Abstract

Olive-green and olive-gray “glacial marine” sandy clays with rare planktonic foraminifera, dominated by a euryhaline and eurytherm species, blanket the northern Baffin Bay floor today. These sediments are analogous to those of the central Arctic Basin deposited between ∼3 and ∼0.9 m.y. ago. While today the central Arctic is covered with perennial sea ice, during part of the Gauss and most of the Matuyama epochs (unit II), hydrological conditions were very similar to those in northern Baffin Bay today—generally ice-free year round. These data lend support to the hypothesis of an ice-free Arctic during late Pliocene to mid-Pleistocene time.

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