rea, B.; Rio, D.; Sakamoto, T.; Smith, D.C.; Stein, R.; St, John K.; Suto, I.; Suzuki, N.; Takahashi, K.; Watanabe, M. E.; Yamamoto, M.; Farrell, J.; Frank, M.; Kubik, P.; Jokat, W.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    2006-01-01

    The history of the Arctic Ocean during the Cenozoic era (0-65 million years ago) is largely unknown from direct evidence. Here we present a Cenozoic palaeoceanographic record constructed from >400 m of sediment core from a recent drilling expedition to the Lomonosov ridge in the Arctic Ocean. Our record shows a palaeoenvironmental transition from a warm 'greenhouse' world, during the late Palaeocene and early Eocene epochs, to a colder 'icehouse' world influenced by sea ice and icebergs from the middle Eocene epoch to the present. For the most recent ???14 Myr, we find sedimentation rates of 1-2 cm per thousand years, in stark contrast to the substantially lower rates proposed in earlier studies; this record of the Neogene reveals cooling of the Arctic that was synchronous with the expansion of Greenland ice (???3.2 Myr ago) and East Antarctic ice (???14 Myr ago). We find evidence for the first occurrence of ice-rafted debris in the middle Eocene epoch (???45 Myr ago), some 35 Myr earlier than previously thought; fresh surface waters were present at ???49 Myr ago, before the onset of ice-rafted debris. Also, the temperatures of surface waters during the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum (???55 Myr ago) appear to have been substantially warmer than previously estimated. The revised timing of the earliest Arctic cooling events coincides with those from Antarctica, supporting arguments for bipolar symmetry in climate change. ?? 2006 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Mapping the Surficial Geology of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, D. C.; Jakobsson, M.; Gebhardt, C.; Mayer, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    Surficial geologic mapping of the Arctic Ocean was undertaken to provide a basis for understanding different geologic environments in this polar setting. Mapping was based on data acquired from numerous icebreaker and submarine missions to the polar region. The intent was to create a geologic layer overlying the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean. Analysis of subbottom profiler and multibeam bathymetric data in conjunction with sediment cores and the regional morphology rendered from the IBCAO data were used to map different surficial geologic units. For a relatively small ocean basin, the Arctic Ocean reveals a plethora of margin and basin types reflecting both the complex tectonic origins of the basin and its diverse sedimentation history. Broad and narrow shelves were subjected to a complex ice-margin history in the Quaternary, and bear the sediment types and morphological features as a result. Some shelfal areas are heavily influenced by rivers. Extensive deep water ridges and plateaus are isolated from coastal input and have a long history of hemipelagic deposition. An active spreading ridge and regions of recent volcanism have volcani-clastic and heavily altered sediments. Some regions of the Arctic Ocean are proposed to have been influenced by bolide impact. The flanks of the basins demonstrate complex sedimentation patterns resulting from mass failures and ice-margin outflow. The deep basins of the Arctic Ocean are filled with turbidites resulting from these mass-flows and are interbedded with hemiplegic deposits.

  14. Towed and AUV Technologies for Arctic Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, H.; Eustice, R.; Humphris, S.; Jakuba, M.; Kunz, C.; Murphy, C.; Nakamura, K.; Reves-Sohn, R.; Roman, C.; Sato, T.; Shank, T.; Willis, C.

    2007-12-01

    equipped with a 230 kHz multibeam, a digital still camera and strobe, a magnetometer and an Eh sensor. Several drift dives were carried out with the CAMPER towed vehicle at two different sites on the Gakkel Ridge this summer and yielded considerable high definition and video imagery as well as geological and biological samples. Several dives were also carried for mapping the mid-water column and the seafloor with the two AUVs and these successfully returned water column CTD, Eh, optical backscatter, magnetic and multibeam data.

  15. Arctic science input wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Arctic Research and Policy Act (Eos, June 26, 1984, p. 412) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan this past July. One of its objectives is to develop a 5-year research plan for the Arctic. A request for input to this plan is being issued this week to nearly 500 people in science, engineering, and industry.To promote Arctic research and to recommend research policy in the Arctic, the new law establishes a five-member Arctic Research Commission, to be appointed by the President, and establishes an Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, to be composed of representatives from nearly a dozen agencies having interests in the region. The commission will make policy recommendations, and the interagency committee will implement those recommendations. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been designated as the lead agency of the interagency committee.

  16. Glasnost in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roederer, Juan

    The question of establishing an international body to coordinate research activities in the Arctic is an old one. Proposals have been formulated on several occasions during the last 3 decades, but they have never been implemented.At present, a few adhoc or semiprivate bodies are engaged in cooperative ventures of arctic research, and there are several bilateral programs between Arctic countries. Yet there is no northern equivalent to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) o f the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). The politically and strategically sensitive nature of the Arctic regions has been a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Recently, however, an international initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission led to promising developments regarding international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

  17. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: Making Choices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Newton, R.; Schlosser, P.; Pomerance, R.; Tremblay, B.; Murray, M. S.; Gerrard, M.

    2015-12-01

    As the Arctic warms and shifts from icy white to watery blue and resource-rich, tension is arising between the desire to restore and sustain an ice-covered Arctic and stakeholder communities that hope to benefit from an open Arctic Ocean. If emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere continue on their present trend, most of the summer sea ice cover is projected to be gone by mid-century, i.e., by the time that few if any interventions could be in place to restore it. There are many local as well as global reasons for ice restoration, including for example, preserving the Arctic's reflectivity, sustaining critical habitat, and maintaining cultural traditions. However, due to challenges in implementing interventions, it may take decades before summer sea ice would begin to return. This means that future generations would be faced with bringing sea ice back into regions where they have not experienced it before. While there is likely to be interest in taking action to restore ice for the local, regional, and global services it provides, there is also interest in the economic advancement that open access brings. Dealing with these emerging issues and new combinations of stakeholders needs new approaches - yet environmental change in the Arctic is proceeding quickly and will force the issues sooner rather than later. In this contribution we examine challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities related to exploring options for restoring Arctic sea ice and potential pathways for their implementation. Negotiating responses involves international strategic considerations including security and governance, meaning that along with local communities, state decision-makers, and commercial interests, national governments will have to play central roles. While these issues are currently playing out in the Arctic, similar tensions are also emerging in other regions.

  18. Late Cretaceous seasonal ocean variability from the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew; Kemp, Alan E S; Pike, Jennifer

    2009-07-01

    The modern Arctic Ocean is regarded as a barometer of global change and amplifier of global warming and therefore records of past Arctic change are critical for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Little is known of the state of the Arctic Ocean in the greenhouse period of the Late Cretaceous epoch (65-99 million years ago), yet records from such times may yield important clues to Arctic Ocean behaviour in near-future warmer climates. Here we present a seasonally resolved Cretaceous sedimentary record from the Alpha ridge of the Arctic Ocean. This palaeo-sediment trap provides new insight into the workings of the Cretaceous marine biological carbon pump. Seasonal primary production was dominated by diatom algae but was not related to upwelling as was previously hypothesized. Rather, production occurred within a stratified water column, involving specially adapted species in blooms resembling those of the modern North Pacific subtropical gyre, or those indicated for the Mediterranean sapropels. With increased CO(2) levels and warming currently driving increased stratification in the global ocean, this style of production that is adapted to stratification may become more widespread. Our evidence for seasonal diatom production and flux testify to an ice-free summer, but thin accumulations of terrigenous sediment within the diatom ooze are consistent with the presence of intermittent sea ice in the winter, supporting a wide body of evidence for low temperatures in the Late Cretaceous Arctic Ocean, rather than recent suggestions of a 15 degrees C mean annual temperature at this time. PMID:19587768

  19. Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions and Disturbances on Mid-Ocean Ridge Biological Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shank, T. M.

    2009-12-01

    Understanding ecological processes in mid-ocean ridge benthic environments requires a knowledge of the temporal and spatial scales over which those processes take place. Over the past 17 years, the detection and now “direct observation” of more than nine seafloor eruptions and even more numerous and diverse geologic disturbances (e.g., dyking and cracking events) have provided a broad spectrum of perturbating seafloor phenomena that serve as key agents for creating new vent habitat, providing bursts of nutrients, supporting blooms of microbial and macrobiological communities, imparting magmatic/hydrothermal fluxes, controlling fluid geochemical composition, altering the successional stage of faunal communities, guiding the temporal and spatial scales of local extinction and recolonization, and for directing the evolution of physiological adaptations. Eruptions have now been documented on the East Pacific Rise, Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Gakkel Ridge, Galapagos Rift, CoAxial, Northwest Rota, West Mata, and Loihi Seamounts, representing diverse emergent eruptive styles, from explosive pyroclastic deposits to thin lava flows, these processes are occurring in different biogeographic regions hosting different regional species pools. As such, not only do these eruptions provide a method of establishing a “time-zero” with which to construct manipulative temporal experiments, but also provide a contextual framework with which to interpret the affect eruptions and disturbance have on ecological interactions in different biogeographic regions of the world, and the timescales over which they vary. The temporal and spatial impact of these different eruptive styles in relation to the alteration of biological community structure will be discussed.

  20. Arctic circulation regimes.

    PubMed

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Krishfield, Richard; Bamber, Jonathan L

    2015-10-13

    Between 1948 and 1996, mean annual environmental parameters in the Arctic experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability with two basic circulation patterns: cyclonic and anticyclonic alternating at 5 to 7 year intervals. During cyclonic regimes, low sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP) dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean counterclockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid, and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean towards the subarctic seas was intensified. By contrast, during anticylonic circulation regimes, high SLP dominated driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the subarctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been under the influence of an anticyclonic circulation regime (17 years) with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for this regime. We discuss a hypothesis explaining the causes and mechanisms regulating the intensity and duration of Arctic circulation regimes, and speculate how changes in freshwater fluxes from the Arctic Ocean and Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. PMID:26347536

  1. Arctic circulation regimes

    PubMed Central

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Krishfield, Richard; Bamber, Jonathan L.

    2015-01-01

    Between 1948 and 1996, mean annual environmental parameters in the Arctic experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability with two basic circulation patterns: cyclonic and anticyclonic alternating at 5 to 7 year intervals. During cyclonic regimes, low sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP) dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean counterclockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid, and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean towards the subarctic seas was intensified. By contrast, during anticylonic circulation regimes, high SLP dominated driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the subarctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been under the influence of an anticyclonic circulation regime (17 years) with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for this regime. We discuss a hypothesis explaining the causes and mechanisms regulating the intensity and duration of Arctic circulation regimes, and speculate how changes in freshwater fluxes from the Arctic Ocean and Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. PMID:26347536

  2. Infaunal and megafaunal benthic community structure associated with cold seeps at the Vestnesa Ridge (79 N°)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, Emmelie K. L.; Carroll, Michael L.; Sen, Arunima; Ambrose, William G., Jr.; Silyakova, Anna; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    Cold seeps are locations where hydrocarbons, sulfide or reduced compounds emanate from the seafloor, which may fuel chemoautotrophic production and form additional hard bottom substrate through carbonate precipitation. Chemosynthetic symbiosis, trophic interactions, and additional bottom substrate types can provide a heterogeneous environment for deep-sea organisms supporting macrofaunal communities including increased biodiversity and biomass. We combined quantitative benthic faunal samples with sea floor photographs from an active, methane seeping pockmark at Vestnesa Ridge (1200 meters depth) to examine community structure and biodiversity in a high Arctic deep cold seep. Quantitative data were compared with samples from the nearby inactive Svyatogor Ridge (1577-1706 meters depth). We measured highly elevated methane concentrations (up to 100x background levels) in the sediment at Vestnesa Ridge. Faunal abundance, species richness and biomass were significantly higher at the Vestnesa pockmark compared to inactive Svyatogor Ridge. Seabed photos from Vestnesa Ridge reveal high megafaunal diversity and biomass and cold seep features including carbonate crust and microbial mats. Our observations indicate that chemoautotrophic production enhances deep-sea biomass and diversity at Vestnesa Ridge. The focused methane emissions create a heterogeneous deep-sea habitat for chemo-associated organisms coexisting with heterotrophic conventional fauna in a high Arctic seep. Keywords: Arctic, benthic ecology, biodiversity, chemosynthesis, methane

  3. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poselov, V.; Kaminsky, V. D.; Butsenko, V. V.; Grikurov, G. E.

    2010-12-01

    In geodynamic context, Lomonosov Ridge is interpreted as a rifted passive margin framing the Eurasian oceanic basin. At the same time its near-Siberian segment is intimately associated with the Russian Arctic shelf, as evidenced by morphological data and the results of “Trans-Arctic 1992” and “Arctic-2007” geotransect studies. Coring and ACEX data demonstrated the presence in the uppermost geological section of the ridge of Late Cretaceous through Cenozoic sediments and Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks; the latter may belong to deeper levels of sedimentary cover, or may represent the Mesozoic folded basement. Coarse bottom debris contains also the fragments of Riphean-Paleozoic rocks probably derived from the local bedrock source. Structure of sedimentary cover is imaged by continuous seismic observations from the shelf of East Siberian Sea along the length of Lomonosov Ridge to 85 N. In the upper part of the section there are two sedimentary sequences separated by a regional unconformity; their seismic velocities are 2.4-3.1 km/s in the upper sequence and 3.4-4.0 km/s in the lower one, and the total thickness reaches ~ 8 km in the deepest part of New Siberian Basin. Both these sequences and the unconformity are traced from Lomonosov Ridge into Amundsen Basin on seismic reflection sections obtained by drifting ice stations North Pole 2479 and 2480. The low-velocity sediments are underlain by a metasedimetary sequence with velocities decreasing from 4.7-4.9 km/s on the shelf to 4.4-4.9 km/s beneath continental slope and 4.2-4.8 km/s on Lomonosov Ridge. The thickness of metasedimentary sequence is about 7 km on the shelf, up to 3.5 km under continental slope, and strongly variable (1-5 km) on Lomonosov Ridge. The upper layer of consolidated crust is 8-9 km thick on the shelf with velocities 6.1-6.2 km/s; on Lomonosov Ridge both its thickness and velocities increase to 10 km and 6.0-6.4 km/s, respectively. In the lower crust the velocities do not exceed 6

  4. Evaluation of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Simulated by Arctic Ocean Model Intercomparison Project Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Mark; Proshuntinsky, Andrew; Aksenov, Yevgeny; Nguyen, An T.; Lindsay, Ron; Haas, Christian; Zhang, Jinlun; Diansky, Nikolay; Kwok, Ron; Maslowski, Wieslaw; Hakkinen, Sirpa; Ashik, Igor; De Cuevas, Beverly

    2012-01-01

    Six Arctic Ocean Model Intercomparison Project model simulations are compared with estimates of sea ice thickness derived from pan-Arctic satellite freeboard measurements (2004-2008); airborne electromagnetic measurements (2001-2009); ice draft data from moored instruments in Fram Strait, the Greenland Sea, and the Beaufort Sea (1992-2008) and from submarines (1975-2000); and drill hole data from the Arctic basin, Laptev, and East Siberian marginal seas (1982-1986) and coastal stations (1998-2009). Despite an assessment of six models that differ in numerical methods, resolution, domain, forcing, and boundary conditions, the models generally overestimate the thickness of measured ice thinner than approximately 2 mand underestimate the thickness of ice measured thicker than about approximately 2m. In the regions of flat immobile landfast ice (shallow Siberian Seas with depths less than 25-30 m), the models generally overestimate both the total observed sea ice thickness and rates of September and October ice growth from observations by more than 4 times and more than one standard deviation, respectively. The models do not reproduce conditions of fast ice formation and growth. Instead, the modeled fast ice is replaced with pack ice which drifts, generating ridges of increasing ice thickness, in addition to thermodynamic ice growth. Considering all observational data sets, the better correlations and smaller differences from observations are from the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II and Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System models.

