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Publication - Dr Andy Fraass

    A revised Plio-Pleistocene age model and paleoceanography of the northeastern Caribbean Sea

    IODP Site U1396 off Montserrat, Lesser Antilles


    Fraass, AJ, Wall-Palmer, D, Leckie, RM, Hatfield, RG, Burns, SJ, Le Friant, A, Ishizuka, O, Aljahdali, M, Jutzeler, M, Martínez-Colón, M, Palmer, M & Talling, PJ, 2017, ‘A revised Plio-Pleistocene age model and paleoceanography of the northeastern Caribbean Sea: IODP Site U1396 off Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’. Stratigraphy, vol 13., pp. 183-203


    Site U1396 was piston cored as a part of Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Expedition 340 to establish a long record for Lesser Antilles volcanism. A ∼150 m sediment succession was recovered from three holes on a bathymetric high ∼33 km southwest of Montserrat. A series of shipboard and newly-generated chronostratigraphic tools (biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, astrochronology, and stable isotope chemostratigraphy) were employed to generate an integrated age model. Two possible chronostratigraphic interpretations for the Brunhes chron are presented, with hypotheses to explain the discrepancies seen between this study and Wall-Palmer et al. (2014). The recent Wade et al. (2011) planktic foraminiferal biostratigraphic calibration is tested, revealing good agreement between primary datums observed at Site U1396 and calibrated ages, but significant mismatches for some secondary datums. Sedimentation rates are calculated, both including and excluding the contribution of discrete volcanic sediment layers within the succession. Rates are found to be 'pulsed'or highly variable within the Pliocene interval, declining through the 1.5-2.4 Ma interval, and then lower through the Pleistocene. Different explanations for the trends in the sedimentation rates are discussed, including orbitally-forced biogenic production spikes, elevated contributions of cryptotephra (dispersed ash), and changes in bottom water sources and flow rates with increased winnowing in the area of Site U1396 into the Pleistocene.

    Full details in the University publications repository