Paleoceanography of northeastern Fram Strait since the last glacial maximum: Palynological evidence of large amplitude changes

TitlePaleoceanography of northeastern Fram Strait since the last glacial maximum: Palynological evidence of large amplitude changes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFalardeau, J, de Vernal, A, Spielhagen, RF
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Pagination133 - 152
Date PublishedJan-09-2018

Sea-surface conditions in northeastern Fram Strait since the last glacial maximum (LGM) were reconstructed from cores MSM5/5-712-2 and PS2863/1-2 based on palynological assemblages, ecological preferences of dinocysts and application of the modern analog technique. Dinocyst in LGM sediments are sparse, but their assemblages reflect mild summer conditions. Given the regional context and evidence from other tracers, the dinocyst assemblages of the LGM could relate to regional fluxes of dinocysts during exceptional mild summers. From 19 to 14.7 ka, dinocyst data suggest very cold conditions with extensive sea-ice cover, while abundant reworked palynomorphs indicate intense glacial erosion. An abrupt transition at 14.7-14.5 ka was marked by a peak in summer temperatures coinciding with a rapidly deposited sediment layer related to a regional meltwater plume event in western Svalbard. From 14.7 to 12.6 ka, large seasonal temperature contrasts with mild summers and cold winters together with low salinity indicate continuous melting of the
Svalbard Barents Sea ice sheet fostered by warm climate. At 12.6 ka, the regional onset of the Younger Dryas was marked by cooling and increased salinity. On a regional scale, the 12.6-12 ka interval corresponds to an important transition involving enhanced circulation of Arctic waters around Svalbard and establishment of coastal fronts along its northern and western margins. Modern-like oceanic conditions with relatively high salinity and low seasonal temperature contrast developed at about 7.6 ka. Since then, a slight cooling is observed, especially in winter. This study offers a comprehensive picture of the deglacial phases in eastern Fram Strait with unique data on the sea surface salinity, which controls surface water stratification and plays an important role in ocean circulation. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.