  5. Ice-Free Arctic Ocean?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    The current warming trends in the Arctic may shove the Arctic system into a seasonally ice-free state not seen for more than one million years, according to a new report. The melting is accelerating, and researchers were unable to identify any natural processes that might slow the deicing of the Arctic. "What really makes the Arctic different from…

  6. Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rachold, V.; Boike, J.

    2003-04-01

    Coastal dynamics directly reflecting the complicated land-ocean interactions play an important role in the balance of sediments, organic carbon and nutrients in the Arctic basin. Recent studies indicate that sediment input to the Arctic shelves resulting from erosion of ice-rich, permafrost-dominated coasts may be equal to or greater than input from river discharge. Thus, the understanding and quantification of coastal processes is critical for interpreting the geological history of the Arctic shelves. The predictions of future behavior of these coasts in response to climatic and sea level changes is an important issue because most of the human activity that occurs at high latitudes concentrates on the Arctic coastlines. As an initiative of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) the multi-disciplinary, multi-national forum Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD), which was recently accepted as a project of the International Arctic Sciences Committee (IASC), had been developed. The overall objective of ACD is to improve our understanding of circum-Arctic coastal dynamics as a function of environmental forcing, coastal geology and cryology and morphodynamic behavior. In particular, the project aims to: - establish the rates and magnitudes of erosion and accumulation of Arctic coasts; - develop a network of long-term monitoring sites including local community-based observational sites; - identify and undertake focused research on critical processes; - estimate the amount of sediments and organic carbon derived from coastal erosion; - refine and apply an Arctic coastal classification (includes ground-ice, permafrost, geology etc.) in digital form (GIS format); - extract and utilize existing information on relevant environmental forcing parameters (e.g. wind speed, sea level, fetch, sea ice etc.); - produce a series of thematic and derived maps (e.g. coastal classification, ground-ice, sensitivity etc.); - develop empirical models to assess the sensitivity of Arctic

  7. Arctic Economics Model

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1995-03-01

    AEM (Arctic Economics Model) for oil and gas was developed to provide an analytic framework for understanding the arctic area resources. It provides the capacity for integrating the resource and technology information gathered by the arctic research and development (R&D) program, measuring the benefits of alternaive R&D programs, and providing updated estimates of the future oil and gas potential from arctic areas. AEM enables the user to examine field or basin-level oil and gas recovery,more » costs, and economics. It provides a standard set of selected basin-specified input values or allows the user to input their own values. AEM consists of five integrated submodels: geologic/resource submodel, which distributes the arctic resource into 15 master regions, consisting of nine arctic offshore regions, three arctic onshore regions, and three souhtern Alaska (non-arctic) regions; technology submodel, which selects the most appropriate exploration and production structure (platform) for each arctic basin and water depth; oil and gas production submodel, which contains the relationship of per well recovery as a function of field size, production decline curves, and production decline curves by product; engineering costing and field development submodel, which develops the capital and operating costs associated with arctic oil and gas development; and the economics submodel, which captures the engineering costs and development timing and links these to oil and gas prices, corporate taxes and tax credits, depreciation, and timing of investment. AEM provides measures of producible oil and gas, costs, and ecomonic viability under alternative technology or financial conditions.« less

  8. 4D Arctic: A Glimpse into the Structure and Evolution of the Arctic in the Light of New Geophysical Maps, Plate Tectonics and Tomographic Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Carmen; Medvedev, Sergei; Torsvik, Trond H.; Koulakov, Ivan; Werner, Stephanie C.

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge about the Arctic tectonic structure has changed in the last decade as a large number of new datasets have been collected and systematized. Here, we review the most updated, publicly available Circum-Arctic digital compilations of magnetic and gravity data together with new models of the Arctic's crust. Available tomographic models have also been scrutinized and evaluated for their potential to reveal the deeper structure of the Arctic region. Although the age and opening mechanisms of the Amerasia Basin are still difficult to establish in detail, interpreted subducted slabs that reside in the High Arctic's lower mantle point to one or two episodes of subduction that consumed crust of possibly Late Cretaceous-Jurassic age. The origin of major igneous activity during the Cretaceous in the central Arctic (the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge) and in the proximity of rifted margins (the so-called High Arctic Large Igneous Province—HALIP) is still debated. Models of global plate circuits and the connection with the deep mantle are used here to re-evaluate a possible link between Arctic volcanism and mantle plumes.

  9. Arctic Climate Systems Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ivey, Mark D.; Robinson, David G.; Boslough, Mark B.; Backus, George A.; Peterson, Kara J.; van Bloemen Waanders, Bart G.; Swiler, Laura Painton; Desilets, Darin Maurice; Reinert, Rhonda Karen

    2015-03-01

    This study began with a challenge from program area managers at Sandia National Laboratories to technical staff in the energy, climate, and infrastructure security areas: apply a systems-level perspective to existing science and technology program areas in order to determine technology gaps, identify new technical capabilities at Sandia that could be applied to these areas, and identify opportunities for innovation. The Arctic was selected as one of these areas for systems level analyses, and this report documents the results. In this study, an emphasis was placed on the arctic atmosphere since Sandia has been active in atmospheric research in the Arctic since 1997. This study begins with a discussion of the challenges and benefits of analyzing the Arctic as a system. It goes on to discuss current and future needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for more comprehensive data products related to the Arctic; assess the current state of atmospheric measurement resources available for the Arctic; and explain how the capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories can be used to address the identified technological, data, and modeling needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for Arctic support.

  10. Improved Sampling Strategy for Arctic Snow Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homan, J. W.; Kane, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Watershed scale hydrologic models require good estimates of the spatially distributed snow water equivalent (SWE) at winter's end. Snow on the ground in treeless Arctic environments is susceptible to significant wind redistribution, which results in very heterogeneous snowpacks, with greater quantities of snow collection in depressions, valley bottoms and leeward sides of ridges. In the Arctic, precipitation and snow gauges are very poor indicators of the actual spatial snowpack distribution, particularly at winter's end when ablation occurs. Snow distribution patterns are similar from year to year because they are largely controlled by the interaction of topography, vegetation, and consistent weather patterns. From one year to the next, none of these controls radically change. Consequently, shallow and deep areas of snow tend to be spatially predetermined, resulting in depth (or SWE) differences that may vary as a whole, but not relative to each other, from year to year. This work attempts to identify snowpack distribution patterns at a watershed scale in the Arctic. Snow patterns are intended to be established by numerous field survey points from past end-of-winter field campaigns. All measured SWE values represent a certain percentage of a given watershed. Some may represent small-scale anomalies (local scale), while others might represent a large-scale area (regional scale). Since we are interested in identifying snowpack distribution patterns at a watershed scale, we aim to develop an improved point-source sampling strategy that only surveys regional representative areas. This will only be possible if the extreme high and low SWE measurements that represent local-scale snow conditions are removed in the sampled data set. The integration of these pattern identification methods will produce a hybrid approach to identifying snowpack distribution patterns. Improvement in our estimates of the snowpack distribution will aid in the forecasting of snowmelt runoff

  11. Live from the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warnick, W. K.; Haines-Stiles, G.; Warburton, J.; Sunwood, K.

    2003-12-01

    For reasons of geography and geophysics, the poles of our planet, the Arctic and Antarctica, are places where climate change appears first: they are global canaries in the mine shaft. But while Antarctica (its penguins and ozone hole, for example) has been relatively well-documented in recent books, TV programs and journalism, the far North has received somewhat less attention. This project builds on and advances what has been done to date to share the people, places, and stories of the North with all Americans through multiple media, over several years. In a collaborative project between the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) and PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, Live from the Arctic will bring the Arctic environment to the public through a series of primetime broadcasts, live and taped programming, interactive virtual field trips, and webcasts. The five-year project will culminate during the 2007-2008 International Polar Year (IPY). Live from the Arctic will: A. Promote global understanding about the value and world -wide significance of the Arctic, B. Bring cutting-edge research to both non-formal and formal education communities, C. Provide opportunities for collaboration between arctic scientists, arctic communities, and the general public. Content will focus on the following four themes. 1. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts on Land (i.e. snow cover; permafrost; glaciers; hydrology; species composition, distribution, and abundance; subsistence harvesting) 2. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Sea (i.e. salinity, temperature, currents, nutrients, sea ice, marine ecosystems (including people, marine mammals and fisheries) 3. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Atmosphere (i.e. precipitation and evaporation; effects on humans and their communities) 4. Global Perspectives (i.e. effects on humans and communities, impacts to rest of the world) In The Earth is Faster Now, a recent collection of comments by members of indigenous arctic peoples, arctic

  12. NASA's Arctic Voyage 2010

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's first oceanographic research expedition left Alaska on June 15, 2010. The ICESCAPE mission will head into the Arctic to study sea ice and the changing ocean ecosystem. Listen to the scientis...

  13. Calcareous microfossil-based orbital cyclostratigraphy in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzen, Rachel E.; DeNinno, Lauren H.; Cronin, Thomas M.

    2016-10-01

    Microfaunal and geochemical proxies from marine sediment records from central Arctic Ocean (CAO) submarine ridges suggest a close relationship over the last 550 thousand years (kyr) between orbital-scale climatic oscillations, sea-ice cover, marine biological productivity and other parameters. Multiple paleoclimate proxies record glacial to interglacial cycles. To understand the climate-cryosphere-productivity relationship, we examined the cyclostratigraphy of calcareous microfossils and constructed a composite Arctic Paleoclimate Index (API) "stack" from benthic foraminiferal and ostracode density from 14 sediment cores. Following the hypothesis that API is driven mainly by changes in sea-ice related productivity, the API stack shows the Arctic experienced a series of highly productive interglacials and interstadials every ∼20 kyr. These periods signify minimal ice shelf and sea-ice cover and maximum marine productivity. Rapid transitions in productivity are seen during shifts from interglacial to glacial climate states. Discrepancies between the Arctic API curves and various global climatic, sea-level and ice-volume curves suggest abrupt growth and decay of Arctic ice shelves related to climatic and sea level oscillations.

  14. Arctic freshwater synthesis: Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prowse, T.; Bring, A.; Mârd, J.; Carmack, E.

    2015-11-01

    In response to a joint request from the World Climate Research Program's Climate and Cryosphere Project, the International Arctic Science Committee, and the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an updated scientific assessment has been conducted of the Arctic Freshwater System (AFS), entitled the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFSΣ). The major reason for joint request was an increasing concern that changes to the AFS have produced, and could produce even greater, changes to biogeophysical and socioeconomic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce extra-Arctic climatic effects that will have global consequences. Hence, the key objective of the AFSΣ was to produce an updated, comprehensive, and integrated review of the structure and function of the entire AFS. The AFSΣ was organized around six key thematic areas: atmosphere, oceans, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology, resources and modeling, and the review of each coauthored by an international group of scientists and published as separate manuscripts in this special issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. This AFSΣ—Introduction reviews the motivations for, and foci of, previous studies of the AFS, discusses criteria used to define the domain of the AFS, and details key characteristics of the definition adopted for the AFSΣ.

  15. USGS Arctic science strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shasby, Mark; Smith, Durelle

    2015-01-01

    The United States is one of eight Arctic nations responsible for the stewardship of a polar region undergoing dramatic environmental, social, and economic changes. Although warming and cooling cycles have occurred over millennia in the Arctic region, the current warming trend is unlike anything recorded previously and is affecting the region faster than any other place on Earth, bringing dramatic reductions in sea ice extent, altered weather, and thawing permafrost. Implications of these changes include rapid coastal erosion threatening villages and critical infrastructure, potentially significant effects on subsistence activities and cultural resources, changes to wildlife habitat, increased greenhouse-gas emissions from thawing permafrost, threat of invasive species, and opening of the Arctic Ocean to oil and gas exploration and increased shipping. The Arctic science portfolio of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its response to climate-related changes focuses on landscapescale ecosystem and natural resource issues and provides scientific underpinning for understanding the physical processes that shape the Arctic. The science conducted by the USGS informs the Nation's resource management policies and improves the stewardship of the Arctic Region.

  16. Ridge Regression Signal Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhl, Mark R.

    1990-01-01

    The introduction of the Global Positioning System (GPS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) necessitates the development of Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) techniques. In order to guarantee a certain level of integrity, a thorough understanding of modern estimation techniques applied to navigational problems is required. The extended Kalman filter (EKF) is derived and analyzed under poor geometry conditions. It was found that the performance of the EKF is difficult to predict, since the EKF is designed for a Gaussian environment. A novel approach is implemented which incorporates ridge regression to explain the behavior of an EKF in the presence of dynamics under poor geometry conditions. The basic principles of ridge regression theory are presented, followed by the derivation of a linearized recursive ridge estimator. Computer simulations are performed to confirm the underlying theory and to provide a comparative analysis of the EKF and the recursive ridge estimator.

