Late Quaternary Paleoceanography of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean

Jutta.Wollenburg [ at ]


We reconstructed late Quaternary deep (3000-4100 m) and intermediate depth (1000-2500 m) paleoceanographic history of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean from ostracode assemblages in cores from the Lomonosov Ridge, Gakkel Ridge, Yermak Plateau, Morris Jesup Rise, and Amundsen and Makarov Basins obtained during the 1991 Polarstern cruise. Modern assemblages on ridges and plateaus between 1000 and 1500 m are characterized by abundant, relatively species-rich benthic ostracode assemblages, in part, reflecting the influence of high organic productivity and inflowing Atlantic water. In contrast, deep Arctic Eurasian basin assemblages have low abundance and low diversity and are dominated by Krithe and Cytheropteron reflecting faunal exchange with the Greenland Sea via the Fram Strait. Major faunal changes occurred in the Arctic during the last glacial/interglacial transition and the Holocene. Low-abundance, low-diversity assemblages from the Lomonosov and Gakkel Ridges in the Eurasian Basin from the last glacial period have modern analogs in cold, low-salinity, low-nutrient Greenland Sea deep water; glacial assemblages from the deep Nansen and Amundsen Basins have modern analogs in the deep Canada Basin. During Termination 1 at intermediate depths, diversity and abundance increased coincident with increased biogenic sediment, reflecting increased organic productivity, reduced sea-ice, and enhanced inflowing North Atlantic water. During deglaciation deep Nansen Basin assemblages were similar to those living today in the deep Greenland Sea, perhaps reflecting deepwater exchange via the Fram Strait. In the central Arctic, early Holocene faunas indicate weaker North Atlantic water inflow at middepths immediately following Termination 1, about 8500-7000 year B.P., followed by a period of strong Canada Basin water overflow across the Lomonosov Ridge into the Morris Jesup Rise area and central Arctic Ocean. Modern perennial sea-ice cover evolved over the last 4000-5000 years. Late Quaternary faunal changes reflect benthic habitat changes most likely caused by changes in the import of cold, deepwater of Greenland Sea origin and warmer and middepth Atlantic water to the Eurasian Basin through the Fram Strait, and export of Arctic Ocean deepwater.

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Cronin, T. M. , Holtz, T. R. , Stein, R. , Spielhagen, R. , Fütterer, D. and Wollenburg, J. (1995): Late Quaternary Paleoceanography of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean , Paleoceanography, 10(2), 259281, 10(2)281., 259 .

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