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  • 1. Seidenstein, Julia L.
    et al.
    Cronin, Thomas M.
    Gemery, Laura
    Keigwin, Lloyd D.
    Pearce, Christof
    Jakobsson, Martin
    Coxall, Helen K.
    Wei, Emily A.
    Driscoll, Neal W.
    Late Holocene paleoceanography in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Arctic Ocean, based on benthic foraminifera and ostracodes2018In: Arktos, ISSN 2364-9453, E-ISSN 2364-9461, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Calcareous microfossil assemblages in late Holocene sediments from the western Arctic continental shelf provide an important baseline for evaluating the impacts of today’s changing Arctic oceanography. This study compares 14C-dated late Holocene microfaunal assemblages of sediment cores SWERUS-L2-2-PC1, 2-MC4 and 2-KL1 (57 mwd), which record the last 4200 years in the Herald Canyon (Chukchi Sea shelf), and HLY1302-JPC-32, GGC-30, MC-29 (60 mwd), which record the last 3000 years in the Beaufort Sea shelf off the coast of Canada. Foraminiferal and ostracode assemblages are typical of Arctic continental shelf environments with annual sea-ice cover and show relatively small changes in terms of variability of dominant species. Important microfaunal changes in the Beaufort site include a spike in Spiroplectammina biformis coinciding with a decrease in Cassidulina reniforme in the last few centuries suggesting an increase of Pacific Water influence and decreased sea-ice. There is low-amplitude centennial-scale variability in proportions of benthic foraminiferal species, such as C. reniforme. In addition to these species, Cassidulina teretis s.l., Elphidium excavatum clavatum and Stainforthia feylingi are also common at this site. At the Herald Canyon site in the last few centuries, C. reniforme peaks around 150 years BP and then decreases while Spiroplectammina earlandi spikes and Acanthocythereis dunelmensis decreases also suggesting an increase in Pacific Water influence and decreased sea-ice at this site. This site also includes Buccella spp. and Elphidium excavatum clavatum. Differences in benthic foraminifera and ostracode species dominance between the two sites may be due to a greater influence of Pacific Water in the Chukchi shelf, compared to the more distal Beaufort shelf, which is also affected by the Beaufort Gyre and the Mackenzie River.

  • 2. Swärd, Henrik
    et al.
    O’Regan, Matt
    Pearce, Christof
    Semiletov, Igor
    Stranne, Christian
    Tarras, Henrik
    Jakobsson, Martin
    Sedimentary proxies for Pacific water inflow through the Herald Canyon, western Arctic Ocean2018In: Arktos, ISSN 2364-9453, E-ISSN 2364-9461, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pacific water inflow to the Arctic Ocean occurs through the shallow Bering Strait. With a present sill depth of only 53 m, this gateway has been frequently closed during glacial sea-level low stands of the Pleistocene. Here, we investigate the sedimentological and mineralogical response to sea-level rise and the opening of the Bering Strait during the last deglaciation in a 6.1 m-long marine sediment core (SWERUS-L2-4-PC1) from the Herald Canyon. Grain size data indicate an abrupt erosional contact at 412 cm down core that likely formed when Pacific waters first started to flow into the Arctic Ocean around 11 cal ka BP, and was topographically steered into the Herald Canyon. A transitional unit between 412 and 390 cm appears to be a condensed interval with minimal local sedimentation. The underlying sediments, deposited in a shallow, river-proximal setting, exhibit a rather uniform bulk and clay mineral composition similar to mineral assemblages from surface sediment samples of the Chukchi Sea. Enhanced contributions from Pacific waters above 390 cm (< 8.5 cal ka BP) are reflected by elevated chlorite/illite and (chlorite + kaolinite)/illite ratios, and are anti-correlated with intervals of higher illite/smectite ratios, interpreted as periods of enhanced advection of shelf transformed waters originating from the East Siberian Sea. Clay mineral changes in the Holocene drift sediments are best explained by the interplay between two origins for bottom waters in the Herald Canyon and are consistent with modern oceanographic observations.

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