Evolution of the sedimentary system beneath the deep Pacific inflow off eastern New Zealand

Carter, L., Carter, R.M., and McCave, I.N. (2004) Evolution of the sedimentary system beneath the deep Pacific inflow off eastern New Zealand. Marine Geology, 205 (1). pp. 9-27.

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Results from Ocean Drilling Program sites 1121–1124 show the Eastern New Zealand Oceanic Sedimentary System (ENZOSS) evolved in response to: (1) the inception of the circum-Antarctic circulation, (2) orbital and non-orbital regulation of the global thermohaline flow, and (3) development of the New Zealand plate boundary. ENZOSS began in the early Oligocene following opening of the Tasmanian gateway and inception of the ancestral Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and SW Pacific Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). Widespread erosion, marked by the Marshall Paraconformity, was followed by extensive drift formation in the late Oligocene–early Miocene. Alternating nannofossil chalk and nannofossil-rich mud deposited in response to 41-kyr orbital regulation of the abyssal circulation, with the mudstones representing times of increased inflow of corrosive southern-source waters. Drift deposition at the deepest sites was interrupted by bouts of erosion coincident with Mi1–5 isotopic events signifying expansions of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and enhanced bottom water formation. By late Miocene times, the basic ENZOSS was established. South of Bounty Trough, the energetic ACC instigated an erosional/low depositional regime. To the north, where the DWBC prevailed, orbitally regulated drift deposition continued. Increased convergence at the New Zealand plate boundary enhanced the terrigenous supply, but little of this sediment reached the deep ENZOSS as the three main sediment conduits – Solander, Bounty and Hikurangi channels – had not fully developed. The Plio–Pleistocene heralded a change from a carbonate- to terrigenous-dominant supply caused by interception of the DWBC by the three channels (not, vert, similar1.6 Ma for Bounty and Hikurangi, time of Solander interception unknown). The Solander and Bounty fans, and Hikurangi Fan-drift systems formed, and drifts downstream of those systems, received terrigenous detritus. Supply increased with accelerating uplift along the plate boundary, but delivery to the DWBC was regulated by eustatic fluctuations of sea level. Times of maximum supply to all three channels was during glacial lowstands whereas the supply either ceased (Bounty, Solander), or reduced (Hikurangi) in highstands. In glacial times, sediment was entrained by a DWBC invigorated by an increased input of Antarctic bottom water. The ACC also accelerated under strengthened glacial winds. Thus, glacials were times of optimum sediment supply to ENZOSS depocentres where depositional rates were 2–3 times more than interglacial rates.

Item ID: 6844
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6151
Keywords: deep western boundary current; New Zealand; ocean drilling program; sediment
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2010 23:43
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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