Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Research article
10 Jan 2014
Research article |  | 10 Jan 2014

Reconstruction of Atlantic water variability during the Holocene in the western Barents Sea

D. E. Groot, S. Aagaard-Sørensen, and K. Husum

Abstract. The gravity core JM09-KA11-GC from 345 m water depth on the western Barents Sea margin was investigated for down-core distribution patterns of benthic Foraminifera, stable isotopes, and sedimentological parameters in order to reconstruct the flow of Atlantic water during the Holocene. The core site is located below the Atlantic water masses flowing into the Arctic Ocean and close to the Arctic front. The results show continuous presence of Atlantic water at the margin throughout the Holocene. During the early Holocene, (11 500–9800 cal yr BP), bottom water temperatures as calculated by transfer functions rose by 1.5 °C, likely due to the increased inflow of Atlantic water, although sea ice was still present at this time. The transition to the mid-Holocene is characterized by a local shift in current regime, resulting in a ceased supply of fine-grained material to the core location. Throughout the mid-Holocene the δ18O values indicate a slight cooling, thereby following changes in insolation. In the last 1500 yr, inflow of Atlantic water increased but was interrupted by periods of increased influence of Arctic water causing periodically colder and more unstable conditions.