How sensitive are modeled contemporary subsea permafrost thaw and thickness of the methane clathrates stability zone in Eurasian Arctic to assumptions on Pleistocene glacial cycles?
Valentina V. Malakhova1 and Alexey V. Eliseev2,31Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia 2A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia 3Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia
Received: 16 Jun 2016 – Accepted for review: 27 Jun 2016 – Discussion started: 27 Jun 2016
Abstract. Single-point simulations with a model for thermal state of subsea sediments driven by the forcing constructed from the ice core data show that the impact of initial conditions is lost after ~ 100 kyr. The time scales of temperature propagation in sediments and respective permafrost response are ~ 10–20 kyr which is longer than the present interglacial. The timings of shelf exposure during oceanic regressions and flooding during transgressions are important for representation of sediment thermal state and hydrates stability zone (HSZ). These timings should depend on the contemporary shelf depth (SD). During glacial cycles temperature at the top of sediments is a major driver of HSZ vertical boundaries change for SD of few tens of meters, while the pressure exerted by oceanic water becomes more important for larger SD. Thus, even the existence of HSZ and its disappearance might not be easily tied to oceanic transgressions and regressions.
Malakhova, V. V. and Eliseev, A. V.: How sensitive are modeled contemporary subsea permafrost thaw and thickness of the methane clathrates stability zone in Eurasian Arctic to assumptions on Pleistocene glacial cycles?, Clim. Past Discuss., doi:10.5194/cp-2016-66, 2016.