Biomarker Distributions in (Sub)‐Arctic Surface Sediments and Their Potential for Sea Ice Reconstructions

henriette.kolling [ at ]


To evaluate the present sea-ice changes in a longer-term perspective the knowledge of sea-ice variability on pre-industrial and geological time scales is essential. For the interpretation of proxy reconstructions it is necessary to understand the recent signals of different sea-ice proxies from various regions. We present 260 new sediment surface samples collected in the (sub-) Arctic Oceans that were analysed for specific sea-ice (IP25) and open-water phytoplankton biomarkers (brassicasterol, dinosterol, HBI III). This new biomarker dataset was combined with 615 previously published biomarker surface samples into a pan-Arctic database. The resulting pan-Arctic biomarker and sea-ice index (PIP25) database shows a spatial distribution correlating well with the diverse modern sea-ice concentrations. We find correlations of PBIP25, PDIP25 and PIIIIP25 with spring and autumn concentrations. Similar correlations with modern sea-ice concentrations are observed in Baffin Bay. However, the correlations of the PIP25 indices with modern sea-ice concentrations differ in Fram Strait from those of the (sub-) Arctic dataset, which is likely caused by region-specific differences in sea-ice variability, nutrient availability and other environmental conditions. The extended (sea-ice) biomarker database strengthens the validity of biomarker sea-ice reconstructions in different Arctic regions and shows how different sea-ice proxies combined may resolve specific seasonal sea-ice signals.

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DOI 10.1029/2019GC008629

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Kolling, H. , Stein, R. , Fahl, K. , Sadatzki, H. , de Vernal, A. and Xiao, X. (2020): Biomarker Distributions in (Sub)‐Arctic Surface Sediments and Their Potential for Sea Ice Reconstructions , Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 21 (10), e2019GC008629 . doi: 10.1029/2019GC008629

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