The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) Hole 4C from the Lomonosov Ridge in the central Arctic Ocean recovered a continuous 18 in record of Quaternary foraminifera yielding evidence for seasonally ice-free interglacials during the Matuyama, progressive development of large glacials during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT) ???1.2-0.9 Ma, and the onset of high-amplitude 100-ka orbital cycles ???500 ka. Foraminiferal preservation in sediments from the Arctic is influenced by primary (sea ice, organic input, and other environmental conditions) and secondary factors (syndepositional, long-term pore water dissolution). Taking these into account, the ACEX 4C record shows distinct maxima in agglutinated foraminiferal abundance corresponding to several interglacials and deglacials between marine isotope stages (MIS) 13-37, and although less precise dating is available for older sediments, these trends appear to continue through the Matuyama. The MPT is characterized by nearly barren intervals during major glacials (MIS 12, 16, and 22-24) and faunal turnover (MIS 12-24). Abundant calcareous planktonic (mainly Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sin.) and benthic foraminifers occur mainly in interglacial intervals during the Brunhes and very rarely in the Matuyama. A distinct faunal transition from calcareous to agglutinated foraminifers 200-300 ka in ACEX 4C is comparable to that found in Arctic sediments from the Lomonosov, Alpha, and Northwind ridges and the Morris Jesup Rise. Down-core disappearance of calcareous taxa is probably related to either reduced sea ice cover prior to the last few 100-ka cycles, pore water dissolution, or both. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Quaternary paleoceanography of the central Arctic based on Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Arctic Coring Expedition 302 foraminiferal assemblages