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Title: South Pacific Paleogene Climate
International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 378 was designed to recover the first comprehensive set of Paleogene sedimentary sections from a transect of sites strategically positioned in the South Pacific Ocean to reconstruct key changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation. These sites would have provided an unparalleled opportunity to add crucial new data and geographic coverage to existing reconstructions of Paleogene climate. Following the ~15 month postponement of Expedition 378 and subsequent port changes that resulted in a reduction of the number of primary sites, testing and evaluation of the research vessel JOIDES Resolution derrick in the weeks preceding the expedition determined that it would not support deployment of drill strings in excess of 2 km. Consequently, only one of the originally approved seven primary sites was drilled. Expedition 378 recovered the first continuously cored, multiple-hole Paleogene sedimentary section from the southern Campbell Plateau at Site U1553. This high–southern latitude site builds on the legacy of Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 277 (a single, partially spot cored hole), providing a unique opportunity to refine and expand existing reconstructions of Cenozoic climate history. As the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean is intricately linked to major changes in the global climate system. Previous more » drilling in the low-latitude Pacific Ocean during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 138 and 199 and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 320 and 321 provided new insights into climate and carbon system dynamics, productivity changes across the zone of divergence, time-dependent calcium carbonate dissolution, bio- and magnetostratigraphy, the location of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, and evolutionary patterns for times of climatic change and upheaval. Expedition 378 in the South Pacific Ocean uniquely complements this work with a high-latitude perspective, especially because appropriate high-latitude records are unobtainable in the Northern Hemisphere of the Pacific Ocean. Expedition 378 provides material from the South Pacific Ocean in an area critical for high-latitude climate reconstructions spanning the early Paleocene to late Oligocene. Site U1553 and the entire corpus of shore-based investigations will significantly contribute to the challenges of the “Climate and Ocean Change: Reading the Past, Informing the Future” theme of the 2013–2023 IODP Science Plan (How does Earth’s climate system respond to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2? How resilient is the ocean to chemical perturbations?). Furthermore, Expedition 378 provides material from the South Pacific Ocean in an area critical for high-latitude climate reconstructions spanning the Paleocene to late Oligocene. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1326927
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10315719
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the International Ocean Discovery Program
Volume:
378
ISSN:
2377-3189
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 378 was designed to recover the first comprehensive set of Paleogene sedimentary sections from a transect of sites strategically positioned in the South Pacific to reconstruct key changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation. These sites would have provided an unparalleled opportunity to add crucial new data and geographic coverage to existing reconstructions of Paleogene climate. In addition to the ~15 month postponement of Expedition 378 and subsequent port changes resulting in a reduction of the number of primary sites, testing and evaluation of the R/V JOIDES Resolution derrick in the weeks preceding the expedition determined that it would not support deployment of drill strings in excess of 2 km. Because of this determination, only 1 of the originally approved 7 primary sites was drilled. Expedition 378 recovered the first continuously cored, multiple-hole Paleogene sedimentary section from the southern Campbell Plateau at Site U1553. This high–southern latitude site builds on the legacy of Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 277, a single, partially spot cored hole, providing a unique opportunity to refine and augment existing reconstructions of the past ~66 My of climate history. This also includes the discovery of a new siliciclastic unit thatmore »had never been drilled before. As the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean is intricately linked to major changes in the global climate system. Previous drilling in the low-latitude Pacific Ocean during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Legs 138 and 199 and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 320 and 321 provided new insights into climate and carbon system dynamics, productivity changes across the zone of divergence, time-dependent calcium carbonate dissolution, bio- and magnetostratigraphy, the location of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, and evolutionary patterns for times of climatic change and upheaval. Expedition 378 in the South Pacific Ocean uniquely complements this work with a high-latitude perspective, especially because appropriate high-latitude records are unobtainable in the Northern Hemisphere of the Pacific Ocean. Site U1553 and the entire corpus of shore-based investigations will significantly contribute to the challenges of the “Climate and Ocean Change: Reading the Past, Informing the Future” theme of the IODP Science Plan (How does Earth’s climate system respond to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2? How resilient is the ocean to chemical perturbations?). Furthermore, Expedition 378 will provide material from the South Pacific Ocean in an area critical for high-latitude climate reconstructions spanning the Paleocene to late Oligocene.« less
