Advances in Marine Geology—Selected Papers from P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2023) | Viewed by 15794

Special Issue Editors

P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117997 Moscow, Russia
Interests: deformable plate tectonics; modeling of geodynamic processes; geodynamics of the Arctic; hazards on the shelf and continental margins; marine geophysics
Shirshov Institute of Ocenology RAS, Moscow, Russia
Interests: problems of modern sedimentation; dispersed sedimentary mater (aerosols, suspended matter, particulate fluxes); bottom sediments; diagenetic processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue deals with the achievements of P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, the largest marine institute in Russia, with 70 years of history. The first marine geological research aboard the R/V “Vityaz” took place in 1949, and geological studies have since taken a front-row seat in the complex oceanological investigations at the Institute. The geological direction of the Institute’s research embraces a wide range of scientific disciplines, such as lithology, mineralogy, geochemistry, and stratigraphy of bottom sediments; micropaleontology and paleo-oceanology; sediment and ore formation; geomorphology, geophysics, tectonics, and geodynamics; geohazards; geochemistry and biogeochemistry; and dynamics of shores and shelves.

One of the most important aspects of the Institute’s geological investigations is the study of the ocean sedimentation process, including systematic studies of water and air suspended matter, as well as of river discharge and sedimentary material dispersal by sea ice and icebergs; and vertical particulate fluxes and bottom sediments as the final stage of this process. Great importance is attached to geochemical and biogeochemical studies of sedimentation and diagenetic processes. Quantitative regularities in the behavior of chemical elements, their cycles, and contribution of various sources to the chemical balance of the ocean have been established. Micropaleontological studies are also successfully carried out at the Institute. In combination with isotopic analyses of ocean sediments, they form the basis for stratigraphic, paleo-oceanological, paleoecological, and paleoclimatic reconstructions and, finally, for the studies of the world oceans’ geological history. In recent years, much attention in the Institute has also been paid to the study of various natural processes in the Arctic seas, and equally important are geodynamic studies, in particular the development of a geodynamic model of the evolution of the Arctic region in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic, and geodynamic analysis of the seismic cycles of the great earthquakes in the subduction zones. It is our pleasure to present the results of our investigations in this Special Issue.

Dr. Leopold Lobkovsky
Dr. Nadezhda Politova
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

