Abstract

Deposition environments in the Chukchi Sea and adjacent areas of the Arctic Ocean are studied by the Q-cluster analysis of compositions, particle sizes, and other properties of surface bottom sediments. Analysis of more than 4700 numeric values allowed mapping fifteen clusters distributed over the seafloor according to deposition environments. Chemical and statistical data confirm the predominance of clastic sedimentation and mainly mechanic sorting of sedimentary material. At the same time, the major-element composition trends correspond to Si decrease and Al increase seaward. Biogenic deposition is of inferior scale and shows up as relative enrichment in total organic carbon, Ca, Mg, Ba, Sr, and some other biogenic and chemogenic components in sediments. Clastic and biogenic deposition, with accumulation of Fe, Mn, V, Ni, Cr, Co, and other elements, as well as precipitation of authigenic phases, occurs within areas of seafloor having particular water chemistry, such as the Herald Canyon, the outer shelf, and the deepwater Arctic Ocean.

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