Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Research article
12 Feb 2014
Research article |  | 12 Feb 2014

Qualitative and quantitative reconstructions of surface water characteristics and recent hydrographical changes in the Trondheimsfjord, central Norway

G. Milzer, J. Giraudeau, S. Schmidt, F. Eynaud, and J. Faust

Abstract. In the present study we investigated dinocyst assemblages in the Trondheimsfjord over the last 25 to 50 yr from three well-dated multi-cores (210Pb and 137Cs) retrieved along the fjord axis. The downcore distribution of the dinocysts is discussed in view of changes in key hydrographic parameters of the surface waters (sea-surface temperatures (SSTs), sea-surface salinities (SSSs), and river discharges) monitored in the fjord. We examine the impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation pattern and of waste water supply from the local industry and agriculture on the fjord ecological state and thus dinocyst species diversity. Our results show that dinocyst production and diversity in the fjord is not evidently affected by human-induced eutrophication. Instead the assemblages appear to be mainly controlled by the NAO-related changes in nutrient availability and the physico-chemical characteristics of the surface mixed layer. Still, discharges of major rivers have been modulated since 1985 by the implementation of hydropower plants, which certainly influences the amounts of nutrients supplied to the fjord. The impact, however, is variable according to the local geographical setting, and barely differentiated from natural changes in river run off.

We ultimately test the use of the modern analogue technique (MAT) for the reconstruction of winter and summer SSTs and SSSs and annual primary productivity (PP) in this particular fjord setting. The reconstructed data are compared with time series of summer and winter SSTs and SSSs measured at 10 m water depth, as well as with mean annual PPs along the Norwegian coast and in Scandinavian fjords. The reconstructions are generally in good agreement with the instrumental measurements and observations from other fjords. Major deviations can be attributed to peculiarities in the assemblages linked to the particular fjord setting and the related hydrological structure.