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Open AccessArticle

Elemental and Mineral Composition of the Barents Sea Recent and Late Pleistocene−Holocene Sediments: A Correlation with Environmental Conditions

1
Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 36 Nakhimovsky Prospect, 117997 Moscow, Russia
2
Department of Chemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, GSP-1, Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070593
Received: 7 June 2020 / Revised: 25 June 2020 / Accepted: 28 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elemental and Isotope Geochemistry of the Earth’s Critical Zone)
A comprehensive examination of the elemental (including radionuclides and heavy metals), mineral, and grain-size composition of sediments from different areas of the Barents Sea was performed. Sediment cores were sampled in the Central Deep, Cambridge Strait (Franz Josef Land Archipelago), Russkaya Gavan’ Bay (Novaya Zemlya Archipelago), and Bear Island Trough. We aim to evaluate how the modern and more ancient environmental conditions are reflected in the elemental and mineral composition, as well as to test indicative elemental ratios. The applied methods include elemental analysis using gamma-ray spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), and X-Ray Difractometry XRD analysis of minerals. Difference in sedimentation rates, grain-size composition, and sources of material, are reflected in downcore variation of Si/Al, Mn/Fe, P/Al, Ti/K, and quartz-feldspar ratios. At boundary Early Holocene/Late Deglaciation, intensive bottom currents from the West-Southern shelf areas contributed to increase of Si/Al and Zr/Ca ratios. Distinct growth of the Si/Fe ratio within the sediments deposited over Late Pleistocene to Mid Holocene may be caused by increased contents of the coarse sand material, as well as by abundant fluxes of clay-mineral-loaded glacial meltwater during the main deglaciation phase. The Mn/Fe ratio used as redox proxy, displayed peaks at different depths related to oxygen concentration growth in bottom water.
Keywords: Barents Sea; sediment cores; radionuclides; grain-size and mineral composition; major and trace elements; proxies Barents Sea; sediment cores; radionuclides; grain-size and mineral composition; major and trace elements; proxies
MDPI and ACS Style

Demina, L.L.; Dara, O.; Aliev, R.; Alekseeva, T.; Budko, D.; Novichkova, E.; Politova, N.; Solomatina, A.; Bulokhov, A. Elemental and Mineral Composition of the Barents Sea Recent and Late Pleistocene−Holocene Sediments: A Correlation with Environmental Conditions. Minerals 2020, 10, 593.

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