Late Quaternary stratigraphy and sedimentation at Site 1002, Cariaco Basin (Venezuela)

L. C. Peterson, G. H. Haug, R. W. Murray, K. M. Yarincik, J. W. King, T. J. Bralower, K. Kameo, S. D. Rutherford, R. B. Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Ocean Drilling Program Site 1002 in the Cariaco Basin was drilled in the final two days of Leg 165 with only a short transit remaining to the final port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Because of severe time constraints, cores from only the first of the three long replicate holes (Hole 1002C) were opened at sea for visual description, and the shipboard sampling was restricted to the biostratigraphic examination of core catchers. The limited sampling and general scarcity of biostratigraphic datums within the late Quaternary interval covered by this greatly expanded hemipelagic sequence resulted in a very poorly defined age model for Site 1002 as reported in the Leg 165 Initial Reports volume of the Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program. Here, we present for the first time a new integrated stratigraphy for Site 1002 based on the standard of late Quaternary oxygen-isotope variations linked to a suite of refined biostratigraphic datums. These new data show that the sediment sequence recovered by Leg 165 in the Cariaco Basin is continuous and spans the time interval from 0 to ~580 ka, with a basal age roughly twice as old as initially suspected from the tentative shipboard identification of a single biostratigraphic datum. Lithologic subunits recognized at Site 1002 are here tied into this new stratigraphic framework, and temporal variations in major sediment components are reported. The biogenic carbonate, opal, and organic carbon contents of sediments in the Cariaco Basin tend to be high during interglacials, whereas the terrigenous contents of the sediments increase during glacials. Glacioeustatic variations in sea level are likely to exert a dominant control on these first-order variations in lithology, with glacial surface productivity and the nutrient content of waters in the Cariaco Basin affected by shoaling glacial sill depths, and glacial terrigenous inputs affected by narrowing of the inner shelf and increased proximity of direct riverine sources during sea-level lowstands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program: Scientific Results
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Geology


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