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Sedimentary processes within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: relationships among sedimentological, geochemical and magnetic sediment properties
  • Sarah Letaief,
  • Jean-Carlos Montero-Serrano,
  • Guillaume St-Onge
Sarah Letaief
University of Montpellier

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jean-Carlos Montero-Serrano
Université du Québec à Rimouski
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Guillaume St-Onge
Université du Québec à Rimouski
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The sedimentological, geochemical, physical and magnetic properties of 40 surface and basal sediment samples of box cores collected throughout the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) from the Canadian Beaufort Shelf to Lancaster Sound were analyzed to determine the sedimentary processes that operate within the CAA during the pre- and post-industrial periods. In addition, the chronology of seven selected regional cores was established using 210Pb measurements, where the base is dated between 1550 and 1820 CE. These cores provide an opportunity to robustly compare post-1900 sedimentary conditions with those of the colder Little Ice Age period (LIA; ~1500-1900 CE). The different properties combined with multivariate statistical analyses result in the identification of three regional provinces with distinct sedimentary characteristics: (1) the West province (the Mackenzie Shelf/Slope, West Banks Island and the M’Clure Strait) typified by detrital associations (Fe-Rb-Ti-Zn), high organic matter inputs, dominance of magnetite and low-coercivity minerals and high aluminosilicate contents; (2) the Intermediate Zone (the Amundsen and Coronation Gulfs) distinguished by Si-Al-Zr-Sr-K associations, Fe-Mn oxyhydroxyde precipitation and a mixture between marine and terrigenous organic matter; and (3) the East Province (the Queen Maud Gulf, Victoria and Barrow Straits, and Lancaster and Eclipse Sounds) described by high detrital carbonate inputs, marine organic matter, and dominance of high-coercivity minerals. Our results confirm that the pre- and post-industrial sedimentary dynamics are controlled by sediment supplies from the river discharges in the West and Intermediate provinces, whereas the East province is more influenced by sea ice and coastal erosion.