Within the Russian-German research project on "Siberian River Run-off (SIRRO)" devoted to the freshwater discharge and its influence on biological, geochemical, and geological processes in the Kara Sea, sedimentological and organic-geochemical investigations were carried-out on two well-dated sediment cores from the Yenisei Estuary area. The main goal of this study was to quantify the terrigenous organic carbon accumulation based on biomarker and bulk accumulation rate data, and its relationship to Yenisei river discharge and climate change through Holocene times. The biomarker data at both cores clearly indicate the predominance of terrigenous organic matter, reaching 70 to 100% and 50 to 80% of the total organic carbon within and directly north of the estuary, respectively. During the last about 9 Cal. kyrs. BP represented in the studied sediment section, siliciclastic sediment and (terrigenous) organic carbon input was strongly influenced by postglacial sea-level rise and climate-related changes in river discharge. The mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum is documented by maximum river discharge between 8.2 and 7.3 Cal. kyrs. BP. During the last 2000 years river discharge probably became reduced, and accumulation of both terrigenous and marine organic carbon increased due to increased coagulation of fine-grained material.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL7-From permafrost to deep sea in the Arctic