ABSTRACT: Site U1396 was piston cored as a part of Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Expedition 340 to establish a long record for Lesser Antilles volcanism. An approximately 150 m sediment succession was recovered from three holes on a bathymetric high approximately 33 km southwest of Montserrat. Aseries of shipboard and newly-generated chronostratigraphic tools (biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, astrochronology, and stable isotope chemostratigraphy) were employed to generate an integrated age model. Two possible chronostratigraphic interpretations for the Brunhes chron are presented, with hypotheses to explain the discrepancies seen between this study and Wall-Palmer et al. (2014). The recent Wade et al. (2011) planktic foraminiferal biostratigraphic calibration is tested, revealing good agreement between primary datums observed at Site U1396 and calibrated ages, but significant mismatches for some secondary datums. Sedimentation rates are calculated, both including and excluding the contribution of discrete volcanic sediment layers within the succession. Rates are found to be 'pulsed' or highly variable within the Pliocene interval, declining through the 1.5-2.4 Ma interval, and then lower through the Pleistocene. Different explanations for the trends in the sedimentation rates are discussed, including orbitally-forced biogenic production spikes, elevated contributions of cryptotephra (dispersed ash), and changes in bottom water sources and flow rates with increased winnowing in the area of Site U1396 into the Pleistocene.
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