März, C et al. (2011): Geochemical analysis of two sediment cores from the southern Mendeleev Ridge. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.760791, Supplement to:März, Christian; Stratmann, Alexandra; Matthiessen, Jens; Meinhardt, Ann-Katrin; Eckert, Sebastian; Schnetger, Bernhard; Vogt, Christoph; Stein, Ruediger; Brumsack, Hans-Jürgen (2011): Manganese-rich brown layers in Arctic Ocean sediments: Composition, formation mechanisms, and diagenetic overprint. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75(23), 7668-7687, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2011.09.046
We present results of an inorganic geochemical pore water and sediment study conducted on Quaternary sediments from the western Arctic Ocean. The sediment cores were recovered in 2008 from the southern Mendeleev Ridge during RV Polarstern Expedition ARK-XXIII/3. With respect to sediment sources and depositional processes, peaks in Ca/Al, Mg/Al, Sr/Al and Sr/Mg indicate enhanced input of both ice-rafted (mainly dolomite) and biogenic carbonate during deglacial warming phases. Distinct and repetitive brown layers enriched in Mn (oxyhydr)oxides occur mostly in association with these carbonate-rich intervals. For the first time, we show that the brown layers are also consistently enriched in scavenged trace metals Co, Cu, Mo and Ni. The bioturbation patterns of the brown layers, specifically well-defined brown burrows into the underlying sediments, support formation close to the sediment-water interface. The Mn and trace metal enrichments were probably initiated under warmer climate conditions. Both river runoff and melting sea ice delivered trace metals to the Arctic Ocean, but also enhanced seasonal productivity and organic matter export to the sea floor. As Mn (oxyhydr)oxides and scavenged trace metals were deposited at the sea floor, a co-occurring organic matter "pulse" triggered intense diagenetic Mn cycling at the sediment-water interface. These processes resulted in the formation of Mn and trace metal enrichments, but almost complete organic matter degradation. As warmer conditions ceased, reduced riverine runoff and/or a solid sea ice cover terminated the input of riverine trace metal and fresh organic matter, and greyish-yellowish sediments poor in Mn and trace metals were deposited. Oxygen depletion of Arctic bottom waters as potential cause for the lack of Mn enrichments during glacial intervals is highly improbable. While the original composition and texture of the brown layers resulted from specific climatic conditions (including transient Mn redox cycling at the sediment-water interface), pore water data show that early diagenetic Mn redistribution is still affecting the organic-poor sediments in several meters depth. Given persistent steady state diagenetic conditions, purely authigenic Mn-rich brown layers may form, while others may completely vanish. The degree of diagenetic Mn redistribution largely depends on the depositional environment within the Arctic Ocean, the availability of Mn and organic matter, and seems to be recorded by the Co/Mo ratios of single Mn-rich layers. We conclude that brown Arctic sediment layers are not necessarily synchronous features, and correlating them across different parts of the Arctic Ocean without additional age control is not recommended.
During RV Polarstern Expedition ARK-XXIII/3 (summer 2008) to the southern Mendeleev Ridge (central Arctic Ocean), the cores PS72/340-5 and PS72/343-1 were recovered and sampled for pore waters and sediments. Pore water sampling was conducted with rhizones, samples were acidified and analysed for Mn and S with an ICP-OES (iCAP 6000, Thermo Scientific). Sediment samples were freeze-dried, ground and processed to glass beads before being analysed for major and minor elements by wavelength-dispersive XRF (Panalytical PW2400). All analyses were conducted at the ICBM, university of Oldenburg (Germany), and analytical precision and accuracy was checked with in-house and international standards and triplicate measurements.