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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 3
Clim. Past, 11, 587–603, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-587-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Clim. Past, 11, 587–603, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-587-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 27 Mar 2015

Research article | 27 Mar 2015

Late Weichselian and Holocene palaeoceanography of Storfjordrenna, southern Svalbard

M. Łącka1, M. Zajączkowski1, M. Forwick2, and W. Szczuciński3 M. Łącka et al.
  • 1Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Powstańców Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
  • 2Department of Geology, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
  • 3Institute of Geology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Maków Polnych 16, 61-606 Poznań, Poland

Abstract. Multiproxy analyses (including benthic and planktonic foraminifera, δ18O and δ13C records, grain-size distribution, ice-rafted debris, XRF geochemistry and magnetic susceptibility) were performed on a 14C-dated marine sediment core from Storfjordrenna, located off of southern Svalbard. The sediments in the core cover the termination of Bølling–Allerød, the Younger Dryas and the Holocene and reflect general changes in the oceanography/climate of the European Arctic after the last glaciation. Grounded ice of the last Svalbard–Barents Sea Ice Sheet retreated from the coring site ca. 13 950 cal yr BP. During the transition from the subglacial to glaciomarine setting, Arctic Waters dominated the hydrography in Storfjordrenna. However, the waters were not uniformly cold and experienced several warmer spells. A progressive warming and marked change in the nature of the hydrology occurred during the early Holocene. Relatively warm and saline Atlantic Water began to dominate the hydrography starting from approximately 9600 cal yr BP. Although the climate in eastern Svalbard was milder at that time than at present (smaller glaciers), two periods of slight cooling were observed in 9000–8000 and 6000–5500 cal yr BP. A change in the Storfjordrenna oceanography occurred at the beginning of the late Holocene (i.e. 3600 cal yr BP) synchronously with glacier growth on land and enhanced bottom current velocities. Although cooling was observed in the Surface Water, Atlantic Water remained present in the deeper portion of the water column of Storfjordrenna.

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Storfjordrenna was deglaciated about 13,950 cal yr BP. During the transition from the sub-glacial to glaciomarine setting, Arctic Waters dominated its hydrography. However, the waters were not uniformly cold and experienced several warmer spells. Atlantic Water began to flow onto the shelves off Svalbard and into Storfjorden during the early Holocene, leading to progressive warming and significant glacial melting. A surface-water cooling and freshening occurred in late Holocene.
Storfjordrenna was deglaciated about 13,950 cal yr BP. During the transition from the...
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