High northern latitude Sites 909 and 911 were drilled to gain information about the development of paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic conditions of the North Atlantic region during late Cenozoic times. In the Miocene to Quaternary sediments, organic carbon values vary between 0.3% and about 2%. Organic geochemical investigations confirm the dominance of terrestrial organic matter in most of the samples. Flex rates or organic carbon are distinctly higher than those observed in normal open-ocean environments. This is the result of the interplay between the warm West Spitsbergen Current and the Arctic sea-ice cover. One of the main depositional processes is the melting of drift-ice masses, which releases high amounts of terrigenous siliciclastic and organic particles. Changes in sea-ice cover also influence the surface-water productivity and, thus, the marine organic fraction of the sediment.
Date of initial receipt: 25 July 1995
Date of acceptance: 18 December 1995
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