  17. PUSCH RIDGE WILDERNESS, ARIZONA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinkle, Margaret E.; Ryan, George S.

    1984-01-01

    On the basis of a mineral survey, the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, located at the northern boundary of the city of Tucson, Arizona, offers little or no promise for the occurrence of energy resources. Only one area contains a probable potential for small, isolated contact-metamorphic deposits containing copper, molybdenum, tungsten, lead, and zinc. This area is located around the southwestern end of Pusch Ridge, adjacent to a residential area.

  18. The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Fahnestock, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program (AVS) is a program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and funded by the National Science Foundation. AVS provides small grants to researchers and other Arctic experts to travel and share their knowledge in communities where they might not otherwise connect. The program aims to: initiate and encourage arctic science education in communities with little exposure to arctic research; increase collaboration among the arctic research community; nurture communication between arctic researchers and community residents; and foster arctic science education at the local level. Individuals, community organizations, and academic organizations can apply to host a speaker. Speakers cover a wide range of arctic topics and can address a variety of audiences including K-12 students, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public. Preference is given to tours that reach broad and varied audiences, especially those targeted to underserved populations. Between October 2000 and July 2013, AVS supported 114 tours spanning 9 different countries, including tours in 23 U.S. states. Tours over the past three and a half years have connected Arctic experts with over 6,600 audience members. Post-tour evaluations show that AVS consistently rates high for broadening interest and understanding of arctic issues. AVS provides a case study for how face-to-face interactions between arctic scientists and general audiences can produce high-impact results. Further information can be found at: http://www.arcus.org/arctic-visiting-speakers.

  19. Teleseismic earthquake swarms at ultraslow spreading ridges: indicator for dyke intrusions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlindwein, V.

    2012-07-01

    Earthquakes at mid-ocean ridges reflect the active magmatic and tectonic processes that form new oceanic crust. Studies of large earthquakes observed on land and smaller earthquakes observed locally or regionally by ocean bottom seismometers or autonomous underwater hydrophones have greatly contributed to our understanding of the structure and active spreading processes at the mid-ocean ridges of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean opening with velocities in excess of 25 mm yr-1. At spreading rates below 20 mm yr-1 full rate, the appearance and the accretion processes of mid-ocean ridges undergo fundamental changes as the melt supply is drastically reduced. The active spreading processes at these so-called ultraslow spreading ridges are still poorly known, as the main representatives, the Arctic Ridge System and the Southwest Indian Ridge, are poorly accessible and neither autonomous underwater hydrophone nor ocean bottom seismometer records of local seismicity are available. In an attempt to compare on a large scale the accretion style of ultraslow spreading ridge sections, I analyse the teleseismically recorded seismicity in 11 sections of the Arctic Ridge System and the Southwest Indian Ridge spanning altogether 7200 km. Epicentres located within 30-35 km of the rift axis were extracted from the catalogue of the International Seismological Centre for a time period of 35 yr. On the basis of a single-link cluster analysis, I identified 27 swarms with eight or more events. These swarms occur almost exclusively at centres of focussed magmatism suggesting that the swarms are probably initiated by magmatism. Normal faults along several tens of kilometres surrounding the volcanic centres react in large earthquakes (M > 5) to dyke emplacement. The routine generation of large earthquakes in the cold, brittle lithosphere of ultraslow spreading ridges makes the teleseismic record a valuable means to study ultraslow accretion processes and to provide a global framework for the

  20. Arctic Sea Ice Maximum 2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice: September 2010 to March 2011: Scientists tracking the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice said that 2011 was among the lowest ice extents measured since satellites began ...

  1. Arctic Rabies – A Review

    PubMed Central

    Mørk, Torill; Prestrud, Pål

    2004-01-01

    Rabies seems to persist throughout most arctic regions, and the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the only part of the Arctic where rabies has not been diagnosed in recent time. The arctic fox is the main host, and the same arctic virus variant seems to infect the arctic fox throughout the range of this species. The epidemiology of rabies seems to have certain common characteristics in arctic regions, but main questions such as the maintenance and spread of the disease remains largely unknown. The virus has spread and initiated new epidemics also in other species such as the red fox and the racoon dog. Large land areas and cold climate complicate the control of the disease, but experimental oral vaccination of arctic foxes has been successful. This article summarises the current knowledge and the typical characteristics of arctic rabies including its distribution and epidemiology. PMID:15535081

  2. The behavior and concentration of CO2 in the suboceanic mantle: Inferences from undegassed ocean ridge and ocean island basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michael, Peter J.; Graham, David W.

    2015-11-01

    In order to better determine the behavior of CO2 relative to incompatible elements, and improve the accuracy of mantle CO2 concentration and flux estimates, we determined CO2 glass and vesicle concentrations, plus trace element contents for fifty-one ultradepleted mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) glasses from the global mid-ocean ridge system. Fifteen contained no vesicles and were volatile undersaturated for their depth of eruption. Thirty-six contained vesicles and/or were slightly oversaturated, and so may not have retained all of their CO2. If this latter group lost some bubbles during emplacement, then CO2/Ba calculated for the undersaturated group alone is the most reliable and uniform ratio at 98 ± 10, and CO2/Nb is 283 ± 32. If the oversaturated MORBs did not lose bubbles, then CO2/Nb is the most uniform ratio within the entire suite of ultradepleted MORBs at 291 ± 132, while CO2/Ba decreases with increasing incompatible element enrichment. Additional constraints on CO2/Ba and CO2/Nb ratios are provided by published estimates of CO2 contents in highly vesicular enriched basalts that may have retained their vesicles e.g., the Mid-Atlantic Ridge "popping rocks", and from olivine-hosted melt inclusions in normal MORBs. As incompatible element enrichment increases, CO2/Nb increases progressively from 283 ± 32 in ultradepleted MORBs to 603 ± 69 in depleted melt inclusions to 936 ± 132 in enriched, vesicular basalts. In contrast, CO2/Ba is nearly uniform in these sample suites at 98 ± 10, 106 ± 24 and 111 ± 11 respectively. This suggests that Ba is the best proxy for estimating CO2 contents of MORBs, with an overall average CO2/Ba = 105 ± 9. Atlantic, Pacific and Indian basalts have similar values. Gakkel Ridge has lower CO2/Ba because of anomalously high Ba, and is not included in our global averages. Using the CO2/Ba ratio and published compilations of trace elements in average MORBs, the CO2 concentration of a primary, average MORB is 2085+ 473/- 427

  3. Crust-ocean interactions during midocean ridge eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, E. T.

    2011-12-01

    Eruptions are the "quantum event" of crustal accretion, occurring daily to monthly (depending on spreading rate) along the global midocean ridge system. The number of eruptions detected and responded to remain very few, however, so our knowledge of the magnitude and rate of crust-ocean interaction at the instant of an eruption is almost entirely circumstantial. The discovery of uniquely different plumes over a 2008 eruption on the NE Lau spreading center greatly broadened the known range of eruption-initiated transfer of heat, chemicals, and perhaps biota from the crust to the ocean. Serendipitous observations and rapid response cruises have now documented that the "event (mega-) plumes" accompanying eruptions range over a factor of 100 in volume (1-150 km3), yet maintain a distinctive and consistent chemical signature (much lower 3He/heat and Mn/heat and higher H2/heat than typical black smokers). Confirmed event plumes have formed at spreading rates from 55-~90 mm/yr, with some incompletely sampled but "event-like" plumes observed at even slower rates (11-30 mm/yr; Gakkel and Carlsberg Ridges). Presently, only four event plumes can be associated with specific eruptions. Large event plumes in the NE Pacific were found over thick (up to ~75 m), voluminous, and slowly extruded pillow mounds. The 2008 eruption on the fast-spreading NE Lau spreading center demonstrated that thin (a few meters), small, and rapidly emplaced sheet flows can generate smaller event plumes. Available evidence suggests that massive fluid discharge occurs virtually simultaneously with an eruption. At Gorda Ridge in 1996, eruption-indicative seismicity began on the same day and location an event plume was found. At Axial Volcano in 1998, moorings 2 km apart both recorded the appearance of a >100-m-thick plume within minutes of the start of a 72-min-long sheet flow eruption. These observations support inferences from plume modeling and chemistry that event plume generation time is hours, not

  4. FIRE Arctic Clouds Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curry, J. A.; Hobbs, P. V.; King, M. D.; Randall, D. A.; Minnis, P.; Issac, G. A.; Pinto, J. O.; Uttal, T.; Bucholtz, A.; Cripe, D. G.; Gerber, H.; Fairall, C. W.; Garrett, T. J.; Hudson, J.; Intrieri, J. M.; Jakob, C.; Jensen, T.; Lawson, P.; Marcotte, D.; Nguyen, L.

    1998-01-01

    An overview is given of the First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Arctic Clouds Experiment that was conducted in the Arctic during April through July, 1998. The principal goal of the field experiment was to gather the data needed to examine the impact of arctic clouds on the radiation exchange between the surface, atmosphere, and space, and to study how the surface influences the evolution of boundary layer clouds. The observations will be used to evaluate and improve climate model parameterizations of cloud and radiation processes, satellite remote sensing of cloud and surface characteristics, and understanding of cloud-radiation feedbacks in the Arctic. The experiment utilized four research aircraft that flew over surface-based observational sites in the Arctic Ocean and Barrow, Alaska. In this paper we describe the programmatic and science objectives of the project, the experimental design (including research platforms and instrumentation), conditions that were encountered during the field experiment, and some highlights of preliminary observations, modelling, and satellite remote sensing studies.

  5. Mantle properties and the MOR process: a new and versatile model for mid-ocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osmaston, Miles

    2014-05-01

    the walls bulge inward and make contact at the PC level, forcing open the crack along strike. This, alternating along strike, induces flow into the crack intermittently and also creates the suction that we will show is required by plate dynamics. The solid-state recrystallization mechanism gives our MOR model >10-fold greater ridge-push than the divergent flow models, and the plate is thick enough to transmit it without crumpling. Structural dependence on spreading rate. (A) Medium rate, e.g. MAR. The push-apart PC is the gt-sp (a) at ~90km depth. Above that the walls are laterally unsupported, normal faulting occurs and a rift valley is formed. The volume increase at PC depth is partly and intermittently relieved upward to uplift the valley sides and create the rugged flank topography. (B) Fast, e.g. EPR. The high rate results in high temperature around the crest, so the sp-plag PC is involved in push-apart at shallow depth, little or no rift faulting occurs and the flanks have the rounded abyssal hill topography. (C) Ultraslow, e.g. Gakkel, SWIR. The low rate at which mantle is drawn into the crack means melting is insufficient for the log-jam mechanism to work, so there is no segregated basalt, negligible crust, but wide peridotite extrusion (very wide crack), laced with melt veins, appears at surface. Again, because melting in the crack is so low, the two wall-accretion consequences (axis straightness and orthogonal segmentation; seismic anisotropy by crystallization from melt) are weak or absent. Push-apart force is highest for ultraslow because of the near-solidity of the material involved in the push-apart action. Other properties. (i) Axis curvature at ridge-transform intersections (RTIs). The differential wall-accretion we propose as responsible for axial straightness actually orients the crack perpendicular to the lateral cooling gradient. At RTIs, additional cooling is coming from the older plate across the transform. (ii) Offset spreading centres (OSCs

  6. Fingermark ridge drift.

    PubMed

    De Alcaraz-Fossoul, Josep; Roberts, Katherine A; Feixat, Carme Barrot; Hogrebe, Gregory G; Badia, Manel Gené

    2016-01-01

    Distortions of the fingermark topography are usually considered when comparing latent and exemplar fingerprints. These alterations are characterized as caused by an extrinsic action, which affects entire areas of the deposition and alters the overall flow of a series of contiguous ridges. Here we introduce a novel visual phenomenon that does not follow these principles, named fingermark ridge drift. An experiment was designed that included variables such as type of secretion (eccrine and sebaceous), substrate (glass and polystyrene), and degrees of exposure to natural light (darkness, shade, and direct light) indoors. Fingermarks were sequentially visualized with titanium dioxide powder, photographed and analyzed. The comparison between fresh and aged depositions revealed that under certain environmental conditions an individual ridge could randomly change its original position regardless of its unaltered adjacent ridges. The causes of the drift phenomenon are not well understood. We believe it is exclusively associated with intrinsic natural aging processes of latent fingermarks. This discovery will help explain the detection of certain dissimilarities at the minutiae/ridge level; determine more accurate "hits"; identify potentially erroneous corresponding points; and rethink identification protocols, especially the criteria of "no single minutiae discrepancy" for a positive identification. PMID:26646735

  7. Enhanced sea-ice export from the Arctic during the Younger Dryas.

    PubMed

    Not, Christelle; Hillaire-Marcel, Claude

    2012-01-01

    The Younger Dryas cold spell of the last deglaciation and related slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation have been linked to a large array of processes, notably an influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic related to partial drainage of glacial Lake Agassiz. Here we observe a major drainage event, in marine sediment cores raised from the Lomonosov Ridge, in the central Arctic Ocean marked by a pulse in detrital dolomitic-limestones. This points to an Arctic-Canadian sediment source area with about fivefold higher Younger Dryas ice-rafting deposition rate, in comparison with the Holocene. Our findings thus support the hypothesis of a glacial drainage event in the Canadian Arctic area, at the onset of the Younger Dryas, enhancing sea-ice production and drifting through the Arctic, then export through Fram Strait, towards Atlantic meridional overturning circulation sites of the northern North Atlantic. PMID:22337125

  8. Ridged Layer Outcrop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    15 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a strange ridged pattern developed in an eroding layer of material on the floor of a Labyrinthus Noctis depression in the Valles Marineris system. The ridges bear some resemblance to ripple-like dunes seen elsewhere on Mars, but they are linked to the erosion of a specific layer of material--i.e., something in the rock record of Mars. Similar ridged textures are found in eroded dark-toned mantling layers in regions as far away as northern Sinus Meridiani and Mawrth Vallis. The explanation for these landforms is as elusive as this image is evocative. The image is located near 8.2oS, 93.6oW, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

  9. New aero-gravity results from the Arctic: Linking the latest Cretaceous-early Cenozoic plate kinematics of the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Døssing, A.; Hopper, J. R.; Olesen, A. V.; Rasmussen, T. M.; Halpenny, J.

