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Xiao W.,Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Zentrum For Polar Und Meersforschung | Xiao W.,Tongji University | Frederichs T.,University of Bremen | Gersonde R.,Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Zentrum For Polar Und Meersforschung | And 3 more authors.
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2016

In Southern Ocean sediments south of the Antarctic Polar Front, the scarcity of calcareous microfossils hampers the development of sediment chronologies based on radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope stratigraphy established from carbonate. In this study, radiometric dating, magnetic susceptibility (MS), biogenic opal content, diatom abundance fluctuation, and paleomagnetic information were investigated on a north-south transect of central Scotia Sea sediment cores to verify their reliability as stratigraphic tools in the study area. Radiocarbon dating on organic carbon humic acid fraction can be used to establish the stratigraphy of upper core sections, but regional comparison and correlation are needed to verify a possible bias by fossil carbon contamination. For the long-term stratigraphy, MS, which can be correlated to the Antarctic ice core dust/climate signal, represents the most valuable parameter. Fine-grained single domain magnetite, probably of biogenic origin, makes a significant contribution to the interglacial MS signal, while major contributions from detrital material affect the glacial MS record. The core from the southern Scotia Sea contains significant proportions of biogenic magnetite also in glacial sediments, suggesting depositional environments different from those of the northern Scotia Sea. Our data suggest low contributions of high-coercive minerals to the overall magnetic intensity of glacial and interglacial Scotia Sea sediments, which excludes dust as a main source of the magnetic signal. Opal content can be used to distinguish between cold and warm intervals for the past 300 kyr. Abundance fluctuation patterns of diatom species Fragilariopsis kerguelensis and Eucampia antarctica are useful stratigraphic tools for periods back to Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6. The Mono Lake geomagnetic excursion is identified in Scotia Sea sediments for the first time. Possible correlations of ash layers are suggested between Scotia Sea sediments and East Antarctic ice cores. They have potential to serve as additional age markers for further studies in this area. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..

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