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In addition, Expedition 368 added two more sites on the OMH (Sites U1504 and U1505). Expedition 367/368 completed operations at six of the seven sites (U1499–U1502, U1504, and U1505). Site U1503, however, was not completed beyond casing without coring to 990 m because of mechanical problems with the drilling equipment that prevented the expedition, after 25 May 2017, from operating with a drill string longer than 3400 m. New alternate Site U1504, proposed during Expedition 367, met this condition. Original Site U1505 also met the operational constraints of the 3400 m drill string (total) and was an alternate site for the already-drilled Site U1501. At Site U1499, we cored to 1081.8 m in 22.1 days with 52% recovery and then logged downhole data from 655 to 1020 m. In 31 days at Site U1500, we penetrated to 1529 m, cored a total of 1012.8 m with 37% recovery, and collected log data from 842 to 1133 m. At Site U1501, we cored to 697.1 m in 9.4 days with 78.5% recovery. We also drilled ahead for 433.5 m in Hole U1501D and then logged downhole data from 78.3 to 399.3 m. In 19.3 days at Site U1502, we penetrated 1679.0 m in Holes U1502A (758 m) and U1502B (921 m), set 723.7 m of casing and cored a total of 576.3 m with 53.5% recovery, and collected downhole log data from 785.3 to 875.3 m and seismic data through the 10¾ inch casing. At Site U1503, we penetrated 995.1 m and set 991.5 m of 10¾ inch casing, but no cores were taken because of a mechanical problem with the drawworks. At Site U1504, we took 40 rotary core barrel (RCB) cores over two holes. The cored interval between both holes was 277.3 m with 26.8% recovery. An 88.2 m interval was drilled in Hole U1504B. At Site U1505, we cored 668.0 m with 101.1% recovery. Logging data was collected from 80.1 to 341.2 m. Operations at this site covered 6.1 days. Except for Sites U1503 and U1505, all sites were drilled to acoustic basement. A total of 6.65 days were lost due to mechanical breakdown or waiting on spare supplies for repair of drilling equipment, but drilling options were severely limited from 25 May to the end of the expedition by the defective drawworks limiting deployment of drill string longer than 3400 m. At Site U1499, coring ~200 m into the interpreted acoustic basement sampled sedimentary rocks, possibly including early Miocene chalks underlain by Oligocene polymict breccias and poorly cemented gravels of unknown age comprising sandstone pebbles and cobbles. Preliminary structural and lithologic analysis suggests that the gravels might be early to late synrift sediment. At Site U1500, the main seismic reflector corresponds to the top of a basalt sequence at ~1379.1 m. 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Site U1503, however, was not completed beyond casing to 990 m because of mechanical problems with the drilling equipment that limited the expedition from 25 May 2017 to the end of the expedition to operate with a drill string not longer than 3400 m. New alternate Site U1504 proposed during Expedition 367 met this condition. Site U1505 also met the operational constraints of the 3400 m drill string (total) and was an alternate site for the already drilled Site U1501. At Site U1501, we cored to 697.1 m in 9.4 days, with 78.5% recovery. We also drilled ahead for 433.5 m in Hole U1501D and then logged downhole data from 78.3 to 399.3 m. In 19.3 days at Site U1502, we penetrated 1679.0 m, set 723.7 m of casing and cored a total of 576.3 m with 53.5% recovery, and collected downhole log data from 785.3 to 875.3 m and seismic data through the 10¾ inch casing. At Site U1503, we penetrated 995.1 m, setting 991.5 m of 10¾ inch casing, but no cores were taken. 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  5. The Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica has long been considered the most vulnerable part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) because of the great water depth at the grounding line, a subglacial bed seafloor deepening toward the interior of the continent, and the absence of substantial ice shelves. Glaciers in this configuration are thought to be susceptible to rapid or runaway retreat. Ice flowing into the Amundsen Sea Embayment is undergoing the most rapid changes of any sector of the Antarctic ice sheets outside the Antarctic Peninsula, including substantial grounding-line retreat over recent decades, as observed from satellite data. Recent models suggest that a threshold leading to the collapse of WAIS in this sector may have been already crossed and that much of the ice sheet could be lost even under relatively moderate greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Drill cores from the Amundsen Sea provide tests of several key questions about