The paleomagnetic records and mineral-magnetic properties of unconsolidated core sediment from the east Mariana Basin of the western Pacific have been analyzed to trace the time-dependent variations in sedimentary environments. Progressive alternating field demagnetization effectively extracts a stable remanent magnetization showing both normal and reverse polarities. Comparison of successive polarity changes, recorded in the sediment core, with reference magnetic polarity time-scale, reveals that the recovered sediment column was deposited since the late Pliocene. From the sediment age model, calculated sedimentation rate during the late Pliocene was 9.8 times higher than that during the Pleistocene. Considering the oceanic environments and geologic setting in the study area, the anomalous high sediment flux during the late Pliocene was probably caused by enhanced current flows, such as North Equatorial Current, associated with atmospheric circulation as well as by debris flows from adjacent sea mounts. In addition, the systematic variation of mineral-magnetic properties indicates periodical fluxes of coarse and magnetically stable particles, on the fine-grained dominant sedimentary environments. Such influxes, however, would not be related to syn-volcanic activities, because the summits of seamounts were totally blanketed by biogenic Pliocene-Pleistocene sediments. It is, hence, reasonable to interpret that paleomagnetic and mineral-magnetic data probably reflect drastic paleoenvironmental changes at the boundary between the Pliocene and Pleistocene, where strong current and atmospheric circulations decreased.
- Korea deep-sea research program
- mineral-magnetic properties
ASJC Scopus subject areas