    2013-10-01

    The tectonic history of the Arctic Ocean remains poorly resolved and highly controversial. Details regarding break up of the Lomonosov Ridge from the Barents-Kara shelf margins and the establishment of seafloor spreading in the Cenozoic Eurasia Basin are unresolved. Significantly, the plate tectonic evolution of the Mesozoic Amerasia Basin is essentially unknown. The Arctic Ocean north of Greenland is at a critical juncture that formed at the locus of a Mesozoic three-plate setting between the Lomonosov Ridge, Greenland, and North America. In addition, the area is close to the European plate, resulting in complicated interactions between all these areas that are difficult to resolve. In 2009, the 550,000 km2 LOMGRAV aero-geophysical survey produced the first collocated gravity and magnetic measurements over the area, significantly increasing the data coverage. We present an interpretation of a new free-air gravity compilation, which reveals a regionally consistent structural grain across the Lomonosov Ridge, the Ellesmere and Lincoln Sea shelves, and the Alpha Ridge. We interpret the grain as evidence of latest Cretaceous (˜80 Ma) regional extension in response to the northward propagation of Atlantic and Labrador Sea opening into the Arctic, west of Greenland. This interpretation is consistent with coincident alkaline volcanic activity evident in the borderlands of the Lincoln Sea. We further suggest that Eurekan crustal shortening contributed to the formation of the distinct Lomonosov Ridge plateau against an important fault zone north of Greenland. Our results provide new constraints for Cretaceous-Cenozoic plate reconstructions of the Arctic.

  10. The Arctic Ocean ice balance - A Kalman smoother estimate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, D. R.; Rothrock, D. A.

    1993-01-01

    The methodology of Kalman filtering and smoothing is used to integrate a 7-year time series of buoy-derived ice motion fields and satellite passive microwave observations. The result is a record of the concentrations of open water, first-year ice, and multiyear ice that we believe is better than the estimates based on the microwave data alone. The Kalman procedure interprets the evolution of the ice cover in terms of advection, melt, growth, ridging, and aging of first-year into multiyear ice. Generally, the regions along the coasts of Alaska and Siberia and the area just north of Fram Strait are sources of first-year ice, with the rest of the Arctic Ocean acting as a sink for first-year ice via ridging and aging. All the Arctic Ocean except for the Beaufort and Chukchi seas is a source of multiyear ice, with the Chukchi being the only internal multiyear ice sink. Export through Fram Strait is a major ice sink, but we find only about two-thirds the export and greater interannual variation than found in previous studies. There is no discernible trend in the area of multiyear ice in the Arctic Ocean during the 7 years.

  11. Arctic ozone loss

    SciTech Connect

    Zurer, P.S.

    1989-03-06

    Scientists have returned from the first comprehensive probe of the Arctic stratosphere with unexpectedly dire results: The winter atmosphere in the north polar region is loaded with the same destructive chlorine compounds that cause the Antarctic ozone hole. Atmospheric researchers who only a few weeks ago were comforted by the thought that the warmer Northern Hemisphere is strongly protected from the processes that lead to massive losses of ozone during spring in Antarctica now see very little standing in the way of an Arctic ozone hole.

  12. Preliminary Geospatial Analysis of Arctic Ocean Hydrocarbon Resources

    SciTech Connect

    Long, Philip E.; Wurstner, Signe K.; Sullivan, E. C.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Bradley, Donald J.

    2008-10-01

    Ice coverage of the Arctic Ocean is predicted to become thinner and to cover less area with time. The combination of more ice-free waters for exploration and navigation, along with increasing demand for hydrocarbons and improvements in technologies for the discovery and exploitation of new hydrocarbon resources have focused attention on the hydrocarbon potential of the Arctic Basin and its margins. The purpose of this document is to 1) summarize results of a review of published hydrocarbon resources in the Arctic, including both conventional oil and gas and methane hydrates and 2) develop a set of digital maps of the hydrocarbon potential of the Arctic Ocean. These maps can be combined with predictions of ice-free areas to enable estimates of the likely regions and sequence of hydrocarbon production development in the Arctic. In this report, conventional oil and gas resources are explicitly linked with potential gas hydrate resources. This has not been attempted previously and is particularly powerful as the likelihood of gas production from marine gas hydrates increases. Available or planned infrastructure, such as pipelines, combined with the geospatial distribution of hydrocarbons is a very strong determinant of the temporal-spatial development of Arctic hydrocarbon resources. Significant unknowns decrease the certainty of predictions for development of hydrocarbon resources. These include: 1) Areas in the Russian Arctic that are poorly mapped, 2) Disputed ownership: primarily the Lomonosov Ridge, 3) Lack of detailed information on gas hydrate distribution, and 4) Technical risk associated with the ability to extract methane gas from gas hydrates. Logistics may control areas of exploration more than hydrocarbon potential. Accessibility, established ownership, and leasing of exploration blocks may trump quality of source rock, reservoir, and size of target. With this in mind, the main areas that are likely to be explored first are the Bering Strait and Chukchi

  13. Geological Structure and History of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shokalsky, Sergey; Sobolev, Nikolay; Kashubin, Sergey; Pospelov, Igor; Tolmacheva, Tatiana; Petrov, Eugeny

    2016-04-01

    New data on geological structure of the deep-water part of the Arctic Basin have been integrated in the joint project of Arctic states - the Atlas of maps of the Circumpolar Arctic. Geological (CGS, 2009) and potential field (NGS, 2009) maps were published as part of the Atlas; tectonic (Russia) and mineral resources (Norway) maps are being completed. The Arctic basement map is one of supplements to the tectonic map. It shows the Eurasian basin with oceanic crust and submerged margins of adjacent continents: the Barents-Kara, Amerasian ("Amerasian basin") and the Canada-Greenland. These margins are characterized by strained and thinned crust with the upper crust layer, almost extinct in places (South Barents and Makarov basins). In the Central Arctic elevations, seismic studies and investigation of seabed rock samples resulted in the identification of a craton with the Early Precambrian crust (near-polar part of the Lomonosov Ridge - Alpha-Mendeleev Rise). Its basement presumably consists of gneiss granite (2.6-2.2 Ga), and the cover is composed of Proterozoic quartzite sandstone and dolomite overlain with unconformity and break in sedimentation by Devonian-Triassic limestone with fauna and terrigenous rocks. The old crust is surrounded by accretion belts of Timanides and Grenvillides. Folded belts with the Late Precambrian crust are reworked by Caledonian-Ellesmerian and the Late Mesozoic movements. Structures of the South Anuy - Angayucham ophiolite suture reworked in the Early Cretaceous are separated from Mesozoides proper of the Pacific - Verkhoyansk-Kolyma and Koryak-Kamchatka belts. The complicated modern ensemble of structures of the basement and the continental frame of the Arctic Ocean was formed as a result of the conjugate evolution and interaction of the three major oceans of the Earth: Paleoasian, Paleoatlantic and Paleopacific.

  14. Ridge from strings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, M. A.; Pajares, C.; Vechernin, V. V.

    2015-04-01

    In the colour string picture with fusion and percolation it is shown that long-range azimuthal-rapidity correlations (ridge) can arise from the superposition of many events with exchange of clusters of different number of strings and not from a single event. Relation of the ridge with the flow harmonics coefficients is derived. By direct Monte Carlo simulations, in the technique previously used to calculate these coefficients, ridge correlations are calculated for AA, pA and pp collisions. The azimuthal anisotropy follows from the assumed quenching of the emitted particles in the strong colour fields inside string clusters. It is confirmed that in pp collisions the ridge structure only appears in rare events with abnormally high multiplicity. Comparison with the experimental data shows a good agreement. Good agreement is also found for pPb collisions. For AA collisions a reasonable agreement is found for both near-side and away-side angular correlations although it worsens at intermediate angles.

  15. Arctic region: new model of geodynamic history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikishin, Anatoly; Kazmin, Yuriy; Malyshev, Nikolay; Morozov, Andrey; Petrov, Eugene

    2014-05-01

    Basin. The Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge is a rifted continental terrane covered by pre-rift basalts. The Eurasian Basin is a small oceanic one. Defined age of spreading is 56-0 Ma. The basin is characterized by a very slow spreading rate. Eocene to recent sediments covers the system of prominent linear ranges and valleys of former mid-oceanic ridge. The Lomonosov Ridge is a well known continental terrane dissected by Neogene-Quaternary faults. New data shows that the area of the Lomonosov and the Alpha-Mendeleev ridges was affected by strong Neogene to recent extension or transtension tectonics with the formation of numerous normal faults and related topographic highs and valleys. Recent bathymetry of these ridges is a result of this Neogene to recent tectonics. Our report is based on a new set of seismic lines in the Russian part of the Arctic region.

  16. Communicating Arctic Change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serreze, M.

    2009-12-01

    Nowhere on the planet are emerging signals of climate change more visible than in the Arctic. Rapid warming, a quickly shrinking summer sea ice cover, and thawing permafrost, will have impacts that extend beyond the Arctic and may reverberate around the globe. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) of the University of Colorado has taken a leading role in trying to effectively communicate the science and importance of Arctic change. Our popular “Sea Ice News and Analysis” web site tracks the Arctic’s shrinking ice cover and provides scientific analysis with language that is accurate yet accessible to a wide audience. Our Education Center provides accessible information on all components of the Earth’s cryosphere, the changes being seen, and how scientists conduct research. A challenge faced by NSIDC is countering the increasing level of confusion and misinformation regarding Arctic and global change, a complex problem that reflects the low level of scientific literacy by much of the public, the difficulties many scientists face in communicating their findings in accurate but understandable terms, and efforts by some groups to deliberately misrepresent and distort climate change science. This talk will outline through examples ways in which NSIDC has been successful in science communication and education, as well as lessons learned from failures.

  17. Arctic lithosphere - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pease, V.; Drachev, S.; Stephenson, R.; Zhang, X.

    2014-07-01

    This article reviews the characteristics of Arctic lithosphere and the principal tectonic events which have shaped it. The current state-of-knowledge associated with the crust, crustal-scale discontinuities, and their ages, as well as knowledge of the lithosphere as a whole from geophysical data, permits the division of Arctic lithosphere into discrete domains. Arctic continental lithosphere is diverse in age, composition, and structure. It has been affected by at least two periods of thermal overprinting associated with large volumes of magmatism, once in the Permo-Triassic and again in the Aptian. In addition, it was attenuated as the result of at least five phases of rifting (in the late Devonian-early Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic, Jurassic, Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic). Older phases of consolidation are associated with continental lithosphere and occurred through a series of continent-continent collisions in the Paleozoic. Jurassic and Cretaceous extensional phases are related to the dismembering of Pangea and Eurasia, and were concentrated in the Norway-Greenland and Canadian-Alaskan Arctic regions. Large areas of submarine, hyperextended continental (?) lithosphere developed in parts of the Amerasia Basin. After continental breakup and the accretion of new oceanic lithosphere, the Eurasia and Canada basins were formed.

  18. The Arctic Circle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Siobhan

    2016-04-01

    My name is Siobhan McDonald. I am a visual artist living and working in Dublin. My studio is based in The School of Science at University College Dublin where I was Artist in Residence 2013-2015. A fascination with time and the changeable nature of landmass has led to ongoing conversations with scientists and research institutions across the interweaving disciplines of botany, biology and geology. I am developing a body of work following a recent research trip to the North Pole where I studied the disappearing landscape of the Arctic. Prompted by my experience of the Arctic shelf receding, this new work addresses issues of the instability of the earth's materiality. The work is grounded in an investigation of material processes, exploring the dynamic forces that transform matter and energy. This project combines art and science in a fascinating exploration of one of the Earth's last relatively untouched wilderness areas - the High Arctic to bring audiences on journeys to both real and artistically re-imagined Arctic spaces. CRYSTALLINE'S pivotal process is collaboration: with The European Space Agency; curator Helen Carey; palaeontologist Prof. Jenny McElwain, UCD; and with composer Irene Buckley. CRYSTALLINE explores our desire to make corporeal contact with geological phenomena in Polar Regions. From January 2016, in my collaboration with Jenny McElwain, I will focus on the study of plants and atmospheres from the Arctic regions as far back as 400 million years ago, to explore the essential 'nature' that, invisible to the eye, acts as imaginary portholes into other times. This work will be informed by my arctic tracings of sounds and images recorded in the glaciers of this disappearing frozen landscape. In doing so, the urgencies around the tipping of natural balances in this fragile region will be revealed. The final work will emerge from my forthcoming residency at the ESA in spring 2016. Here I will conduct a series of workshops in ESA Madrid to work with

  19. Arctic ice islands

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Jeffries, M.O.; Lu, M.C.; Li, F.C.

    1988-01-01

    The development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic waters of Alaska requires offshore structures which successfully resist the lateral forces due to moving, drifting ice. Ice islands are floating, a tabular icebergs, up to 60 meters thick, of solid ice throughout their thickness. The ice islands are thus regarded as the strongest ice features in the Arctic; fixed offshore structures which can directly withstand the impact of ice islands are possible but in some locations may be so expensive as to make oilfield development uneconomic. The resolution of the ice island problem requires two research steps: (1) calculation of the probability of interaction between an ice island and an offshore structure in a given region; and (2) if the probability if sufficiently large, then the study of possible interactions between ice island and structure, to discover mitigative measures to deal with the moving ice island. The ice island research conducted during the 1983-1988 interval, which is summarized in this report, was concerned with the first step. Monte Carlo simulations of ice island generation and movement suggest that ice island lifetimes range from 0 to 70 years, and that 85% of the lifetimes are less then 35 years. The simulation shows a mean value of 18 ice islands present at any time in the Arctic Ocean, with a 90% probability of less than 30 ice islands. At this time, approximately 34 ice islands are known, from observations, to exist in the Arctic Ocean, not including the 10-meter thick class of ice islands. Return interval plots from the simulation show that coastal zones of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, already leased for oil development, have ice island recurrences of 10 to 100 years. This implies that the ice island hazard must be considered thoroughly, and appropriate safety measures adopted, when offshore oil production plans are formulated for the Alaskan Arctic offshore. 132 refs., 161 figs., 17 tabs.