controls on ice sheet stability. The cores offer a direct offshore record of glacial history in a sector that is exclusively influenced by ice draining the WAIS, which allows clear comparisons between the WAIS history and low-latitude climate records. Today, relatively warm (modified) Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) is impingingmore »onto the Amundsen Sea shelf and causing melting under ice shelves and at the grounding line of the WAIS in most places. Reconstructions of past CDW intrusions can assess the ties between warm water upwelling and large-scale changes in past grounding-line positions. Carrying out these reconstructions offshore from the drainage basin that currently has the most substantial negative mass balance of ice anywhere in Antarctica is thus of prime interest to future predictions. The scientific objectives for this expedition are built on hypotheses about WAIS dynamics and related paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic conditions. The main objectives are: 1. To test the hypothesis that WAIS collapses occurred during the Neogene and Quaternary and, if so, when and under which environmental conditions; 2. To obtain ice-proximal records of ice sheet dynamics in the Amundsen Sea that correlate with global records of ice-volume changes and proxy records for atmospheric and ocean temperatures; 3. To study the stability of a marine-based WAIS margin and how warm deepwater incursions control its position on the shelf; 4. To find evidence for the earliest major grounded WAIS advances onto the middle and outer shelf; 5. To test the hypothesis that the first major WAIS growth was related to the uplift of the Marie Byrd Land dome. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 379 completed two very successful drill sites on the continental rise of the Amundsen Sea. Site U1532 is located on a large sediment drift, now called the Resolution Drift, and it penetrated to 794 m with 90% recovery. We collected almost-continuous cores from recent age through the Pleistocene and Pliocene and into the upper Miocene. At Site U1533, we drilled 383 m (70% recovery) into the more condensed sequence at the lower flank of the same sediment drift. The cores of both sites contain unique records that will enable study of the cyclicity of ice sheet advance and retreat processes as well as ocean-bottom water circulation and water mass changes. In particular, Site U1532 revealed a sequence of Pliocene sediments with an excellent paleomagnetic record for high-resolution climate change studies of the previously sparsely sampled Pacific sector of the West Antarctic margin. Despite the drilling success at these sites, the overall expedition experienced three unexpected difficulties that affected many of the scientific objectives: 1. The extensive sea ice on the continental shelf prevented us from drilling any of the proposed shelf sites. 2. The drill sites on the continental rise were in the path of numerous icebergs of various sizes that frequently forced us to pause drilling or leave the hole entirely as they approached the ship. The overall downtime caused by approaching icebergs was 50% of our time spent on site. 3. A medical evacuation cut the expedition short by 1 week. Recovery of core on the continental rise at Sites U1532 and U1533 cannot be used to indicate the extent of grounded ice on the shelf or, thus, of its retreat directly. However, the sediments contained in these cores offer a range of clues about past WAIS extent and retreat. At Sites U1532 and U1533, coarse-grained sediments interpreted to be ice-rafted debris (IRD) were identified throughout all recovered time periods. A dominant feature of the cores is recorded by lithofacies cyclicity, which is interpreted to represent relatively warmer periods variably characterized by sediments with higher microfossil abundance, greater bioturbation, and higher IRD concentrations alternating with colder periods characterized by dominantly gray laminated terrigenous muds. Initial comparison of these cycles to published late Quaternary records from the region suggests that the units interpreted to be records of warmer time intervals in the core tie to global interglacial periods and the units interpreted to be deposits of colder periods tie to global glacial periods. Cores from the two drill sites recovered sediments of dominantly terrigenous origin intercalated or mixed with pelagic or hemipelagic deposits. In particular, Site U1533, which is located near a deep-sea channel originating from the continental slope, contains graded silts, sands, and gravels transported downslope from the shelf to the rise. The channel is likely the pathway of these sediments transported by turbidity currents and other gravitational downslope processes. The association of lithologic facies at both sites predominantly reflects the interplay of downslope and contouritic sediment supply with occasional input of more pelagic sediment. Despite the lack of cores from the shelf, our records from the continental rise reveal the timing of glacial advances across the shelf and thus the existence of a continent-wide ice sheet in West Antarctica during longer time periods since at least the late Miocene. Cores from both sites contain abundant coarse-grained sediments and clasts of plutonic origin transported either by downslope processes or by ice rafting. 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