PROGRAM TITLE:	High Latitude Dynamics, Arctic Sediment History 
ACTIVITY STREAM: 	Process Studies, Data
SCIENCE ELEMENT: 	Earth Systems History

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH (ONR)

SCIENTIFIC MERIT:  Arctic Past Climates and Sea Levels; geological 
and historical records document the natural variability of the 
physical environment, climate, and ecosystems on time scales from 
inter annual to millions of years.  The record of these important 
events, changes , and focusing processes is contained in the marine 
sediments of the Arctic Ocean and the Marginal Seas (AOMS).  Once 
deciphered, this paleo environmental and paleoclimate record will 
provide substantial information about the Earth's history for much of 
the past 90 million years, and describe the forcing function.  ONR has 
a strong track record in Arctic research, especially acoustics 
stratigraphy, physical properties of sediments, and sedimentary 
processes.  These programs relate directly to stated Navy needs in 
acoustic ASW and very conveniently match the goals of the USGCRP.  
For example, from the stratigraphy and the contained 
paleoceanography record, key climate questions that can be 
addressed are: 

--	characterization of the Arctic deep sea paleoenvironment; 
timing/characteristics of initial climate cooling and glaciation; timing, 
magnitude, and periodicity of high amplitude late Cenozoic climate 
oscillations which can occur within a decade; 

--	sea level fluctuation and resultant ice sheet movement; and 
paleoceanographic and paleontologic   fauna and flora response to 
climate change.  

These goals evolved from several workshops, including:

--	Arctic Oceans Research Strategy, 1990
--	Strategy for Integrated U.S. Arctic Research Programs, 1991
--	The Arctic Ocean Record: Key to Global Change (Initial Science 
Plan), 1992
--	PAGES Š Proposed Implementation Plans, 1992

STAKEHOLDERS:  The paleoclimatic research effort will fall under the 
umbrella of PAGES (Past Global Changes Project, IGBP Core Program) 
and the Nansen Arctic Drilling Program, as well as US Agency Sites 
Program of USGS and CGS.  ONR funded scientists have the lead role 
in the 1995 deep Arctic penetration cruise with the LOUIE ST. 
LAURANT (Canada), POLARSTERN (FRG), and POLAR SEA (USA).  
POLARSTERN will be equipped with a modified super corer (30 
meters), and POLAR SEA will have WHOI box cores, hydraulic Bender 
cores (waterŠsediment fluff layer) and piston corer.  

In FY 96, cores will be analyzed on an international, multi 
disciplinary basis to address key questions described above.  
International plans are in place for drilling selected with a decadal 
time resolution in FY96.

POLICY RELEVANCE:  This research supports an IGBP Core Project 
(PAGES) and was identified as priority research issue by the 
Interagency Arctic Research Program.  Past abrupt climate changes 
are documented in the deep ocean sediment record; this 
internationally partnered research will generate new data to 
describe past abrupt changes and the larger climate trends. 

PROGRAM CONTACT:  Dr. G. Leonard Johnson, ONR Code 325, 800 N 
Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22217-5000, (703) 696 4118