Fütterer, DK; Shipboard Scientific Party (2009): Descriptions of 104 gravity and piston sediment cores from POLARSTERN expedition ARK-VIII/3 to the Arctic Ocean. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.711051, Supplement to:Fütterer, Dieter K (1992): ARCTIC 91: Die Expedition ARK-VIII/3 mit FS Polarstern 1991 (ARCTIC 91: The Expedition ARK-VIII/3 of RV Polarstern in 1991). Berichte zur Polarforschung = Reports on Polar Research, 107, 267 pp, hdl:10013/epic.10107
Sediment descriptions and lithostratigraphy (chapter 6.4)
The upperrnost 20-50 cm of sedirnents in the Nansen Basin norrnally cornprise soft dark brown, brown-grayish and brown clay. Except for the toprnost clay, the four piston cores retrieved, contained quite different lithologies: a rnuddy diarnicton with outsized clasts (PS2157-6), sandy-silt beds alternating with clay beds (PS2159-6), and silty clay beds of brownish and grayish colours (PS2161-3). Core PS2208-3 was retrieved frorn a plateau on a searnount. The plateau was serni-encircled by hills. The upper 250 cm of this core cornprise brown and olive brown clays. Below these are several sandlayers and a 74 cm thick unit of a sandy mud with rnud-clasts up to 20 cm in diameter.
The uppermost 20-50 cm of sediments on the Gakkel Ridge comprise soft dark brown, brown, grayish brown clay. In most of the cores there are two horizons of brown clay separated by olive brown clay. The upper horizon is darker. The older stratigraphy is rather varied. Core PS2165-1 contains several thin gray sandlsilt layers, probably distal turbidites. The sarne is found in Core PS2167-1. This core also has a thick (approx. 2 rn) coarse grained turbidite containing large rnud clasts and basaltic rock fragrnents. The color of the turbiditic layers is dark gray.
There are several horizons of hernipelagic sandylsilty clays with quite a variety in colours; black, gray, olive, brown, yellowish brown and reddish. The colour variation rnay be due to hydrotherrnal activity or provenance or a shift in redox potential. Cores PS2168-2 and PS2169-1 have typical sequences of very dark gray sandy mud with sharp lower boundaries grading upwards into olive brown clay. Below the lower boundary is often a thin (1-2 cm) gray clay layer.
The giant box cores (GKG) provided in most cases excellently preserved sedirnent surfaces which consisted in the entire Amundsen Basin of dark brown to dark grayish brown silty clay with few dropstones and common calcareous microfossils (foraminifers and calcareous nannofossils). The brown and grayish brown color of the sediment surface is a result of the oxidizing conditions at the seafloor due to the rapid renewal of the bottom water rnasses. Planktic forarninifers and calcareous nannofossils are relatively frequent and well preserved despite the rernote location of the basin and its water depths of >4000 rn. Srnear slide descriptions have shown that the surface sedirnents consist dorninantly of clays to silty rnuds with clay rninerals and quartz as the rnost important constituents. The coarse fractions contained besides planktic and benthic forarninifers and coarse clastic rnaterials, rare bivalves, dropstones and mud clasts. The Station PS2190 at the North Pole is a particular good exarnple of the type of sedirnents deposited at the sea floor surface of the Arnundsen Basin, with hornogenous dark brown soft clay covering a sedirnent sequence of highly variable cornposition.
Nurnerous giant box cores also provide insight into the detailed lithostratigraphy of the upperrnost sedirnent layers. Twelve box cores have been collected frorn the Arnundsen Basin. Below the youngest unit of 5-20 crn thick silty clays deposits of variable stratigraphies have been found, rnostly consisting of clays or silty clays. In a few instances turbidites have been observed. Benthic forarninifers have not been found in the surface sedirnents. Other fossils were extrernely rare.
Bioturbation is weakly developed on all stations. Benthic anirnals seern to live only in and on the upperrnost 2 cm of the uppermost sediment layer. They cornprise amphipods (on all stations) and holothurians, bryozoans, polychaetes, and porifers at one station each.
Sediments from the Lomonosov Ridge show a variety of colors and textures. Following smear slide analyses they are composed mostly of clay minerals and quartz with mica and feldspars, especially in the siltier and sandier parts. Volcanic glass, microcrystalline carbonate, opaque minerals and green amphibole are occasional accessories.
The sediments from the Lomonosov Ridge show a noticeable difference from sediments collected from the surrounding basins. Lomonosov Ridge sediments are richer in silt and sand than basin sediments. Occasional turbidites occur in ridge sediments but these must be of entirely local origin. The ridge sediments include frequent layers of "cottage cheese" texture made up of what appear to be small, angular mud clasts of a variety of colors.