  20. Alkalic Basalt in Ridge Axis of 53˚E Amagmatic Segment Center, Southwest Indian Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, H.; Wang, J.; Liu, Y.; Ji, F.; Dick, H. J.

    2014-12-01

    Mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) is key tracer of composition and process in the mantle. It is interesting to notice that some alkalic basalts occur in amagmatic spreading center of ultraslow spreading ridges, for examples, 9-16˚E of the Southwest Indian ridge (Standish et al., 2008) and Lena Trough of Arctic Ocean (Snow et al., 2011). The latter is interpreted as the result of the pre-existence of continental transform fault or the especially cold thermal structure of ancient continental lithosphere. 53˚E segment, east of the Gallieni transform fault, was discovered as an amagmatic segment (Zhou and Dick, 2013). On both sides of the ridge axis, peridotites with a little gabbro are exposed in an area more than 3200 km2. Basalts exist in the southern portion of 53˚E segment, indicating the transformation from magmatic to amagmatic spreading about 9.4 million years ago. In April of 2014, Leg 4 of the RV Dayang Yihao cruise 30, basaltic glasses was dredged at one location (3500 m water depth) in the ridge axis of 53˚E segment center. It is shown by electric probe analysis that the samples have extremely high sodium content (4.0-4.49 wt% Na­2O ), relative higher potassium content (0.27-0.32 wt% K2O) and silica (50.67-51.87 wt% SiO2), and lower MgO content (5.9-6.4 wt% MgO). Mg-number is 0.55-0.59. It is distinctly different from the N-MORB (2.42-2.68 wt% Na2O, 0.03-0.06 wt% K2O, 48.6-49.6 wt% Si2O, 8.8-9.0 wt% MgO, Mg-numbers 0.63) distributed in the 560-km-long supersegment, west of the Gallieni transform fault, where the active Dragon Flag hydrothermal field was discovered at 49.6˚E in 2007. The reasons for the alkalic basalt in the ridge axis of 53˚E amagmatic segment center, either by low melting degree of garnet stability field, by melting from an ancient subcontinental lithospheric mantle, or by sodium-metasomatism or even other mantle processes or their combination in the deep mantle, are under further studies.

  1. Arctic sea ice modeling with the material-point method.

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, Kara J.; Bochev, Pavel Blagoveston

    2010-04-01

    Arctic sea ice plays an important role in global climate by reflecting solar radiation and insulating the ocean from the atmosphere. Due to feedback effects, the Arctic sea ice cover is changing rapidly. To accurately model this change, high-resolution calculations must incorporate: (1) annual cycle of growth and melt due to radiative forcing; (2) mechanical deformation due to surface winds, ocean currents and Coriolis forces; and (3) localized effects of leads and ridges. We have demonstrated a new mathematical algorithm for solving the sea ice governing equations using the material-point method with an elastic-decohesive constitutive model. An initial comparison with the LANL CICE code indicates that the ice edge is sharper using Materials-Point Method (MPM), but that many of the overall features are similar.

  2. Atmospheric aspects of Arctic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    Three important features of recent Arctic change are the rather uniform pattern of Arctic temperature amplification in response to greenhouse gas forcing, the modification of atmospheric temperature and wind patterns over newly sea-ice-free regions, and the possible increased linkage between Arctic climate and sub-arctic weather. An important argument for anthropogenic forcing of recent Arctic change is the model predicted rather uniform increases in Arctic temperatures, in contrast to more regional temperature maximums associated with intrinsic climate variability patterns such as those which occurred during the 1930s Arctic warming. Sea-ice-free areas at the end of summer are allowing: added heat and moisture transport into the troposphere as documented during the recent Japanese vessel Mirai cruises, decreased boundary layer stratification, and modification of wind flow through thermal wind processes. Winter 2009-2010 and December 2010 showed a unique connectivity between the Arctic and more southern weather when the typical polar vortex was replaced by high geopotential heights over the central Arctic and low heights over mid-latitudes that resulted in record snow and low temperatures, a Warm Arctic-Cold Continents pattern. A major challenge of Arctic meteorology is to understand the interaction of forced changes such as loss of sea ice and land impacts with intrinsic climate patterns such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific North American climate patterns. Could persistent shifts in Arctic climate be triggered by a combination of a gradual upward trend in temperature, an extreme event e.g. fortuitous timing in the natural variability of the atmospheric or ocean general circulation, and Arctic specific feedbacks? Scientific progress on both issues requires sustained decadal observations.

  3. Relative and Absolute Plate Motions, Mantle Plumes and Volcanism in the Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, C.; Torsvik, T. H.

    2012-04-01

    Seafloor spreading in the North Atlantic ocean from Mesozoic until present day involved relative motion between three major tectonic plates: North America, Greenland and Eurasia and a number of microplates. Relative motions between these tectonic plates and movement of northern Pacific terranes since the Jurassic led to the development of the Arctic region as we know it today. Studying the connection between the two realms involve good knowledge of the development of the North Atlantic and Arctic margins and oceanic basins and ideally, model uncertainties. Here we review the kinematics of North Atlantic and asses the implications of different models for locating the plate boundaries in the Arctic. One set of models implies extension before opening of the Eurasia basin and we postulate that this was accommodated in the proximity of Alpha- Mendeleev Ridge. The origin of (mainly) Cretaceous large igneous activity in the central Arctic (the Alpha Mendeleev Ridge) and in the proximity of rifted margins, the so-called HALIP, is still debated. New models of global plate circuits and the connection with deep mantle are used to re-evaluate a possible link between the Arctic volcanism and mantle plumes.

  4. Synchronous 231Pa/230Th Holocene variability from the Mendeleev and Lomonosov Ridges at mid-depths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, S. S.; McManus, J. F.; Curry, W. B.; Brown-Leger, S.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean contributes to global thermohaline circulation through export of intermediate and deep water through Fram Strait; however, the history of formation and circulation of Arctic waters at these depths is little known and presents a major challenge to paleoceanographers. Sedimentary measurements of the uranium-series radionuclides 231Pa and 230Th may provide a means of investigating the past dynamics of these deeper waters. We present 231Pa/230Th records from two well-dated box cores at mid-depths in the Arctic: PL-AR-94 BC 17 from 2255 m on the flank of the Mendeleev Ridge, Makarov Basin, and PL-94-AR BC 28 from 1990 m on the Lomonosov Ridge flank, Amundsen Basin. These records show synchronous millennial-scale variability through the Holocene, with peaks in 231Pa/230Th at 10.5, 7, and 5 ka, interspersed with low ratio values at 8, 6, and 4 ka. Indicators of surface ocean processes at these sites, such as particle fluxes and planktonic δ18O, do not show similar synchronous variation; nor do 231Pa/230Th records from shallower and deeper waters in the central Arctic. We therefore hypothesize that these millennial-scale variations in 231Pa/230Th ratios reflect paleoceanographic changes specific to mid-depth waters across Arctic subbasins, and that these common features may reflect a common source in the core flow of the Arctic Ocean Boundary Current between 1500 and 2500 m.

  5. Annual arctic wolf pack size related to arctic hare numbers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2007-01-01

    During the summers of 2000 through 2006, I counted arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos) pups and adults in a pack, arctic hares (Lepus arcticus) along a 9 km index route in the area, and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in a 250 km2 part of the area near Eureka (80?? N, 86?? W), Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Adult wolf numbers did not correlate with muskox numbers, but they were positively related (r2 = 0.89; p < 0.01) to an arctic hare index. This is the first report relating wolf numbers to non-ungulate prey. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  6. Ridge network in crumpled paper.

    PubMed

    Andresen, Christian André; Hansen, Alex; Schmittbuhl, Jean

    2007-08-01

    The network formed by ridges in a straightened sheet of crumpled paper is studied using a laser profilometer. Square sheets of paper were crumpled into balls, unfolded, and their height profile measured. From these profiles the imposed ridges were extracted as networks. Nodes were defined as intersections between ridges, and links as the various ridges connecting the nodes. Many network and spatial properties have been investigated. The tail of the ridge length distribution was found to follow a power law, whereas the shorter ridges followed a log-normal distribution. The degree distribution was found to have an exponentially decaying tail, and the degree correlation was found to be disassortative. The facets created by the ridges and the Voronoi diagram formed by the nodes have also been investigated. PMID:17930105

  7. Ridge regression processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhl, Mark R.

    1990-01-01

    Current navigation requirements depend on a geometric dilution of precision (GDOP) criterion. As long as the GDOP stays below a specific value, navigation requirements are met. The GDOP will exceed the specified value when the measurement geometry becomes too collinear. A new signal processing technique, called Ridge Regression Processing, can reduce the effects of nearly collinear measurement geometry; thereby reducing the inflation of the measurement errors. It is shown that the Ridge signal processor gives a consistently better mean squared error (MSE) in position than the Ordinary Least Mean Squares (OLS) estimator. The applicability of this technique is currently being investigated to improve the following areas: receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM), coverage requirements, availability requirements, and precision approaches.

  8. Interannual variations of the dominant modes of East Asian winter monsoon and possible links to Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Chenghu; Yang, Song; Li, Weijing; Zhang, Ruonan; Wu, Renguang

    2016-07-01

    Two dominant modes of the winter temperature over East Asia, a northern mode and a southern mode, and their links with Arctic climate conditions are analyzed. The relationships of the two modes with Arctic sea ice are different. The northern mode is closely linked to variations in sea ice of the Arctic Barents-Laptev Sea in previous autumn and most of the Arctic in concurrent winter. The southern mode seems independent from the Arctic sea ice variations, but is associated with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the equatorial central-eastern Pacific. Results suggest an effect of Arctic sea ice variation on the northern mode and an influence of tropical SST anomalies on the southern mode. Reduced sea ice over the Arctic increases 1000-500-hPa thickness over the high-latitudes of Eurasian continent, which reduces the meridional thickness gradient between the middle and high latitudes and thus weakens the extratropical upper-level zonal wind. The weakened zonal wind provides a favorable dynamic condition for the development of a high-latitude ridge around the Ural Mountain. Reduced Arctic sea ice also tends to enhance the Siberian high through both thermodynamic and dynamic processes. The above atmospheric circulation patterns provide a favorable condition for the intrusion of cold air to northern East Asia.

  9. Interannual variations of the dominant modes of East Asian winter monsoon and possible links to Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Chenghu; Yang, Song; Li, Weijing; Zhang, Ruonan; Wu, Renguang

    2015-12-01

    Two dominant modes of the winter temperature over East Asia, a northern mode and a southern mode, and their links with Arctic climate conditions are analyzed. The relationships of the two modes with Arctic sea ice are different. The northern mode is closely linked to variations in sea ice of the Arctic Barents-Laptev Sea in previous autumn and most of the Arctic in concurrent winter. The southern mode seems independent from the Arctic sea ice variations, but is associated with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the equatorial central-eastern Pacific. Results suggest an effect of Arctic sea ice variation on the northern mode and an influence of tropical SST anomalies on the southern mode. Reduced sea ice over the Arctic increases 1000-500-hPa thickness over the high-latitudes of Eurasian continent, which reduces the meridional thickness gradient between the middle and high latitudes and thus weakens the extratropical upper-level zonal wind. The weakened zonal wind provides a favorable dynamic condition for the development of a high-latitude ridge around the Ural Mountain. Reduced Arctic sea ice also tends to enhance the Siberian high through both thermodynamic and dynamic processes. The above atmospheric circulation patterns provide a favorable condition for the intrusion of cold air to northern East Asia.

  10. Quaternary paleoceanography of the central Arctic based on Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Arctic Coring Expedition 302 foraminiferal assemblages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, T. M.; Smith, S.A.; Eynaud, F.; O'Regan, M.; King, J.

    2008-01-01

    The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) Hole 4C from the Lomonosov Ridge in the central Arctic Ocean recovered a continuous 18 in record of Quaternary foraminifera yielding evidence for seasonally ice-free interglacials during the Matuyama, progressive development of large glacials during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT) ???1.2-0.9 Ma, and the onset of high-amplitude 100-ka orbital cycles ???500 ka. Foraminiferal preservation in sediments from the Arctic is influenced by primary (sea ice, organic input, and other environmental conditions) and secondary factors (syndepositional, long-term pore water dissolution). Taking these into account, the ACEX 4C record shows distinct maxima in agglutinated foraminiferal abundance corresponding to several interglacials and deglacials between marine isotope stages (MIS) 13-37, and although less precise dating is available for older sediments, these trends appear to continue through the Matuyama. The MPT is characterized by nearly barren intervals during major glacials (MIS 12, 16, and 22-24) and faunal turnover (MIS 12-24). Abundant calcareous planktonic (mainly Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sin.) and benthic foraminifers occur mainly in interglacial intervals during the Brunhes and very rarely in the Matuyama. A distinct faunal transition from calcareous to agglutinated foraminifers 200-300 ka in ACEX 4C is comparable to that found in Arctic sediments from the Lomonosov, Alpha, and Northwind ridges and the Morris Jesup Rise. Down-core disappearance of calcareous taxa is probably related to either reduced sea ice cover prior to the last few 100-ka cycles, pore water dissolution, or both. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. A pleistocene sand sea on the Alaskan arctic coastal plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, L.D.

    1981-01-01

    A ridge and thermokarst-basin landscape that is strikingly portrayed in Landsat winter imagery consists of large Pleistocene dunes that have been modified by younger eolian activity and thermokarst processes. This is the most extensive area of large stabilized dunes yet reported in the North American Arctic; the landscape is of particular interest because it has been proposed as a first-order analogfor martian fretted terrain. Recognition ofthe large dunes permits a new interpretation for linear and curvilinear trends visible in Landsat summer imagery.

  12. Arctic River organic matter transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Peter; Gustafsson, Orjan; Vonk, Jorien; Spencer, Robert; McClelland, Jim

    2016-04-01

    Arctic Rivers have unique hydrology and biogeochemistry. They also have a large impact on the Arctic Ocean due to the large amount of riverine inflow and small ocean volume. With respect to organic matter, their influence is magnified by the large stores of soil carbon and distinct soil hydrology. Here we present a recap of what is known of Arctic River organic matter transport. We will present a summary of what is known of the ages and sources of Arctic River dissolved and particulate organic matter. We will also discuss the current status of what is known about changes in riverine organic matter export due to global change.

