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Reconstruction of Atlantic Water variability during the Holocene in the western Barents Sea


D.E. Groot, S. Aagaard-Sørensen, and K. Husum

First Authors affiliation

Department of Geology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway


Climate of the Past

10, 51-62, 2014

Special Issue


The gravity core JM09-KA11-GC from 345 m water depth on the western Barents Sea margin was investigated for distribution patterns of benthic foraminifera, stable isotopes, and sedimentological parameters to reconstruct the flow of Atlantic Water during the Holocene. The core site is located below the Atlantic water masses flowing into the Arctic Ocean and close to the Arctic Front. The results show continuous presence of Atlantic Water at the margin throughout the Holocene. During the Early Holocene, (11 700–9400 cal yr BP), bottom water temperatures rose by 2.5 °C due to the increased influence of Atlantic Water, although sea-ice was still present at this time. The transition to the Mid Holocene is characterized by a local shift in current regime, resulting in a ceased supply of fine-grained material to the core location. Throughout the Mid Holocene the δ18O values indicate a slight cooling, thereby following changes in insolation. In the last 1500 yr, inflow of Atlantic Water increased but was interrupted by periods of increased influence of Arctic Water causing periodically colder and more unstable conditions.

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