The chemical composition of bottom sediments in the Chukchi and, partly, East Siberian Seas was studied. In the south and west of the Chukchi Sea, a zone has been detected with the accumulation of sediments rich in organic carbon, an increased background content and anomalies of sulfophile metals (Mo, Zn, Hg, Ag, Au), iron-group metals (V, Ni, Co), and some PGE (Ru, Pt). This zone is confined to the neotectonic active system of rift troughs extending from the Bering Strait and eastern Chukchi Peninsula to the continental slope, where it is bounded by the Cenozoic Charlie rift basin of the Canadian hollow. The geochemical features of the carbon-enriched sediments evidence that they formed under oxygen-deficient conditions and, sometimes, in suboxic and anoxic environments near endogenic water and gas sources. The high carbon and metal contents suggest that the very fine-grained sediments in the rift troughs of the Chukchi Sea are a possible analog of some types of ancient highly carbonaceous sediments belonging to black shales.

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