  13. Arctic offshore platform

    SciTech Connect

    Bhula, D.N.

    1984-01-24

    An offshore structure is disclosed for use in drilling and producing wells in arctic regions having a conical shaped lower portion that extends above the surface of the water and a cylindrical upper section. The conical portion is provided with a controlled stiffness outer surface for withstanding the loads produced by ice striking the structure. The stiffness properties of the outer shell and flexible members are designed to distribute the load and avoid high local loads on the inner parts of the structure.

  14. Stratigraphy, Structure, and Origin; A Geophysical Survey of the Mendeleev Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dove, D.; Coakley, B.; Hopper, J.

    2006-12-01

    The Mendeleev Ridge is a broad, aseismic ridge that extends from the Siberian Shelf into the central Arctic Ocean. While it is continuous with the Alpha Ridge and is inferred to be an oceanic plateau, it may have had a distinct and separate history. The origin of the Mendeleev ridge has only rarely been visited and, as a result, understanding the history of this region has largely been based on the presumption of a common origin for both features. In late summer 2005, a geophysical survey was conducted from USCGC Healy over the Mendeleev Ridge as part of a trans-arctic crossing. During this survey ~730 km of seismic reflection data was recovered over the ridge along with co-registered gravity and bathymetry data and seismic refraction profiles. The seismic source was two 250 cu in G-guns. The streamer length was limited by ice conditions to 300 meters. Wear and tear caused by towing the streamer through the ice pack eliminated hydrophones, so the number of active channels ranged from 24 to as few as 11. The seismic reflection data requires significant trace editing to eliminate random electrical noise and frequency-wave number filtering to eliminate low velocity noise caused by the streamer traveling through heavy ice. After trace editing the data are stacked and migrated with constant water velocity. Stacking velocities are used as input into initial ray tracing models. Derived boundary velocities from ray tracing models will be reapplied to the migration of reflection data and are converted through empirical relationships into densities, and used as input into gravity models. Brute stacked reflection images of the Mendeleev Ridge reveal pervasive extensional faulting of the basement and lower sediment layers, and a continuous, undeformed pelagic sediment layer mantling the ridge, indicative of recent tectonic inactivity. The age of the unconformity underlying this layer should date the end of significant deformation of the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges. Consistency

  15. Cretaceous Arctic magmatism: Slab vs. plume? Or slab and plume?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gottlieb, E. S.; Miller, E. L.; Andronikov, A. V.; Brumley, K.; Mayer, L. A.; Mukasa, S. B.

    2010-12-01

    radial dikes that emanate from the proposed locus of the HALIP on the Alpha Ridge (Buchan and Ernst, 2006). 112, 100, and 83 Ma (40Ar/39Ar) basaltic lavas dredged in 2008 from the northwestern edge of the Canada Basin bear geochemical similarity to HALIP magmatism on Ellesmere Island and Franz Josef Land. Geochemical data on terrestrial HALIP and dredged basalts is indicative of an evolving plume-related origin for basaltic magmatism by 112 Ma. No matter how the AB is reconstructed, its pre-mid-Cretaceous configuration requires that terrestrial exposures of the HALIP were much closer to the actively subducting and extending Russian-Alaskan margin. Likewise, the temporal overlap of the onset of extension along the Russian-Alaskan segment of the Arctic margin (~135-120 Ma) with eruption of Barremian-Aptian HALIP lavas needs to be considered in models for the opening of the AB. This geochronologic compilation and summary highlights the facts that before the opening of the AB, the HALIP originated in a back arc position with respect to slab-related magmatism along the Pacific margin of the Arctic and that the two types of magmatism overlap in age and were once closer in space.

  16. Impacts of a Warming Arctic - Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    2004-12-01

    The Arctic is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on earth. Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical, ecological, social, and economic changes, many of which have already begun. Changes in arctic climate will also affect the rest of the world through increased global warming and rising sea levels. Impacts of a Warming Arctic is a plain language synthesis of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), designed to be accessible to policymakers and the broader public. The ACIA is a comprehensively researched, fully referenced, and independently reviewed evaluation of arctic climate change. It has involved an international effort by hundreds of scientists. This report provides vital information to society as it contemplates its responses to one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is illustrated in full color throughout.

  17. Quantifying the Arctic methane budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warwick, Nicola; Cain, Michelle; Pyle, John

    2014-05-01

    The Arctic is a major source of atmospheric methane, containing climate-sensitive emissions from natural wetlands and gas hydrates, as well as the fossil fuel industry. Both wetland and gas hydrate methane emissions from the Arctic may increase with increasing temperature, resulting in a positive feedback leading to enhancement of climate warming. It is important that these poorly-constrained sources are quantified by location and strength and their vulnerability to change be assessed. The MAMM project (Methane and other greenhouse gases in the Arctic: Measurements, process studies and Modelling') addresses these issues as part of the UK NERC Arctic Programme. A global chemistry transport model has been used, along with MAMM and other long term observations, to assess our understanding of the different source and sink terms in the Arctic methane budget. Simulations including methane coloured by source and latitude are used to distinguish between Arctic seasonal variability arising from transport and that arising from changes in Arctic sources and sinks. Methane isotopologue tracers provide a further constraint on modelled methane variability, distinguishing between isotopically light and heavy sources (e.g. wetlands and gas fields). We focus on quantifying the magnitude and seasonal variability of Arctic wetland emissions.

  18. The Arctic Circumpolar Boundary Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksenov, Yevgeny; Ivanov, Vladimir V.; Nurser, A. J. George; Bacon, Sheldon; Polyakov, Igor V.; Coward, Andrew C.; Naveira-Garabato, Alberto C.; Beszczynska-Moeller, Agnieszka

    2011-09-01

    We present high-resolution simulations and observational data as evidence of a fast current flowing along the shelf break of the Siberian and Alaskan shelves in the Arctic Ocean. Thus far, the Arctic Circumpolar Boundary Current (ACBC) has been seen as comprising two branches: the Fram Strait and Barents Sea Branches (FSB and BSB, respectively). Here we describe a new third branch, the Arctic Shelf Break Branch (ASBB). We show that the forcing mechanism for the ASBB is a combination of buoyancy loss and non-local wind, creating high pressure upstream in the Barents Sea. The potential vorticity influx through the St. Anna Trough dictates the cyclonic direction of flow of the ASBB, which is the most energetic large-scale circulation structure in the Arctic Ocean. It plays a substantial role in transporting Arctic halocline waters and exhibits a robust seasonal cycle with a summer minimum and winter maximum. The simulations show the continuity of the FSB all the way around the Arctic shelves and the uninterrupted ASBB between the St. Anna Trough and the western Fram Strait. The BSB flows continuously along the Siberian shelf as far as the Chukchi Plateau, where it partly diverges from the continental slope into the ocean interior. The Alaskan Shelf break Current (ASC) is the analog of the ASBB in the Canadian Arctic. The ASC is forced by the local winds and high upstream pressure in Bering Strait, caused by the drop in sea surface height between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

  19. Offshore outlook: the American Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Jahns, M.O.

    1985-05-01

    Offshore areas in the American Arctic are highlighted and the development of the area is compared with other offshore areas where the required technology is more readily available. Principal areas are shown in which new concepts are being put to practice. Canada's east coast is examined. Several technological trends are reviewed to help operators accelerate the discovery and development of arctic petroleum reserves.

  20. Future scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean: Key objectives, areas, and strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, R.; Coakley, B.; Mikkelsen, N.; O'Regan, M.; Ruppel, C.

    2012-04-01

    Past, Present and Future Changes in Arctic Terrestrial and Marine Systems" (Kananaskis, Alberta/Canada, February 2012). During these workshops, key areas and key scientific themes as well as drilling and site-survey strategies were discussed. Major scientific themes for future Arctic drilling will include: - The Arctic Ocean during the transition from greenhouse to icehouse conditions and millennial scale climate changes; - Physical and chemical changes of the evolving Polar Ocean and Arctic gateways; - Impact of Pleistocene/Holocene warming and sea-level rise on upper continental slope and shelf gas hydrates and on shelf permafrost; - Land-ocean interactions; - Tectonic evolution and birth of the Arctic Ocean basin: Arctic ridges, sea floor spreading and global lithosphere processes. When thinking about future Arctic drilling, it should be clearly emphasized that for the precise planning of future Arctic Ocean drilling campaigns, including site selection, evaluation of proposed drill sites for safety and environmental protection, etc., comprehensive site survey data are needed first. This means that the development of a detailed site survey strategy is a major challenge for the coming years. Here, an overview of perspectives and plans for future Arctic Ocean drilling will be presented.

  1. Evidence for the Mid-Cenozoic Uplift of the Lomonosov Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Regan, M.; Moran, K.; Sangiorgi, F.; Brinkhuis, H.; Backman, J.; Jakobsson, M.; Stickley, C.; Koc, N.; Brumsack, H.; Pockalny, R.

    2006-12-01

    Results from drilling on the Lomonosov Ridge during IODP Leg 302, the Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX), have shown that one of the most profound changes in the character of sedimentation in the Central Arctic Ocean was the mid-Cenozoic shift from freshwater influenced biosilica rich deposits of the Eocene, to the fossil poor glaciomarine silty clays of the Miocene (Moran et al., 2006). In the ACEX record, this shift culminates in a ~ 5 meter interval where the two modes of sedimentation are captured in centimeter scale cross-banding and is preceded by a 25 million year hiatus. Micropaleontological, sedimentological and geochemical results from ACEX reveal a growing freshwater influence in sediments leading up to the hiatus. A mid-Eocene onset of tectonic uplift, resulting in the vertical migration of Lomonosov Ridge through a fresh to brackish surface water lense, can explain these observations. Uplift and subaerial exposure of the ridge accounts for the 25 Myr hiatus and is followed by rapid mid-Miocene subsidence where the cross-banded sediments describe the sinking of the ridge below high-energy surface waters. Further constraints on the timing of these events are provided by seismic observations on the depth to oceanic basement in the adjoining Amundsen basin, where a similar anomalous phase of subsidence has been reported (Weigelt and Jokat, 2003; Jokat and Micksch, 2004). The inferred uplift of the ridge coincides with the northward impingement of Greenland on the growing Eurasian basin (Brozena et al., 2003), with resumed subsidence closely following a change in the location of the Euler pole for the North American and Eurasian plates that ended a period of transpression along the Laptev Sea shelf (Drachev et al., 1998). These results suggest that the Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the central Arctic Ocean is linked to changes in far field tectonic stresses. Unraveling the magnitude and extent of these influences is critical for interpreting

  2. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record.

    PubMed

    Tedesco, M; Mote, T; Fettweis, X; Hanna, E; Jeyaratnam, J; Booth, J F; Datta, R; Briggs, K

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade. PMID:27277547

  3. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, M.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, X.; Hanna, E.; Jeyaratnam, J.; Booth, J. F.; Datta, R.; Briggs, K.

    2016-06-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700+/-50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade.

  4. Arctic cut-off high drives the poleward shift of a new Greenland melting record

    PubMed Central

    Tedesco, M.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, X.; Hanna, E.; Jeyaratnam, J.; Booth, J. F.; Datta, R.; Briggs, K.

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948–2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade. PMID:27277547

  5. Arctic Cut-Off High Drives the Poleward Shift of a New Greenland Melting Record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tedesco, M.; Mote, T.; Fettweis, X.; Hanna, E.; Jeyaratnam, J.; Booth, J. F.; Datta, R.; Briggs, K.

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Here, using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centered over the Arctic Ocean, was responsible for a poleward shift of runoff, albedo and surface temperature records over the Greenland during the summer of 2015. New records of monthly mean zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5,700+/-50 m isohypse over the Arctic were associated with the formation and persistency of a cutoff high. The unprecedented (1948-2015) and sustained atmospheric conditions promoted enhanced runoff, increased the surface temperatures and decreased the albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south, where new melting records were set over the past decade. Subject terms: Earth sciences Atmospheric science Climate science

  6. Contextual view of Point Bonita Ridge, showing Bonita Ridge access ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Contextual view of Point Bonita Ridge, showing Bonita Ridge access road retaining wall and location of Signal Corps Radar (S.C.R.) 296 Station 5 Transmitter Building foundation (see stake at center left), camera facing north - Fort Barry, Signal Corps Radar 296, Station 5, Transmitter Building Foundation, Point Bonita, Marin Headlands, Sausalito, Marin County, CA

  7. Arctic Submarine Slope Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkelmann, D.; Geissler, W.

    2010-12-01

    Submarine landsliding represents aside submarine earthquakes major natural hazard to coastal and sea-floor infrastructure as well as to coastal communities due to their ability to generate large-scale tsunamis with their socio-economic consequences. The investigation of submarine landslides, their conditions and trigger mechanisms, recurrence rates and potential impact remains an important task for the evaluation of risks in coastal management and offshore industrial activities. In the light of a changing globe with warming oceans and rising sea-level accompanied by increasing human population along coasts and enhanced near- and offshore activities, slope stability issues gain more importance than ever before. The Arctic exhibits the most rapid and drastic changes and is predicted to change even faster. Aside rising air temperatures, enhanced inflow of less cooled Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean reduces sea-ice cover and warms the surroundings. Slope stability is challenged considering large areas of permafrost and hydrates. The Hinlopen/Yermak Megaslide (HYM) north of Svalbard is the first and so far only reported large-scale submarine landslide in the Arctic Ocean. The HYM exhibits the highest headwalls that have been found on siliciclastic margins. With more than 10.000 square kilometer areal extent and app. 2.400 cubic kilometer of involved sedimentary material, it is one of the largest exposed submarine slides worldwide. Geometry and age put this slide in a special position in discussing submarine slope stability on glaciated continental margins. The HYM occurred 30 ka ago, when the global sea-level dropped by app. 50 m within less than one millennium due to rapid onset of global glaciation. It probably caused a tsunami with circum-Arctic impact and wave heights exceeding 130 meters. The HYM affected the slope stability field in its neighbourhood by removal of support. Post-megaslide slope instability as expressed in creeping and smaller-scaled slides are

  8. a New Japanese Project for Arctic Climate Change Research - Grene Arctic - (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enomoto, H.

