25 years of joint Yedoma Ice Complex studies in Arctic Russia, especially in Sakha/Yakutia


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Guido.Grosse [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Since 1994, permafrost deposits of the Siberian Yedoma region have been in the focus of the joint Russian-German scientific cooperation in terrestrial Polar research (Figure 1). These studies focused on cryostratigraphic, geochemical, geochronological, and paleontological characteristics at more than 25 individual study sites of the late Pleistocene Yedoma Ice Complex in Siberia and provided a detailed insight into the paleoenvironments and paleoclimate for the westernmost part of Beringia. The multidisciplinary investigations resulted in new ideas and discussions in the ongoing scientific debate on the origin of Yedoma Ice Complex and the main periglacial processes involved in its formation (1,2,3). The Yedoma Ice Complex is an ice-rich type of permafrost deposit widely distributed across Beringia. The Ice Complex aggradation is mainly controlled by the growth of syngenetic ice wedge polygons contributing up to 60 vol% of the entire formation. The clastic sedimentation of ice-oversaturated Yedoma deposits with considerable organic matter content is further controlled by local conditions such as source rocks and periglacial weathering processes, paleotopography, and temporary surface stabilization with autochthonous peat growth and soil formation. Key processes include alluvial, fluvial, and niveo-aeolian transport (4) as well as accumulation in ponding waters and continued in-situ frost weathering over millennial time-scales. Important post-depositional processes affecting Yedoma deposits are solifluction, cryoturbation, and pedogenesis. Major joint Russian-German field studies were conducted on Taymyr Peninsula (5,6,7,8,9,10,11), along the western and central Laptev Sea coasts (12,13,14,15,16,17,18), in the Lena Delta (19,20,21,22), on islands of the New Siberian Archipelago (23,24,25,26,27,28), and the adjacent mainland (29). Further study sites were conducted in the Kolyma Lowland (30), the Yana Highlands (31,32), in the foothills of the Verkhoyan Mountains (33,34,35,36), and in Central Yakutia (37). Comprehensive sampling and further analytical work included not only the Yedoma Ice Complex itself but also included its stratigraphic context of older underlying sequences and younger overlying deposits. The latter often are subaerial or subaquatic deposits associated with late-Glacial to Holocene thermokarst dynamics that led to Yedoma degradation during the deglacial and Holocene warming of these regions (38,39,40). Figure 1: Joint Russian-German fieldwork sites in NE Siberia labeled with the year of expedition. Besides geomorphological and cryolithological studies, extensive paleo-ecological investigations were carried out on zoological (41,42,43,44,45) and botanic fossils (46,47,48,49,50,51) to derive quantitative and qualitative reconstructions late Pleistocene Beringian environments and climate conditions. New methods in geochronology were also tested (52,53,54,55). In addition to the sedimentary components of the frozen deposits, segregated ground ice and in particular the large syngenetic ice wedges of Yedoma Ice Complex were also studied as geochemical and stable isotope archives of paleoclimate (56,57,58, 59,60,61,62). In addition, a range of remote sensing methods in combination with GIS analyses (63,64,65) and geophysical surveys (66) were used for large-scale analyses of landscape changes associated with Yedoma Ice Complex degradation (67,68,69). In the last few years, an additional important focus has been on using modern biogeochemical methods of organic matter analysis to characterize the frozen organic matter in Yedoma Ice Complex deposits and for permafrost carbon pool calculations (70, 71,72,73,74,75,76,77) as well as microbiological studies (78) and genetic studies on fossil DNA (79,80). The rich body of scientific data and literature produced in Russian-German co-authorship within the more than 25 years of joint research on Yedoma Ice Complex represents an important cornerstone for understanding the Late Quaternary evolution of Siberian Yedoma regions, its role in the Earth System, and its feedbacks with climate and ecosystems. References 1. Schirrmeister, L., Dietze, E., Matthes, H., Grosse, G., Strauss, J., Laboor, S., Ulrich, M., Kienast, F., and Wetterich, S. (2020) The genesis of Yedoma Ice Complex permafrost – grain-size endmember modeling analysis from Siberia and Alaska, E&G Quaternary Sci. 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Blinov, A., Alfimov, V., Beer, J., Gilichinsky, D., Schirrmeister, L., Kholodov, A., Nikolskiy, P., Opel, T., Tikhomirov, D., Wetterich, S.(2009).36Cl/Cl ratio in ground ice of East Siberia and its application for chronometry, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3). 10(1), doi: 10.1029/2009GC002548. 55. Schirrmeister, L., Oezen, D., Geyh, M.A. (2002). 230Th/U dating of frozen peat, Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island (North Siberia), Quaternary research, 57, 253-258. doi:10.1006/qres.2001.2306. 56. Meyer, H. , Derevyagin, A. Y. , Siegert, C. and Hubberten, H. W. (2002) Paleoclimate studies on Bykovsky Peninsula, North Siberia - hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in ground ice , Polarforschung 70:, pp. 37-51 . 57. Derevyagin, A. Y., Chizhov, A. , Meyer, H. , Opel, T. , Schirrmeister, L. and Wetterich, S. (2013). Isotopic composition of texture ices, Laptev Sea coast , Kriosfera Zemlii (Earth Cryosphere), XVII (3), pp. 27-34 (in Russian). 58. Meyer, H. , Derevyagin, A. 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N., Schirrmeister, L. (2019) Past climate and continentality inferred from ice wedges at Batagay megaslump in the Northern Hemisphere's most continental region, Yana Highlands, interior Yakutia, Clim. Past, 15, 1443–1461, doi: 10.5194/cp-15-1443-2019. 62. Ulrich, M., Grosse, G., Strauss, J. and Schirrmeister, L. (2014): Quantifying wedge-ice volumes in yedoma and thermokarst basin deposits, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 25, 151–161. doi:10.1002/ppp.1810. 63. Grosse, G., Schirrmeister, L., Siegert, C., Kunitsky, V.V., Slagoda, E.A., Andreev, A.A., and Dereviagyn, A.Y.: Geological and geomorphological evolution of a sedimentary periglacial landscape in Northeast Siberia during the Late Quaternary, Geomorphology, 86(1/2), 25-51, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.08.005, 2007. 64. Grosse, G., Schirrmeister, L., Kunitsky, V. V., Hubberten, H. -W. (2005). The Use of CORONA Images in Remote Sensing of Periglacial Geomorphology: An Illustration from the NE Siberian Coast, Permafrost and periglacial processes, 16, 163-172. doi:10.1002/ppp.509 65. Grosse, G., Robinson, J.E., Bryant, R., Taylor, M.D., Harper, W., DeMasi, A., Kyker-Snowman, E., Veremeeva, A., Schirrmeister, L., Harden, J. (2013). Distribution of late Pleistocene ice-rich syngenetic permafrost of the Yedoma Suite in east and central Siberia, Russia. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2013-1078, 37p. 66. Schennen, S., Tronicke, J., Wetterich, S., Allroggen, N., Schwamborn, G., Schirrmeister, L. (2016) 3D GPR imaging of Ice Complex deposits in northern East Siberia, Geophysics 81(1), WA185-WA192, doi: 10.1190/GEO2015-0129.1. 67. Günther, F. , Overduin, P. P. , Yakshina, I. A. , Opel, T. , Baranskaya, A. V. and Grigoriev, M. N. (2015) Observing Muostakh disappear: permafrost thaw subsidence and erosion of a ground-ice-rich island in response to arctic summer warming and sea ice reduction , The Cryosphere, 9 (1), pp. 151-178 . doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-151-2015 68. Günther, F. , Overduin, P. P. , Sandakov, A. V. , Grosse, G. and Grigoriev, M. N. (2013) Short- and long-term thermo-erosion of ice-rich permafrost coasts in the Laptev Sea region, Biogeosciences, 10 , pp. 4297-4318 . doi:https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-4297-2013 69. Overduin, P. P. , Strzelecki, M. C. , Grigoriev, M. N. , Couture, N. , Lantuit, H. , St-Hilaire-Gravel, D. , Günther, F. and Wetterich, S. (2013) Coastal changes in the Arctic, Geological Society of London Special Publication, 388 . doi:https://doi.org/10.1144/SP388.13 70. Strauss J., Schirrmeister L., Grosse G., Wetterich S., Ulrich M., Herzschuh U., H.