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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-105
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-105
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 31 Oct 2016

Submitted as: research article | 31 Oct 2016

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Holocene dynamics in the Bering Strait inflow to the Arctic and the Beaufort Gyre circulation based on sedimentary records from the Chukchi Sea

Masanobu Yamamoto1,2, Seung Il Nam3, Leonid Polyak4, Daisuke Kobayashi2, Kenta Suzuki2, Tomohisa Irino1,2, and Koji Shimada5 Masanobu Yamamoto et al.
  • 1Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-10, Nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
  • 2Gradute School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-10, Nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
  • 3Korea Polar Research Institute, 26 Songdomirae-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21990, Republic of Korea
  • 4Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University, , Columbus, OH 43210, USA
  • 5Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, 4-5-7, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan

Abstract. The Beaufort Gyre (BG) and the Bering Strait inflow (BSI) are important elements of the Arctic Ocean circulation system and major controls on the distribution of Arctic sea ice. We report records of the quartz/feldspar and chlorite/illite ratios in two sediment cores from the northern Chukchi Sea providing insights into the long-term dynamics of the BG circulation and the BSI during the Holocene. The quartz/feldspar ratio, a proxy of the BG strength, gradually decreased during the Holocene, suggesting a long-term decline in the BG strength, consistent with orbitally-controlled decrease in summer insolation. We suppose that the BG rotation weakened as a result of increasing stability of sea-ice cover at the margins of the Canada Basin, driven by decreasing insolation. Millennial to multi-centennial variability in the quartz/feldspar ratio (the BG circulation) is consistent with fluctuations in solar irradiance, suggesting that solar activity affected the BG strength on these timescales. The BSI, approximated by the chlorite/illite record, shows intensified flow from the Bering Sea to the Arctic during the middle Holocene, which is attributed primarily to the effect of an overall weaker Aleutian Low. This middle Holocene strengthening of the BSI was coeval with intense subpolar gyre circulation in the North Atlantic. We propose that the BSI is linked with the North Atlantic circulation via an atmospheric teleconnection between the Aleutian and Icelandic Lows. A correspondence between the Holocene variability of the BSI and North Atlantic Drift suggests that this connection is involved in a mechanism muting salinity changes in the North Atlantic, and thereby stabilizing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

Masanobu Yamamoto et al.
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Interactive discussion
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Status: closed
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Masanobu Yamamoto et al.
Masanobu Yamamoto et al.
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Short summary
We report mineral records in two sediment cores from the northern Chukchi Sea providing insights into the long-term dynamics of the Arctic currents during the Holocene. We found a long-term decline in the BG strength, consistent with decrease in summer insolation. The millennial to multi-centennial variability is consistent with fluctuations in solar irradiance. The BSI shows intensification during the middle Holocene, which is attributed to a weak Aleutian Low.
We report mineral records in two sediment cores from the northern Chukchi Sea providing insights...
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