Holocene temperatures and isotopes of precipitation in Northwest Greenland recorded in lacustrine organic materials

TitleHolocene temperatures and isotopes of precipitation in Northwest Greenland recorded in lacustrine organic materials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsG. Lasher, E, Axford, Y, McFarlin, JM, Kelly, MA, Osterberg, EC, Berkelhammer, MB
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Pagination45 - 55
Date PublishedJan-08-2017
KeywordsChironomids, Greenland, Holocene, paleoclimatology, paleolimnology, Stable isotopes

Reconstructions of Holocene lake water isotopic composition based upon subfossil aquatic organic material offer new insights into Arctic
climate. We present quantitative estimates of warmth during the Holocene Thermal Maximum in northwest Greenland, inferred from oxygen isotopes of chironomid head capsules and aquatic moss preserved in lake sediments. delta O-18 values of chironomids from surface sediments of multiple Greenland lakes indicate that these subfossil remains record the delta O-18 values of the lake water in which they grow. Our lake water delta O-18 reconstruction is supported by downcore agreement with delta O-18 values in aquatic moss and chironomid remains. delta O-18 of both organic materials from Secret Lake decrease after 4 ka (ka = thousands of years ago) by 3 parts per thousand into the Neoglacial. We argue that lake water at Secret Lake primarily reflects precipitation delta O-18 values, which is strongly correlated with air temperature in NW Greenland, and that this signal is biased towards summer and early autumn conditions. Other factors may have influenced Secret Lake delta O-18 values through the Holocene, including evaporation of lake water and changing seasonality and source of precipitation. The maximum early Holocene summer and early autumn-biased temperature anomaly at Secret Lake is 2.5-4 degrees C warmer than present from 7.7 (the beginning of our record) to similar to 6 ka. The maximum late Holocene cold anomaly (which includes the Little Ice Age) is 1.5-3 degrees C colder than present. These ranges of possible temperature anomalies reflect uncertainty in the delta O-18 temperature relationship for precipitation at the study site through the Holocene. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.