Late Quaternary sedimentary processes in the central Arctic Ocean inferred from geophysical mapping
Cryospheric events in the Arctic Ocean have been largely studied through the imprints of ice sheets, ice shelves and icebergs in the seafloor morphology and sediment stratigraphy. Subglacial morphologies have been identified in the shallowest regions of the Arctic Ocean, up to 1200 m water depth, revealing the extent and dynamics of Arctic ice sheets during the last glacial periods. However, less attention has been given to sedimentary features imaged in the vicinity of the ice-grounded areas. Detailed interpretation of the sparse available swath bathymetry and sub-bottom profiles from the Lomonosov Ridge and the Amundsen Basin shows the occurrence of mass transport deposits (MTDs) and sediment waves in the central Arctic Ocean. The waxing and waning ice sheets and shelves in the Arctic Ocean have influenced the distribution of MTDs in the vicinity of grounding-ice areas, i.e. along the crest of Lomonosov Ridge. Due to the potential of Arctic sediments to hold gas hydrates, their destabilization should not be ruled out as trigger for sediment instability. Sediment waves formed by the interaction of internal waves that propagate along water mass interfaces with the bathymetric barrier of Lomonosov Ridge. This work describes the distribution and formation mechanisms of MTDs and sediment waves in the central Arctic Ocean in relation to grounding ice and internal waves between water masses respectively. The distribution of these features provides new insight into past cryospheric and oceanographic conditions of the central Arctic Ocean.
Authors: Pérez, Lara F. ORCID record for Lara F. Pérez, Jakobsson, Martin, Funck, Thomas, Andresen, Katrine J., Nielsen, Tove, O'Regan, Matt, Mørk, Finn