    2013-12-01

    A new Arctic Climate Change Research Project 'Rapid Change of the Arctic Climate System and its Global Influences' has started in 2011 for a five years project. GRENE-Arctic project is an initiative of Arctic study by more than 30 Japanese universities and institutes as the flame work of GRENE (Green Network of Excellence) of MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan). The GRENE-Arctic project set four strategic research targets: 1. Understanding the mechanism of warming amplification in the Arctic 2. Understanding the Arctic system for global climate and future change 3. Evaluation of the effects of Arctic change on weather in Japan, marine ecosystems and fisheries 4. Prediction of sea Ice distribution and Arctic sea routes This project aims to realize the strategic research targets by executing following studies: -Improvement of coupled general circulation models based on validations of the Arctic climate reproducibility and on mechanism analyses of the Arctic climate change and variability -The role of Arctic cryosphere in the global change -Change in terrestrial ecosystem of pan-Arctic and its effect on climate -Studies on greenhouse gas cycles in the Arctic and their responses to climate change -Atmospheric studies on Arctic change and its global impacts -Ecosystem studies of the Arctic ocean declining Sea ice -Projection of Arctic Sea ice responding to availability of Arctic sea route (* ** ***) *Changes in the Arctic ocean and mechanisms on catastrophic reduction of Arctic sea ice cover **Coordinated observational and modeling studies on the basic structure and variability of the Arctic sea ice-ocean system ***Sea ice prediction and construction of ice navigation support system for the Arctic sea route. Although GRENE Arctic project aims to product scientific contribution in a concentrated program during 2011-2016, Japanese Arctic research community established Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research (JCAR) in May

  9. Arctic Ocean circulation during the anoxic Eocene Azolla event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speelman, Eveline; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap; März, Christian; Brumsack, Hans; Reichart, Gert-Jan

    2010-05-01

    The Azolla interval, as encountered in Eocene sediments from the Arctic Ocean, is characterized by organic rich sediments ( 4wt% Corg). In general, high levels of organic matter may be caused by increased productivity, i.e. extensive growth of Azolla, and/or enhanced preservation of organic matter, or a combination of both. Anoxic (bottom) water conditions, expanded oxygen minimum zones, or increased sedimentation rates all potentially increase organic matter preservation. According to plate tectonic, bathymetric, and paleogeographic reconstructions, the Arctic Ocean was a virtually isolated shallow basin, with one possible deeper connection to the Nordic Seas represented by a still shallow Fram Strait (Jakobsson et al., 2007), hampering ventilation of the Arctic Basin. During the Azolla interval surface waters freshened, while at the same time bottom waters appear to have remained saline, indicating that the Arctic was highly stratified. The restricted ventilation and stratification in concert with ongoing export of organic matter most likely resulted in the development of anoxic conditions in the lower part of the water column. Whereas the excess precipitation over evaporation maintained the freshwater lid, sustained input of Nordic Sea water is needed to keep the deeper waters saline. To which degree the Arctic Ocean exchanged with the Nordic Seas is, however, still largely unknown. Here we present a high-resolution trace metal record (ICP-MS and ICP-OES) for the expanded Early/Middle Eocene section capturing the Azolla interval from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 302 (ACEX) drilled on the Lomonosov Ridge, central Arctic Ocean. Euxinic conditions throughout the interval resulted in the efficient removal of redox sensitive trace metals from the water column. Using the sedimentary trace metal record we also constrained circulation in the Arctic Ocean by assessing the relative importance of trace metal input sources (i.e. fluvial, eolian, and

  10. Manganese cycles in Arctic marine sediments - Climate signals or diagenesis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    März, C.; Stratmann, A.; Eckert, S.; Schnetger, B.; Brumsack, H.-J.

    2009-04-01

    In comparison to sediments from other parts of the world ocean, the inorganic geochemistry of Arctic Ocean sediments is poorly investigated. However, marked light to dark brown layers are well-known features of Quaternary Arctic sediments, and have been related to variable Mn contents. Brown layers represent intervals relatively rich in Mn (often > 1 wt.%), while yellowish-greyish intervals contain less Mn. As these brown layers are widespread in pelagic Quaternary deposits of the Arctic Ocean, there are attempts to use them as stratigraphic, age-equivalent marker horizons that are genetically related to global climate changes (e.g. Jakobsson et al., 2000; Löwemark et al., 2008). In the Arctic Ocean, other conventional stratigraphic methods often fail, therefore the use of Mn-rich layers as a chemostratigraphic tool seems to be a promising approach. However, several inorganic-geochemical and modelling studies of Mn cycles in the Arctic as well as in other parts of the world ocean have shown that multiple Mn layers in marine sediments can be created by non-steady state diagenetic processes, i.e. secondary Mn redistribution in the sediment due to microbially mediated dissolution-reprecipitation reactions (e.g. Li et al., 1969; Gobeil et al., 1997; Burdige, 2006; Katsev et al., 2006). Such biogeochemical processes can lead to rapid migration or fixation of redox boundaries in the sediment, resulting in the formation or (partial) destruction of metal-rich layers several thousands of years after sediment deposition. As this clearly would alter primary paleoenvironmental signals recorded in the sediments, we see an urgent need to unravel the real stratigraphic potential of Arctic Mn cycles before they are readily established as standard tools. For this purpose, we are studying Mn cycles in Arctic Ocean sediments recovered during R/V Polarstern expedition ARK XXIII/3 on the Mendeleev Ridge (East Siberian Sea). First results of pore water and sediment composition

  11. Arctic hydrology and meteorology

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.L.

    1990-01-01

    During 1990, we have continued our meteorological and hydrologic data collection in support of our process-oriented research. The six years of data collected to data is unique in its scope and continuity in a North Hemisphere Arctic setting. This valuable data base has allowed us to further our understanding of the interconnections and interactions between the atmosphere/hydrosphere/biosphere/lithosphere. The increased understanding of the heat and mass transfer processes has allowed us to increase our model-oriented research efforts.

  12. Arctic Summer Ice Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, Benjamin

    1999-01-01

    The primary objective of this study is to estimate the flux of heat and freshwater resulting from sea ice melt in the polar seas. The approach taken is to examine the decay of sea ice in the summer months primarily through the use of spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. The improved understanding of the dynamics of the melt process can be usefully combined with ice thermodynamic and upper ocean models to form more complete models of ice melt. Models indicate that more heat is absorbed in the upper ocean when the ice cover is composed of smaller rather than larger floes and when there is more open water. Over the course of the summer, floes disintegrate by physical forcing and heating, melting into smaller and smaller sizes. By measuring the change in distribution of floes together with open water over a summer period, we can make estimates of the amount of heating by region and time. In a climatic sense, these studies are intended to improve the understanding of the Arctic heat budget which can then be eventually incorporated into improved global climate models. This work has two focus areas. The first is examining the detailed effect of storms on floe size and open water. A strong Arctic low pressure storm has been shown to loosen up the pack ice, increase the open water concentration well into the pack ice, and change the distribution of floes toward fewer and smaller floes. This suggests episodic melting and the increased importance of horizontal (lateral) melt during storms. The second focus area is related to an extensive ship-based experiment that recently took place in the Arctic called Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA). An icebreaker was placed purposely into the older pack ice north of Alaska in September 1997. The ship served as the base for experimenters who deployed extensive instrumentation to measure the atmosphere, ocean, and ice during a one-year period. My experiment will be to derive similar measurements (floe size, open

  13. Effect of ridge-ridge interactions in crumpled thin sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liou, Shiuan-Fan; Lo, Chun-Chao; Chou, Ming-Han; Hsiao, Pai-Yi; Hong, Tzay-Ming

    2014-02-01

    We study whether and how the energy scaling based on the single-ridge approximation is revised in an actual crumpled sheet, namely, in the presence of ridge-ridge interactions. Molecular dynamics simulation is employed for this purpose. In order to improve the data quality, modifications are introduced to the common protocol. As crumpling proceeds, we find that the average storing energy changes from being proportional to one-third of the ridge length to a linear relation, while the ratio of bending and stretching energies decreases from 5 to 2. The discrepancy between previous simulations and experiments on the material-dependence for the power-law exponent is resolved. We further determine the average ridge length to scale as 1/D1/3, the ridge number as D2/3, and the average storing energy per unit ridge length as D0.881 where D denotes the volume density of the crumpled ball. These results are accompanied by experimental proofs and are consistent with mean-field predictions. Finally, we extend the existent simulations to the high-pressure region and verify the existence of a scaling relation that is more general than the familiar power law at covering the whole density range.

  14. Scientific Drilling in the Arctic Ocean: A challenge for the next decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, R.; Coakley, B.

    2009-04-01

    Although major progress in Arctic Ocean research has been made during the last decades, the knowledge of its short- and long-term paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic history as well as its plate-tectonic evolution is much behind that from the other world's oceans. That means - despite the importance of the Arctic in the climate system - the data base we have from this area is still very weak, and large parts of the climate history have not been recovered at all in sedimentary sections. This lack of knowledge is mainly caused by the major technological/ logistic problems in reaching this permanently ice-covered region with normal research vessels and in retrieving long and undisturbed sediment cores. With the successful completion of IODP Expedition 302 ("Arctic Coring Expedition" - ACEX), the first Mission Specific Platform (MSP) expedition within the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program - IODP, a new era in Arctic research has begun. For the first time, a scientific drilling in the permanently ice-covered Arctic Ocean was carried out, penetrating about 430 meters of Quaternary, Neogene, Paleogene and Campanian sediment on the crest of Lomonosov Ridge close to the North Pole. The success of ACEX has certainly opened the door for further scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean, and will frame the next round of questions to be answered from new drill holes to be taken during the next decades. In order to discuss and plan the future of scientific drilling in the Arctic Ocean, an international workshop was held at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven/Germany, (Nov 03-05, 2008; convenors: Bernard Coakley/University of Alaska Fairbanks and Ruediger Stein/AWI Bremerhaven). About 95 scientists from Europe, US, Canada, Russia, Japan, and Korea, and observers from oil companies participated in the workshop. Funding of the workshop was provided by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (US), the European Science Foundation, the Arctic Ocean Sciences Board, and the

  15. Learning experiences at Oak Ridge

    SciTech Connect

    White, R.K.

    1990-01-01

    The Oak Ridge Operations (ORO) of DOE has organized an Environmental Restoration Program to handle environmental cleanup activitis for the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) following General Watkins' reorganization at DOE Headquarters. Based on the major facilities and locations of contamination sites, the Environmental Restoration Program is divided into five subprograms: Oak Ridge, National Laboatory (ORNL) sites, y-12 Plant sites, Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (ORGDP) sites, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) sites and off-site areas. The Office of Risk Analysis at ORNL was established under the auspices of the Environmental Restoration Program to implement Superfun legislation in the five subprograms of DOE-ORO. Risk assessment must examine protetial human health and ecological impacts from contaminant sources that range from highly radioactive materials to toxic chemicals and mixed wastes. The remedial alternatives we are evaluating need to reach acceptable levels of risk effectively while also being cost-efficient. The purpose of this paper is to highlight areas of particular interest and concern at Oak Ridge and to discuss, where possible, solutions implemented by the Oak Ridge Environmental Restoation Program.

  16. Understanding lithospheric stresses in Arctic: constraints and models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medvedev, Sergei; Minakov, Alexander; Lebedeva-Ivanova, Nina; Gaina, Carmen

    2016-04-01

    This pilot project aims to model stress patterns and analyze factors controlling lithospheric stresses in Arctic. The project aims to understand the modern stresses in Arctic as well as to define the ways to test recent hypotheses about Cenozoic evolution of the region. The regions around Lomonosov Ridge and Barents Sea are of particular interest driven by recent acquisition of high-resolution potential field and seismic data. Naturally, the major contributor to the lithospheric stress distribution is the gravitational potential energy (GPE). The study tries to incorporate available geological and geophysical data to build reliable GPE. In particular, we use the recently developed integrated gravity inversion for crustal thickness which incorporates up-to-date compilations of gravity anomalies, bathymetry, and sedimentary thickness. The modelled lithosphere thermal structure assumes a pure shear extension and the ocean age model constrained by global plate kinematics for the last ca. 120 Ma. The results of this approach are juxtaposed with estimates of the density variation inferred from the upper mantle S-wave velocity models based on previous surface wave tomography studies. Although new data and interpretations of the Arctic lithosphere structure become available now, there are areas of low accuracy or even lack of data. To compensate for this, we compare two approaches to constrain GPE: (1) one that directly integrates density of modelled lithosphere and (2) one that uses geoid anomalies which are filtered to account for density variations down to the base of the lithosphere only. The two versions of GPE compared to each other and the stresses calculated numerically are compared with observations. That allows us to optimize GPE and understand density structure, stress pattern, and factors controlling the stresses in Arctic.

  17. Arctic Sea Ice Minimum, 2015

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation shows the evolution of the Arctic sea ice cover from its wintertime maximum extent, which was reached on Feb. 25, 2015, and was the lowest on record, to its apparent yearly minimum, ...

  18. The Arctic's Role in Climate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, D. James

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the special role the Arctic region plays in climate, focusing on: (1) the global energy balance; (2) feedback mechanisms; (3) effects of increasing carbon dioxide; and (4) climate processes study programs. (JN)

  19. Climate change and Arctic parasites.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Andy; Molnár, Péter K; Kutz, Susan

    2015-05-01

    Climate is changing rapidly in the Arctic. This has important implications for parasites of Arctic ungulates, and hence for the welfare of Arctic peoples who depend on caribou, reindeer, and muskoxen for food, income, and a focus for cultural activities. In this Opinion article we briefly review recent work on the development of predictive models for the impacts of climate change on helminth parasites and other pathogens of Arctic wildlife, in the hope that such models may eventually allow proactive mitigation and conservation strategies. We describe models that have been developed using the metabolic theory of ecology. The main strength of these models is that they can be easily parameterized using basic information about the physical size of the parasite. Initial results suggest they provide important new insights that are likely to generalize to a range of host-parasite systems. PMID:25900882

  20. 2013 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

    NASA Video Gallery

    After an unusually cold summer in the northernmost latitudes, Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum summer extent for 2013 on Sept. 13, the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice ...

