The benthic and planktonic foraminiferal assemblages and the distribution of coarse grain-size factions were studied in the upper 4.5 m of the Core SO201-2-85KL (57A degrees 30.30' N, 170A degrees 24.79' E, water depth 968 m) retrieved from the Shirshov Ridge. This part of the core covers 7.5 to 50 kyr BP. The glacial period is established to be characterized by low surface water productivity, the wide distribution of sea ice and/or icebergs in this area, and a high oxygen concentration in the bottom layer. Enhanced productivity is inferred from the maximum abundance of planktonic foraminifers at the very beginning of the deglaciation. The late Bolling-Allerod interstadial and the early Holocene were marked by the further two-phase increase in the surface productivity and the weakened ventilation of the bottom water.