34 pages, 33492 KiB  
Article
Large Earthquakes in Subduction Zones around the Polar Regions as a Possible Reason for Rapid Climate Warming in the Arctic and Glacier Collapse in West Antarctica
Geosciences 2023, 13(6), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13060171 - 08 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2588
Abstract
A correlation is observed between changes in the level of Earth’s seismic activity and increments of the atmospheric methane concentration over the past 40 years. Trigger mechanisms are proposed for methane emissions and glacier collapse in polar regions. These mechanisms are due to [...] Read more.
A correlation is observed between changes in the level of Earth’s seismic activity and increments of the atmospheric methane concentration over the past 40 years. Trigger mechanisms are proposed for methane emissions and glacier collapse in polar regions. These mechanisms are due to deformation waves caused by large earthquakes in subduction zones located near the polar regions: the Aleutian and Kuril–Kamchatka subduction zones, closest to the Arctic, and the Antarctica–Chilean and Tonga–Kermadec–Macquarie subduction zones. Disturbances of the lithosphere are transmitted over the distances of 3000–4000 km and more at a speed of about 100 km/year. Additional associated stresses come to the Arctic and Antarctica several decades after the occurrence of large earthquakes. In the Arctic zone, additional stresses affect the low-permeability structure of gas bearing sedimentary strata, causing increased methane emission and climate warming. In West Antarctica, deformation waves could trigger the acceleration and intensive collapse of West Antarctic glaciers, which has been observed since the 1970s. These waves are also capable of activating dormant volcanoes located under the sheet glaciers of West Antarctica, leading to an increase in heat flux, to the melting of ice at the glaciers’ base, and to their accelerated sliding towards the ocean, as is happening with the Thwaites Glacier. Full article
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20 pages, 5339 KiB  
Article
Time-Domain Electromagnetics for Subsea Permafrost Mapping in the Arctic: The Synthetic Response Analyses and Uncertainty Estimates from Numerical Modelling Data
Geosciences 2023, 13(5), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13050144 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Subsea permafrost stability is the key to whether pre-performed methane sequestered in hydrate deposits escapes to the overlying strata. By making use of the 1D numerical modeling and field data, we analyze the capabilities of the time-domain (transient) electromagnetic method (TDEM) when being [...] Read more.
Subsea permafrost stability is the key to whether pre-performed methane sequestered in hydrate deposits escapes to the overlying strata. By making use of the 1D numerical modeling and field data, we analyze the capabilities of the time-domain (transient) electromagnetic method (TDEM) when being applied for subsea permafrost mapping, and study the effect of the background resistivity structure on the inversion models’ accuracy for a series of settings typical for the East Siberian Arctic Shelf—the broadest and shallowest shelf in the world ocean, which represents more than 70% of the subsea permafrost. The synthetic response analysis included the construction of a series of resistivity models corresponding to different settings (presence/absence of ice-bonded permafrost layer, different position of its top and bottom boundaries, different width and thickness of thawed bodies or taliks, variable seawater depth and its resistivity), and calculation of synthetic apparent resistivity responses used to assess their sensitivity to changes in the target parameters of the resistivity structure. This was followed by regularized inversion of synthetic responses and comparing resulting models with original (true) ones, which allowed us to understand the possible uncertainties in the geometry and resistivity of the reconstructed permafrost layer, depending on seawater depth and unfrozen layer thickness, as well as confirm the overall efficacy of TDEM technology for the subsea permafrost imaging. That is crucially important for understanding the current state of the subsea permafrost-hydrate system and possible future dynamics. Full article
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24 pages, 7254 KiB  
Article
The Keivy Domain of the Kola Granulite–Gneiss Area on the Baltic Shield: Most Ancient Median Massif of the Continental Crust
Geosciences 2023, 13(5), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13050142 - 12 May 2023
Viewed by 972
Abstract
Studies of lithotectonic formations within the Keivy domain of the NE Baltic Shield have shown that the domain was tectonically overlapped by adjacent microcontinents during regional collision processes in the Late Archean. As a consequence, the continental crust of the Keivy domain was [...] Read more.
Studies of lithotectonic formations within the Keivy domain of the NE Baltic Shield have shown that the domain was tectonically overlapped by adjacent microcontinents during regional collision processes in the Late Archean. As a consequence, the continental crust of the Keivy domain was submerged, relative to other blocks of the continental crust, and the described domain acquired the features of a classical median massif. Surrounded on all sides by collision systems, the Keivy median massif entered the cratonization regime. This led to intensive processes of denudation of the surrounding domains of the crust and the accumulation of a thick sedimentary cover on the surface. The described processes occurred during the formation of the first supercontinent (Monogea) in the history of the Earth and the manifestation of the Early Precambrian Huronian glaciation, which left its traces on most domains of the Earth’s continental crust. Thus, the processes of peneplain formation within the Keivy massif occurred under the cold weather conditions, high volcanic activity in the peripheral zones, and sedimentary cover saturation with the products of the physical and chemical mineral transformation of tonalite–trondhjemite and greenstone rock assemblages. The unique combination of certain geodynamic and climatic cycles on the Baltic Shield in the Late Archean led to the accumulation of extensive stratiform deposits of alumina raw materials within the Keivy median massif. Full article
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23 pages, 5494 KiB  
Article
Holocene Paleoenvironmental Implications of Diatom, Non-Pollen Palynomorph, and Organic Carbon Records from the Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea (European Arctic)
Geosciences 2023, 13(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13020056 - 11 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Variations in sea surface conditions and sea level through the Holocene in the Kandalaksha Bay, the White Sea, were reconstructed based on the study of core sediments from the outer Kandalaksha Bay, using the modern analog technique applied to dinocysts in addition to [...] Read more.
Variations in sea surface conditions and sea level through the Holocene in the Kandalaksha Bay, the White Sea, were reconstructed based on the study of core sediments from the outer Kandalaksha Bay, using the modern analog technique applied to dinocysts in addition to diatoms, TOC, δ13Corg, CaCO3, and grain size data. The chronostratigraphy of the core sediments was defined from accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates on mollusk shells. The results indicated an increase in water depth in the outer Kandalaksha Bay and in the central Dvina Bay until the late Holocene. From about 9.5 to 7.5 cal kyr BP, the data suggested a general trend of increasing sea surface temperatures (up to 14 °C), at least in areas with inflow of Atlantic waters. The last 2.5 kyr were characterized by increased freshwater runoff to the White Sea. Full article
