Sequential variations in manganese (Mn) content and color of deep-sea sediments retrieved from the Lomonosov Ridge (87°N) in the central Arctic Ocean apparently mimic low-latitude δ18O glacial-interglacial cyclicity, thereby providing stratigraphic information that together with biostratigraphic data permit the construction of a detailed chronological model. Correlation of this Mn and color chronology to established apparent Brunhes-age estimates of geomagnetic excursions reveals a remarkable fit between these two independently derived time scales. The Mn and color cycles probably provide paleoenvironmental information about material fluxes in the Arctic Ocean over the past 1 m.y. We suggest that the primary source for the observed manganese variations in our sediment core is northern Siberia, which has extensive peat bogs and boreal forests. These Siberian source areas could operate in an off and on mode tuned to Pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods. Contrasts in ventilation of Arctic Ocean waters during interglacial-glacial cycles probably could also enhance the observed Mn and color variability.

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