Articles | Volume 10, issue 2
Research article
26 Mar 2014
Research article |  | 26 Mar 2014

Magnetostratigraphy of sediments from Lake El'gygytgyn ICDP Site 5011-1: paleomagnetic age constraints for the longest paleoclimate record from the continental Arctic

E. M. Haltia and N. R. Nowaczyk

Abstract. Paleomagnetic measurements were performed on sediments drilled from ICDP Site 5011-1 in Lake El'gygytgyn (67°30' N, 172°05' E) located in Far East Russian Arctic. The lake partly fills a crater formed by a meteorite impact 3.58 ± 0.04 Ma ago. Sediments from three parallel cores (5011-1A, 5011-1B and 5011-1C), recovered from the middle part of the lake, yield a total of 355 m of sediment. Sediments are characterized by a variable lithology, where intervals of homogenous and laminated sediments alternate, and mass movement deposits occur frequently along the sediment profile. Mineral magnetic investigation made on sediments enclosed in core catchers suggests that magnetic carrier in these sediments is partly maghemitized Ti-rich pseudo-single domain magnetite. Its detrital origin can be shown by mineral magnetic measurements and SEM-EDS analyses performed on mini-sized cylindrical rock samples, polished rock sections and creek sediments. The intensity of the natural remanent magnetization in the sediments is high with a range from about 1 to 1000 mA m−1. Most of the sediments carry a stable magnetization interpreted as primary depositional remanent magnetization. Characteristic inclination data show alternating intervals of steep positive and negative inclinations that are used to assign magnetic polarity to the lake sediment profile. This is a rather straightforward procedure owing to the mainly high quality of data. The Matuyama/Gauss (M/G) (2.608 Ma) and Brunhes/Matuyama (B/M) (0.780 Ma) reversals were recognized in the sediments. The Mammoth and Kaena reversed subchrons were identified during the Gauss chron, and the Olduvai and Jaramillo normal subchrons as well as the Réunion and Cobb Mountain cryptochrons were identified during the Matuyama chron. Sediments also provide a record of the Olduvai precursor and Intra-Jaramillo geomagnetic excursions. Sediment deposition rate is highest at the base of the sequence laid down in the early Gauss chron, when the deposition rate is approximately 44 cm kyr−1. Sediment deposition decelerates upcore and it is an order of magnitude lower during the Brunhes chron in comparison with the early Gauss chron. Decrease in sediment deposition in the late Pliocene probably relates to atmospheric and oceanic reorganization heralding the onset of Quaternary climate change. The high-quality magnetostratigraphy reconstructed from Lake El'gygytgyn sediments provides 12 first-order tie points to pin down the age of the longest paleoclimate record from the continental Arctic.