Roberts, A.P., Wilson, G.S., Harwood, D.M. and Verosub, K.L.
Glaciation across the Oligocene-Miocene boundary in southern McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: new chronology from the CIROS-1 drill hole.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 198, (1-2), . (doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00399-7).
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Few Palaeogene and Neogene sediment cores from the Antarctic continental margin have been dated with sufficient precision to enable establishment of direct linkages between glacial events on the Antarctic continent and marked events in deep-sea [delta]18O records. As a result, much of our knowledge of the gradual, but stepwise, shift from 'greenhouse' climates of the Cretaceous to the 'ice-house' climates of the Quaternary is inferred from well-dated and more continuously deposited deep-sea sediments. In this study, we present new magnetostratigraphic results from the CIROS-1 drill core from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, along with a reinterpretation of a published diatom biostratigraphic zonation that is constrained by correlation to a high-precision age model from the nearby CRP-2/2A drill core. Our results suggest that most of the upper 350 m of the CIROS-1 drill core represents rapid sediment accumulation during a short time interval spanning the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. Chronostratigraphic control is precise enough to enable correlation of this interval of glacimarine sedimentation with the Mi-1 deep-sea [delta]18O event, which confirms that the Mi-1 event was related to a major expansion of Antarctic ice. A major unconformity at 366 m in the CIROS-1 drill core, which is widely observed in regional seismic reflection studies, represents 9 Myr of missing time. This unconformity can be traced offshore into the Ross Sea using seismic stratigraphy and is interpreted to indicate significant East Antarctic ice sheet development during the Mi-1 glaciation. The stratigraphic expression of this ~400-kyr glacial event is evidently multiphase and complex in the Victoria Land Basin, probably because it was punctuated by higher-frequency orbitally induced glacial oscillations. The presence of Nothofagidites pollen throughout the CIROS-1 drill core and the presence of a Nothofagus (Southern beech) leaf within the early Miocene portion of the core indicate that Antarctic mean summer temperatures did not decrease below 5[deg]C throughout the Mi-1 glaciation. These temperatures are significantly warmer than present-day mean summer temperatures at sea level in McMurdo Sound. The persistence of a Nothofagus forest in coastal southern Victoria Land throughout this time interval suggests that the present state of deep refrigeration was not reached until some time after the Mi-1 glaciation
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