University of Oulu

Clay minerals in response to Mid-Pliocene glacial history and climate in the polar regions (ODP, Site 1165, Prydz Bay, Antarctica and Site 911, Yermak Plateau, Arctic Ocean)

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Author: Junttila, Juho1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2007
Publish Date: 2007-03-26
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Auditorium GO101, Linnanmaa, on April 5th, 2007, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Docent Aarno Kotilainen
Doctor Christoph Vogt


This thesis examines the Mid-Pliocene climatic extreme ca. three million years ago (Ma) which was the latest longtime warm period. It is an important topic because the climate back then was warmer compared with the present. The bipolar regions are studied because they represent the largest areas that control the global climate. This study is based on clay mineral research that may significantly improve our knowledge of the Mid-Pliocene climate when combined with other palaeoenvironmental data. The paleoclimatological objectives of this study were: 1) to investigate how clay minerals reflect the Mid-Pliocene Global Warmth event, 2) to study ice sheet development at high latitudes, especially in East-Antarctica, and the history of ice rafting and sea ice, especially in the Arctic Ocean.

This thesis deals with the clay mineral distribution and compositional analysis of the Pliocene-aged marine sediment sequences provided by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). The first studied site, Site 1165, is located at the continental rise of Prydz Bay, East Antarctica, and the second studied site, Site 911, is located at the Yermak Plateau, north of Svalbard, in the Arctic Ocean.

The Pliocene smectite clay minerals at Site 1165 were mainly derived from Antarctic continental sources and transported to the site primarly by bottom currents related to warm events during the last 5 Ma. The evidence obtained in this study shows that the East Antarctic ice sheet may have been a dynamic ice sheet during the past 5 Ma, especially during the Mid-Pliocene. The results from the Mid-Pliocene possibly suggest a general warming trend.

Based on the composition of the heavy minerals and clay minerals, at Site 911, the Pliocene smectite clay minerals were mainly transported within sea ice by the Siberian branch of the Transpolar Drift. The results indicate a warming trend at approximately 3 Ma after which they indicate a shift back to glacial conditions. Based on this study, the Mid-Pliocene Global Warmth can be observed in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 978-951-42-8368-0
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8367-3
Issue: 481
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2007. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.