Oceanographic and climatic influences on Trooz Glacier, Antarctica during the Holocene

TitleOceanographic and climatic influences on Trooz Glacier, Antarctica during the Holocene
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsTotten, RL, Fonseca, ANathanael, Wellner, JSmith, Munoz, YP, Anderson, JB, Tobin, TS, Lehrmann, AA
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Date PublishedJan-01-2022

To evaluate the significance of recent widespread glacial recession in the Antarctic Peninsula, it is imperative to extend the limited instrumented record of glacier change with long sedimentary archives of the Holocene. Reconstructing glacial histories that capture the variability of environments in the Antarctic Peninsula will enable better constraint of ocean and climate forcings on regional glacial stability. Two sediment cores are analyzed from the 2007 RV/IB N.B. Palmer cruise to Collins Bay, the embayment immediately offshore Trooz Glacier on the Graham Land coast, and provide an archive to test controls on long-term stability of outlet glaciers in an open bay setting. Radiocarbon and Lead-210 (a short-lived radioisotope) age-depth models provide a timeline for Trooz Glacier behavior and associated oceanographic changes over the last 10,000 years. Magnetic susceptibility, grain size, diatom assemblage, total organic carbon, nitrogen, and stable isotopes of organic carbon are utilized as proxies for changing glacial and ocean conditions. Outer Collins Bay deglaciated by ∼10000 cal yr B.P. Diatom abundance and organic content signal productivity increase during further glacial recession from ∼8900 to 6100 cal yr B.P., which coincided with upwelling of relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water into the bay. High productivity, characterized by Thalassiosira antarctica-dominated diatom assemblages with prominence of Fragilariopsis kerguelensis, indicate open marine conditions with incursion of offshore currents into the bay from ∼6100 to 760 cal yr B.P. A sharp decrease in organic content, diatom abundance, and grain size indicate more sea ice and ice-tongue/ice-canopy advance from ∼760 to 240 cal yr B.P., when the floating ice canopy in outer Collins Bay retreated to near its present-day position and productivity increased. During the period of the 1950's to 1990's, Trooz Glacier was one of only two Antarctic Peninsula glaciers that advanced slightly. Over the Holocene, oceanographic forcing dominated the long-term stability of Trooz Glacier due to its open aspect, and it is unknown how Trooz Glacier will respond to continued influence of Circumpolar Deep Water in the future. Understanding ocean forcings on glacial stability, together with other local controls like drainage basin configuration and bay geometry, should help contextualize the modern retreat and improve prediction of glacial response to prevalent Circumpolar Deep Water circulation in this dynamic region.