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Centennial scale benthic foraminiferal record of late Holocene oceanographic variability in Disko Bugt, West Greenland.

Perner, K. and Moros, M. and Lloyd, J.M. and Kuijpers, A. and Telford, R. and Harff, J. (2011) 'Centennial scale benthic foraminiferal record of late Holocene oceanographic variability in Disko Bugt, West Greenland.', Quaternary science reviews., 30 (19-20). pp. 2815-2826.


A new centennial scale benthic foraminiferal record of late Holocene climate variability and oceanographic changes off West Greenland (Disko Bugt) highlights substantial subsurface water mass changes (e.g. temperature and salinity) of the West Greenland Current (WGC) over the past 3.6 ka BP. Benthic foraminifera reveal a long-term late Holocene cooling trend, which may be attributed to increased advection of cold, low-salinity water masses derived from the East Greenland Current (EGC). Cooling becomes most pronounced from c. 1.7 ka BP onwards. At this point the calcareous Atlantic benthic foraminiferal fauna decrease significantly and is replaced by an agglutinated Arctic fauna. Superimposed on this cooling trend, centennial scale variability in the WGC reveals a marked cold phase at c. 2.5 ka BP, which may correspond to the 2.7 ka BP cooling-event recorded in marine and terrestrial archives elsewhere in the North Atlantic region. A warm phase recognized at c. 1.8 ka BP is likely to correspond to the ‘Roman Warm Period’ and represents the warmest bottom water conditions. During the time period of the ‘Medieval Climate Anomaly’ we observe only a slight warming of the WGC. A progressively more dominant cold water contribution from the EGC on the WGC is documented by the prominent rise in abundance of agglutinated Arctic water species from 0.9 ka BP onwards. This cooling event culminates at c. 0.3 ka BP and represents the coldest episode of the ‘Little Ice Age’. Gradually increased influence of cold, low-salinity water masses derived from the EGC may be linked to enhanced advection of Polar and Arctic water by the EGC. These changes are possibly associated with a reported shift in the large-scale North Atlantic Oscillation atmospheric circulation pattern towards a more frequent negative North Atlantic Oscillation mode during the late Holocene.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Late Holocene, Benthic foraminifera, West Greenland Current, East Greenland Current, Irminger Current, NAO.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Quaternary science reviews. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Quaternary science reviews, 30, 19-20, 2011, 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.06.018
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 August 2013
Date of first online publication:September 2011
Date first made open access:No date available

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