Sequence stratigraphy of the ANDRILL AND-2A drillcore, Antarctica: A long-term, ice-proximal record of Early to Mid-Miocene climate, sea-level and glacial dynamism

Christopher R. Fielding, Greg H. Browne, Brad Field, Fabio Florindo, David M. Harwood, Lawrence A. Krissek, Richard H. Levy, Kurt S. Panter, Sandra Passchier, Stephen F. Pekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Present understanding of Antarctic climate change during the Early to Mid-Miocene, including major cycles of glacial expansion and contraction, relies in large part on stable isotope proxies from deep sea core drilling. Here, we summarize the lithostratigraphy of the ANDRILL Southern McMurdo Sound Project drillcore AND-2A. This core offers a hitherto unavailable ice-proximal stratigraphic archive from a high-accommodation continental margin setting, and provides clear evidence of repeated fluctuations in climate, ice expansion/contraction and attendant sea-level change over the period c. 20.2-14.2. Ma, with a more fragmentary record of Late Miocene and Pliocene time. The core is divided into seventy-four high-frequency (fourth- or fifth-order) glacimarine sequences recording repeated advances and retreats of glaciers into and out of the Victoria Land Basin. The section can be resolved into thirteen longer-term, composite (third-order) sequences, which comprise packages of higher frequency sequences that show a consistent stratigraphic stacking pattern (Stratigraphic Motif). The distribution of the six recognized motifs indicates intervals of less and more ice-proximal, and temperate to subpolar/polar climate, through the Miocene period. The core demonstrates a dynamic climate regime throughout the Early to Mid-Miocene that may be correlated to some previously-recognized events such as the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum, and provides a detailed reference point from which to evaluate stable isotope proxy records from the deep-sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-351
Number of pages15
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume305
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2011

Keywords

  • ANDRILL SMS project
  • Antarctica
  • Cyclicity
  • Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum
  • Miocene
  • Sequence stratigraphy

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