Quaternary sediment patterns in the Weddell Sea: Relations and environmental conditions


  • D. K. Fütterer,

  • H. Grobe,

  • S. Grünig


Sediment patterns such as texture, composition, and facies from three selected areas of the Antarctic continental margin of the Weddell Sea are discussed in relation to environmental variations of the Quaternary hydrosphere and cryosphere. Advance and retreat of ice shelves as well as oscillations in sea ice coverage are reflected by particular sediment facies. The distribution of ice-rafted detritus tracks the Antarctic Coastal Current, and the Weddell Sea Bottom Water contour current can be recognized by its distinctive winnowing and erosion pattern. Distribution and abundance of biogenic sediment components are mainly controlled by the duration of sea ice coverage reflecting the long-term climatic evolution.