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11 pages, 3820 KiB  
Article
The Extent of Glaciation in the Pechora Sea, Eurasian Arctic, Based on Submarine Glacial Landforms
Geosciences 2023, 13(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13020053 - 09 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1475
Abstract
The Pechora Sea is optimally located for studying the coalescence of a glacial and periglacial continental shelf zone in the high Arctic. Here, we present data acquired during cruises of the RV Akademik Nikolaj Strakhov in 2018–2021, revealing the distribution of submarine glacial [...] Read more.
The Pechora Sea is optimally located for studying the coalescence of a glacial and periglacial continental shelf zone in the high Arctic. Here, we present data acquired during cruises of the RV Akademik Nikolaj Strakhov in 2018–2021, revealing the distribution of submarine glacial landforms in the central part of the Pechora shelf area. Based on moraines and the distribution of glacial lineations, the extent of the ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is proposed. The crests of the moraine ridges and the slopes of their sides express a variation in morphology, and the ridges combine into irregular complexes. The moraines are primarily composed of coarse cobble-sized material with an addition of coarse sand and other sedimentary fractions. The mapped glacial landforms clearly indicate that an ice sheet extended over the area, while the Pechora basin, at the same time, was comprised of lowland characterized by a cryogenic subaerial landscape. Based on the result from this study, the extent and ice-flow pattern of the Barents-Kara Ice Sheet during the LGM were determined. Full article
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25 pages, 4854 KiB  
Article
Diatom and Dinocyst Production, Composition and Flux from the Annual Cycle Sediment Trap Study in the Barents Sea
Geosciences 2023, 13(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13010001 - 20 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
This paper presents the diatom and palynomorph data from a sediment trap deployed in the northern part of the East Barents Sea for an annual cycle from August 2017 to August 2018. The average monthly fluxes of diatoms and dinoflagellate cysts in the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the diatom and palynomorph data from a sediment trap deployed in the northern part of the East Barents Sea for an annual cycle from August 2017 to August 2018. The average monthly fluxes of diatoms and dinoflagellate cysts in the photic layer of the northeastern part of the Barents Sea varies from 10.4 × 103 to 640.8 × 103 valves m−2 day−1 and from 0.3 × 103 to 90.0 × 103 cysts m−2 day−1, respectively. Their fluxes are related to the low irradiance of the photic layer during the sea-ice cover period, dominance of southward currents, modern climate, and nepheloid layer conditions. Based on redundancy analysis of the relationship between the fluxes of diatoms and dinoflagellate cysts and organic carbon fluxes, sea-ice covers, and the seasonal cycle of light availability we determined the following. First, sea-ice-associated diatoms and dinocysts are exported to the sediment trap from the melting sea ice with a two-week delay. Second, the appearance of freshwater diatoms and green algae in the sinking material accumulating from March 2018 to July 2018 is also related to the melting of sea ice. And third, the presence of Coscinodiscus radiatus, C. perforatus, Shionodiscus oestrupii and Operculodinium centrocarpum in the diatoms and dinocysts species composition throughout the year indicates the advection of Atlantic waters into the Barents Sea up to 80° N. Full article
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16 pages, 2298 KiB  
Communication
Features of the Largest Earthquake Seismic Cycles in the Western Part of the Aleutian Subduction Zone
Geosciences 2022, 12(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12030107 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3118
Abstract
We discussed the peculiarities of the seismic cycle in Aleutian subduction zone, characterized by an oblique subduction setting. It was shown that the orientation of the plate convergence vector relative to the subduction zone axis can have a significant impact on the preparation [...] Read more.
We discussed the peculiarities of the seismic cycle in Aleutian subduction zone, characterized by an oblique subduction setting. It was shown that the orientation of the plate convergence vector relative to the subduction zone axis can have a significant impact on the preparation and occurrence of the largest earthquakes in subduction zones. In particular, from the analysis of the seismic activity occurring in the western part of the Aleutian island arc, it was found that the seismic cycles here are shorter than in the eastern part of the arc. It was revealed that the strongest earthquakes, repeating in the same areas of the western part of the Aleutian subduction zone, differ both in magnitude and length of the fault zone. Taking into account the oblique subduction setting, we proposed the keyboard model of the largest megathrust earthquakes generation as a mechanism potentially capable of explaining the reduction in the seismic cycle duration and noticeable differences in the spatial extent and localization of the fault zones of events with similar magnitudes occurring in the same segment of the western half of the Aleutian subduction zone. Full article
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12 pages, 3420 KiB  
Article
Peculiarities of Pore Water Ionic Composition in the Bottom Sediments and Subsea Permafrost: A Case Study in the Buor-Khaya Bay
Geosciences 2022, 12(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020049 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
This paper emphasises an ionic composition of the pore water of bottom sediments and subsea permafrost as an indicator of salinization of the thawed strata. Based on measurements of concentration of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), [...] Read more.
This paper emphasises an ionic composition of the pore water of bottom sediments and subsea permafrost as an indicator of salinization of the thawed strata. Based on measurements of concentration of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), and magnesium (Mg2+) cations, chlorides (Cl) and sulphates (SO42–) in water extracts from bottom sediments and subsea permafrost deposits from three boreholes, a spatial difference in salinization of thawed strata within the Buor-Khaya Bay was shown. The vertical pattern of the macroions in the unfrozen segment was formed under subsea thawing of permafrost. The frozen strata contain fresh pore water and have been evolving under downward penetration of salt and subsequent thawing of subsea permafrost. Based on the analyses of thawed deposits, it was shown that the maximum pore water salinity was observed in the horizons enriched with sand and plant detritus. Over the boundary of subsea permafrost in the Ivashkina Lagoon, the pronounced total ion concentration (up to 50 g/L of Cl) of pore water was observed. This segment consists of moss debris, which is characterised by high porosity. The moss layer promotes the accumulation of dissolved pore water compounds and subsequent thawing of the frozen sediments. Full article
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