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Unstable climate oscillations during the Late Holocene in the Eastern Bransfield Basin, Antarctic Peninsula

Khim, B.-K., Yoon, H.I., Kang, C.Y. and Bahk, J.J.  2002; Quaternary Research 58: 234-245


Core A9-EB2 from the eastern Bransfield Basin, Antarctic Peninsula, consists of pelagic (diatom ooze-clay couplets and bioturbated diatom ooze) and hemipelagic (bioturbated mud) sediments interbedded with turbidites (homogeneous mud and silt–clay couplets). The cyclic and laminated nature of these pelagic sediments represents alternation between the deposition of diatom-rich biogenic sediments and of terrigenous sediments. Sediment properties and geochemical data explain the contrasting lamination, with light layers being finer-grained and relatively rich in total organic carbon and biogenic silica content. Also, the high-resolution magnetic susceptibility (MS) variations highlight distinct features: high MS values coincide with clastic-rich sections and low MS values correspond to biogenic sections. The chronology developed for core A9-EB2 accounts for anomalous ages associated with turbidites and shows a linear sedimentation rate of approximately 87 cm/103 yr, which is supported by an accumulation rate of 80 cm/103 yr calculated from 210Pb activity. The late Holocene records clearly identify Neoglacial events of the Little Ice Age (LIA) and Medieval Warm Period (MWP). Other unexplained climatic events comparable in duration and amplitude to the LIA and MWP events also appear in the MS record, suggesting intrinsically unstable climatic conditions during the late Holocene in the Bransfield Basin of Antarctic Peninsula.