  1. Ocean Ridges and Oxygen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langmuir, C. H.

    2014-12-01

    The history of oxygen and the fluxes and feedbacks that lead to its evolution through time remain poorly constrained. It is not clear whether oxygen has had discrete steady state levels at different times in Earth's history, or whether oxygen evolution is more progressive, with trigger points that lead to discrete changes in markers such as mass independent sulfur isotopes. Whatever this history may have been, ocean ridges play an important and poorly recognized part in the overall mass balance of oxidants and reductants that contribute to electron mass balance and the oxygen budget. One example is the current steady state O2 in the atmosphere. The carbon isotope data suggest that the fraction of carbon has increased in the Phanerozoic, and CO2 outgassing followed by organic matter burial should continually supply more O2 to the surface reservoirs. Why is O2 not then increasing? A traditional answer to this question would relate to variations in the fraction of burial of organic matter, but this fraction appears to have been relatively high throughout the Phanerozoic. Furthermore, subduction of carbon in the 1/5 organic/carbonate proportions would contribute further to an increasingly oxidized surface. What is needed is a flux of oxidized material out of the system. One solution would be a modern oxidized flux to the mantle. The current outgassing flux of CO2 is ~3.4*1012 moles per year. If 20% of that becomes stored organic carbon, that is a flux of .68*1012 moles per year of reduced carbon. The current flux of oxidized iron in subducting ocean crust is ~2*1012 moles per year of O2 equivalents, based on the Fe3+/Fe2+ ratios in old ocean crust compared to fresh basalts at the ridge axis. This flux more than accounts for the incremental oxidizing power produced by modern life. It also suggests a possible feedback through oxygenation of the ocean. A reduced deep ocean would inhibit oxidation of ocean crust, in which case there would be no subduction flux of oxidized

  2. Ridge 2000 Data Management System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodwillie, A. M.; Carbotte, S. M.; Arko, R. A.; Haxby, W. F.; Ryan, W. B.; Chayes, D. N.; Lehnert, K. A.; Shank, T. M.

    2005-12-01

    Hosted at Lamont by the marine geoscience Data Management group, mgDMS, the NSF-funded Ridge 2000 electronic database, http://www.marine-geo.org/ridge2000/, is a key component of the Ridge 2000 multi-disciplinary program. The database covers each of the three Ridge 2000 Integrated Study Sites: Endeavour Segment, Lau Basin, and 8-11N Segment. It promotes the sharing of information to the broader community, facilitates integration of the suite of information collected at each study site, and enables comparisons between sites. The Ridge 2000 data system provides easy web access to a relational database that is built around a catalogue of cruise metadata. Any web browser can be used to perform a versatile text-based search which returns basic cruise and submersible dive information, sample and data inventories, navigation, and other relevant metadata such as shipboard personnel and links to NSF program awards. In addition, non-proprietary data files, images, and derived products which are hosted locally or in national repositories, as well as science and technical reports, can be freely downloaded. On the Ridge 2000 database page, our Data Link allows users to search the database using a broad range of parameters including data type, cruise ID, chief scientist, geographical location. The first Ridge 2000 field programs sailed in 2004 and, in addition to numerous data sets collected prior to the Ridge 2000 program, the database currently contains information on fifteen Ridge 2000-funded cruises and almost sixty Alvin dives. Track lines can be viewed using a recently- implemented Web Map Service button labelled Map View. The Ridge 2000 database is fully integrated with databases hosted by the mgDMS group for MARGINS and the Antarctic multibeam and seismic reflection data initiatives. Links are provided to partner databases including PetDB, SIOExplorer, and the ODP Janus system. Improved inter-operability with existing and new partner repositories continues to be

  3. The Circumpolar Arctic vegetation map

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Daniels, F.J.A.; Einarsson, E.; Elvebakk, A.; Gould, W.A.; Katenin, A.E.; Kholod, S.S.; Markon, C.J.; Melnikov, E.S.; Moskalenko, N.G.; Talbot, S. S.; Yurtsev, B.A.; Bliss, L.C.; Edlund, S.A.; Zoltai, S.C.; Wilhelm, M.; Bay, C.; Gudjonsson, G.; Ananjeva, G.V.; Drozdov, D.S.; Konchenko, L.A.; Korostelev, Y.V.; Ponomareva, O.E.; Matveyeva, N.V.; Safranova, I.N.; Shelkunova, R.; Polezhaev, A.N.; Johansen, B.E.; Maier, H.A.; Murray, D.F.; Fleming, Michael D.; Trahan, N.G.; Charron, T.M.; Lauritzen, S.M.; Vairin, B.A.

    2005-01-01

    Question: What are the major vegetation units in the Arctic, what is their composition, and how are they distributed among major bioclimate subzones and countries? Location: The Arctic tundra region, north of the tree line. Methods: A photo-interpretive approach was used to delineate the vegetation onto an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) base image. Mapping experts within nine Arctic regions prepared draft maps using geographic information technology (ArcInfo) of their portion of the Arctic, and these were later synthesized to make the final map. Area analysis of the map was done according to bioclimate subzones, and country. The integrated mapping procedures resulted in other maps of vegetation, topography, soils, landscapes, lake cover, substrate pH, and above-ground biomass. Results: The final map was published at 1:7 500 000 scale map. Within the Arctic (total area = 7.11 x 106 km 2), about 5.05 ?? 106 km2 is vegetated. The remainder is ice covered. The map legend generally portrays the zonal vegetation within each map polygon. About 26% of the vegetated area is erect shrublands, 18% peaty graminoid tundras, 13% mountain complexes, 12% barrens, 11% mineral graminoid tundras, 11% prostrate-shrub tundras, and 7% wetlands. Canada has by far the most terrain in the High Arctic mostly associated with abundant barren types and prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra, whereas Russia has the largest area in the Low Arctic, predominantly low-shrub tundra. Conclusions: The CAVM is the first vegetation map of an entire global biome at a comparable resolution. The consistent treatment of the vegetation across the circumpolar Arctic, abundant ancillary material, and digital database should promote the application to numerous land-use, and climate-change applications and will make updating the map relatively easy. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press.

  4. Public Perceptions of Arctic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, L.

    2014-12-01

    What does the general US public know, or think they know, about Arctic change? Two broad nationwide surveys in 2006 and 2010 addressed this topic in general terms, before and after the International Polar Year (IPY). Since then a series of representative national or statewide surveys have carried this research farther. The new surveys employ specific questions that assess public knowledge of basic Arctic facts, along with perceptions about the possible consequences of future Arctic change. Majorities know that late-summer Arctic sea ice area has declined compared with 30 years ago, although substantial minorities -- lately increasing -- believe instead that it has now recovered to historical levels. Majorities also believe that, if the Arctic warms in the future, this will have major effects on the weather where they live. Their expectation of local impacts from far-away changes suggests a degree of global thinking. On the other hand, most respondents do poorly when asked whether melting Arctic sea ice, melting Greenland/Antarctic land ice, or melting Himalayan glaciers could have more effect on sea level. Only 30% knew or guessed the right answer to this question. Similarly, only 33% answered correctly on a simple geography quiz: whether the North Pole could best be described as ice a few feet or yards thick floating over a deep ocean, ice more than a mile thick over land, or a rocky, mountainous landscape. Close analysis of response patterns suggests that people often construct Arctic "knowledge" on items such as sea ice increase/decrease from their more general ideology or worldview, such as their belief (or doubt) that anthropogenic climate change is real. When ideology or worldviews provide no guidance, as on the North Pole or sealevel questions, the proportion of accurate answers is no better than chance. These results show at least casual public awareness and interest in Arctic change, unfortunately not well grounded in knowledge. Knowledge problems seen on

  5. Arctic Ocean UNCLOS Article 76 Work for Greenland Starts on Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahl-Jensen, T.; Marcussen, C.; Jackson, R.; Voss, P.

    2005-12-01

    One of the most lonely and desolate stretches of coastline on the planet has become the target for UNCLOS article 76 related research. The Danish Continental Shelf Project has launched a work program to investigate the possibilities for Greenland to claim an area outside the 200 nm limit in the Arctic Ocean. The role of the Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Prolongation of Greenland/Canada is an important issue, and in order to better evaluate the connection between Greenland and the Lomonosov Ridge the nature of not only the ridge but also of Northern Greenland is the target of deep crustal investigations. The North Greenland Fold belt covers the ice-free part of North Greenland and continues west in the Canadian Arctic. The foldbelt was formed during the Ellesmerian orogeny, where sediments from the Franklinian Basin where compressed and deformed. The deep structure of basin and its subsequent closure are broadly unknown. Three broad band earthquake seismological stations where installed in North Greenland to supplement the existing stations at Alert (Canada) and Station Nord to the east, and the first data was available summer 2005. Crustal thickness data from these first results are presented. Plans for the spring 2006 consist of wide-angle acquisition on the sea ice from the Greenland-Canadian mainland out onto the Lomonosov Ridge, a joint Danish - Canadian project with a 400 km long profile over difficult ice conditions, 18 tons of explosives, three helicopters, a Twin Otter and about 30 participants.

  6. Soot in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, H.; Novakov, T.; Bodhaine, B. A.

    1981-01-01

    In this paper, substantial concentrations of graphitic carbon and its associated large optical absorption coefficient are observed in the Arctic. The graphitic content shows a dramatic increase from late fall to early spring, reaching levels that are comparable to those found in urban environments (i.e., the peak values in February are only about a factor of 10 less than the average levels found in New York City and a factor of three less than those found in Berkeley, California, and Denver, Colorado). Finally, if one ignores the possible contribution of natural burning processes which are expected to be small during this time of the year in the northern hemisphere, this graphitic component can be attributed directly to anthropogenic activity.

  7. Modular arctic structures system

    SciTech Connect

    Reusswig, G. H.

    1984-12-04

    A modular and floatable offshore exploration and production platform system for use in shallow arctic waters is disclosed. A concrete base member is floated to the exploration or production site, and ballated into a predredged cavity. The cavity and base are sized to provide a stable horizontal base 30 feet below the mean water/ice plane. An exploration or production platform having a massive steel base is floated to the site and ballasted into position on the base. Together, the platform, base and ballast provide a massive gravity structure that is capable of resisting large ice and wave forces that impinge on the structure. The steel platform has a sloping hourglass profile to deflect horizontal ice loads vertically, and convert the horizontal load to a vertical tensile stress, which assists in breaking the ice as it advances toward the structure.

  8. Late Pleistocene and Holocene meltwater events in the western Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poore, R.Z.; Osterman, L.; Curry, W.B.; Phillips, R.L.

    1999-01-01

    Accelerator mass spectrometer 14C dated stable isotope data from Neogloboquadrina pachyerma in cores raised from the Mendeleyev Ridge and slope provide evidence for significant influx of meltwater to the western Arctic Ocean during the early part of marine oxygen isotope stage 1 (OIS 1) and during several intervals within OIS 3. The strongest OIS 3 meltwater event occurred before ca. 45 ka (conventional radiocarbon age) and was probably related to the deglaciation at the beginning of OIS 3. Major meltwater input to the western Arctic Ocean during the last deglaciation coincides closely with the maximum rate of global sea-level rise as determined from the Barbados sea-level record, demonstrating a strong link between the global record and changes in the central Arctic Ocean. OIS 2, which includes the last glacial maximum, is very condensed or absent in the cores. Abundance and ??13C values for N. pachyderma in the middle part of OIS 3 are similar to modern values, indicating high productivity and seasonal ice-free areas along the Arctic margin at that time. These records indicate that the Arctic Ocean was a source of heat and moisture to the northern polar atmosphere during parts of OIS 3.

  9. Neogloboquadrina pachyderma in the modern Arctic Ocean: a potential for its morophological variation for paleoceanographic reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asahi, Hirofumi; Nam, Seung-Il; Son, Yeong-Ju; Mackensen, Andreas; Stein, Ruediger

    2016-04-01

    In the Arctic Ocean, nearly entire planktic foraminifers are comprised of cold-water species Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sin. Its extreme dominance prevents extracting past environmental condition in the Arctic Ocean from planktic foraminiferal assemblages. Though potential usability of N. pachyderma's morphological variation for paleoceanographic reconstruction has been presented by recent studies, its application is still limited within a certain region (e.g., N. Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean), leading requirement for further testing on the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean. In this presentation, we will present the modern distribution of morphological variations of N. pachyderma, using 82 surface sediment samples collected in the western Arctic Ocean. Within investigated surface sediment samples, we have encountered total of seven morphological variations of N. pachyderma, compromising their description by previous study (Eynaund et al., 2010). Clear geographic distribution of "Large-sized (>250 μm)" N. pachyderma along the offshore of Northern Alaskan margin suggests its preferences in the relatively warm and low-salinity condition. Using the distribution pattern of morphological variations of N. pachyderma, we have succeeded to establish transfer functions for salinity and temperature. Application of those functions at down-core foraminiferal assemblages at the Northwind Ridge (ARA01B-MUC05: 75 °N, 160°W) showed general warming of ~0.5 °C and freshening of ~1.0 ‰ during Holocene.

  10. Is the oceanic heat transport with Atlantic water towards the Arctic changing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Østerhus, Svein

    2013-04-01

    The flow of Atlantic water (Atlantic inflow) across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge (GSR) is critical for conditions in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean by importing heat and salt. All three branches crossing the GSR have been monitored since the mid-1990ies and the transports of water and heat have been estimated. The Atlantic inflow, that forms the surface part of the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic, is affected by wind forcing and freshwater input but the most important driving appears to be the cooling of the ocean by the atmosphere in the subarctic seas and increasing of salinity in the Arctic Ocean through freezing of seawater. This results in the sinking of the surface waters that subsequently flow out of the area close to the bottom over the GSR. This removal of water from the Arctic region by the overflow generates sea level slopes that drive a northward transport of water and heat. With global climate change, the Arctic atmosphere is expected to warm and freshwater input to the Arctic to increase, both of which may act to slow the mechanism that drives these flows, and climate models predict a weakening of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation. This presentation addresses the question, whether the weakening has already been initiated and what regions may have been affected. Based on observations and model results, we conclude that the volume transport of the Atlantic inflow has not weakened consistently whereas the temperature has increased.