-W.Hubberten (2013). The Deep Permafrost Carbon Pool of the Yedoma Region in Siberia and Alaska. GRL 40, 6165-6170. doi 10.1002/2013GL058088. 71. Strauss, J., Schirrmeister, L., Mangelsdorf, K., Eichhorn, L., Wetterich S., and Herzschuh U.: Organic matter quality of deep permafrost carbon - a study from Arctic Siberia. Biogeosciences, 12, 2227–2245, doi: 10.5194/bg-12-2227-2015, 2015. 72. Strauss,J., Schirrmeister, L., Grosse, G., Fortier, D., Hugelius, G., Knoblauch, C., Romanovsky, V., Schädel, C., Schneider von Deimling, T., Schuur, E.A.G., Shmelev, D., Ulrich, M.,, Veremeeva, A. (2017). Deep Yedoma permafrost: A synthesis of depositional characteristics and carbon vulnerability. Earth-Science Reviews 172, 75-86, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.07.007. 73. Stapel, J. G., L. Schirrmeister, P. P. Overduin, S. Wetterich, J. Strauss, B. Horsfield, and K. Mangelsdorf (2016), Microbial lipid signatures and substrate potential of organic matter in permafrost deposits - implications for future greenhouse gas production, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 121, doi: 10.1002/2016JG003483. 74. 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(2019) Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in high latitude Siberian permafrost: Diversity, environmental controls, and implications for proxy applications. Organic Geochemistry 136, 103888, doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2019.06.009. 78. Mitzscherling, J., Horn, F., Winterfeld, M., Mahler, L., Kallmeyer, J., Overduin, P.P., Schirrmeister, L., Winkel, M., Grigoriev, M.N., Wagner, D., Liebner, S. (2019) (6bial community composition and abundance after millennia of submarine permafrost warming. Biogeosciences, 16, 3941–3958, doi: 10.5194/bg-16-3941-2019. 79. Zimmermann, H.H., Raschke, E., Epp, L.S., Stoof-Leichsenring, K.R., Schirrmeister, L., Schwamborn, G., Herzschuh, U. (2017). The history of tree and shrub taxa on Bol’shoy Lyakhovsky Island (New Siberian Archipelago) since the last interglacial uncovered by sedimentary ancient DNA and pollen data. Genes 8(10), E273; doi: 10.3390/genes8100273. 80. Zimmermann, H.H., Raschke, E., Epp, L.S., Stoof-Leichsenring, K., Schwamborn, G., Schirrmeister, L., Overduin, P.P., Herzschuh, U. (2017) Sedimentary ancient DNA and pollen reveal the composition of plant organic matter in Late Quaternary permafrost sediments of the Buor Khaya Peninsula (north-eastern Siberia). Biogeosciences 14, 575-596, doi:10.5194/bg-14-575-2017



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Russian Conference with International Participation on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute (MPI), 28 Sep 2020 - 30 Sep 2020, Yakutsk, Russia.
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53063
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Grosse, G. , Schirrmeister, L. , Wetterich, S. , Strauss, J. , Meyer, H. , Opel, T. , Siegert, C. , Windirsch, T. , Jongejans, L. , Laboor, S. , Diekmann, B. , Andreev, A. , Hubberten, H. W. , Kunitsky, V. V. , Fedorov, A. N. , Grigoriev, M. N. , Derevyagin, A. Y. , Tumskoy, V. , Kuznetsova, T. , Kienast, F. and Ulrich, M. (2020): 25 years of joint Yedoma Ice Complex studies in Arctic Russia, especially in Sakha/Yakutia , Russian Conference with International Participation on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute (MPI), Yakutsk, Russia, 28 September 2020 - 30 September 2020 .


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