Are Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet grounding events manifest in sedimentary cycles on the adjacent continental rise?

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The direct record of Late Miocene-Early Pliocene Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet expansions from a previously published seismostratigraphic study of the outer shelf at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1097 is compared to the glacial history we deduced from published proxy evidence within coeval sections on the adjacent continental rise. The proxies are sedimentary structures (laminated vs. massive/bioturbated facies) and clay minerals (predominantly smectite and chlorite contents) from Ocean Drilling Program Site 1095 located on the distal part of a large drift. The comparison shows that more sedimentary cycles are evident on the continental rise for three of the four diatom biozones we considered. This indicates that the continental-rise sedimentology may indeed be related to local or regional paleoenvironmental variability, including Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet grounding events on the adjacent outer continental shelf. If correct, this would be a promising result because unlike the outer continental shelf sequences drilled thus far, the continental rise record is relatively continuous and can be dated using paleomagnetic and biostratigraphic data. However, our study also shows that no objective criteria provide direct linkages between the glacial history we deduced from the two continental rise proxies and that previously derived from the continental-shelf seismic stratigraphy. Furthermore, the two sedimentologic proxies on the continental rise do not always provide a consistent picture of glacial history when compared against each other. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Marine Geology

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