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Publication and Communication

Applications of the biomarker IP25 for Arctic sea-ice reconstruction


Patricia Cabedo Sanz, Alba Navarro Rodriguez, Simon Belt, Thomas Brown

Authors Affiliation

Plymouth University, School of Geography, Earth and Environmetal Sciences, UK



UK Arctic Science Conference 2011

Leeds, UK

14-16 September 2011






The research presented here is part of the EU CASE (Changing Arctic and Subarctic Environment) program, which is an Initial Training Network on marine environment and climate change and is an interdisciplinary project focussing on biological proxies.

The Plymouth-based work focuses on the quantification of Arctic sea ice diatom biomarker IP25 (Ice Proxy with 25 carbon atoms). IP25 is a highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) alkene synthesised by a limited number of diatoms living in (Arctic) sea-ice which has been shown to be a specific, stable and sensitive proxy measure of Arctic sea ice when detected in underlying sediments. This proxy has been used to confirm changes in sea-ice occurrence over tens, hundreds and thousands of years (Belt et al., 2006; Massé et al., 2008; Vare et al., 2009).

Here, we illustrate two recent developments of the IP25 proxy. Firstly, we present near surface sediment data that should facilitate calibration of the IP25 proxy. Secondly, IP25 data from a sediment core from the Andfjord (continental shelf off Tromso, Norway) will be presented, covering the period 14.3 to 6.3 ka B.P. The results of this study add significant further information to that reported previously from other biomarker studies (e.g. brassicasterol) (e.g. Knies, 2005).

These studies suggest that studying IP25 alongside other biomarkers in sediments from the northern North Atlantic together with other geochemical proxies can be a powerful tool for palaeo-sea-ice reconstructions.


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