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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jul 2018

Research article | 11 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Deglacial to postglacial history of Nares Strait, Northwest Greenland: a marine perspective

Eleanor Georgiadis1,2, Jacques Giraudeau1, Philippe Martinez1, Patrick Lajeunesse2, Guillaume St-Onge3, Sabine Schmidt1, and Guillaume Massé2 Eleanor Georgiadis et al.
  • 1Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, UMR 5805 EPOC, 33615 Pessac, France
  • 2Université Laval, UMI 3376 TAKUVIK, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 3Université du Québec à Rimouski and GEOTOP Research Center, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER), Rimouski, G5L 3 A1, Canada

Abstract. A radiocarbon dated marine sediment core retrieved in Kane Basin, central Nares Strait, was analysed to constrain the timing of the postglacial opening of this Arctic gateway and its Holocene evolution. This study is based on a set of sedimentological and geochemical proxies of changing sedimentary processes and sources that translate into ice sheet configuration in the strait. Proglacial marine sedimentation at the core site initiated ca. 9.0 cal. ka BP following the retreat of grounded ice. Unstable sea surface conditions subsisted until 7.5cal.kaBP under the combined influence of warm atmospheric temperatures and proglacial cooling induced by the nearby Innuitian (IIS) and Greenland (GIS) ice sheets. The collapse of the ice saddle in Kennedy Channel at 8.3 cal. ka BP marks the complete opening of Nares Strait and the initial connection between the Lincoln Sea and northernmost Baffin Bay. Delivery of sediment by icebergs was strengthened between 8.3 and 7.5cal.kaBP following the collapse of the buttress of glacial ice in Kennedy Channel that triggered the acceleration of GIS and IIS fluxes toward Nares Strait. The destabilisation in glacial ice eventually led to the rapid retreat of the GIS in eastern Kane Basin at 8.1cal.kaBP as evidenced by a noticeable change in sediment source in our core. The gradual decrease of carbonate inputs to Kane Basin between 8.1 and 4.1cal.kaBP reflects the late deglaciation of Washington Land. The shoaling of Kane Basin can be observed in our record by the increased winnowing of lighter particles as the glacio-isostatic rebound brought the seabed closer to subsurface currents. Our dataset suggests reduced iceberg delivery from 7.5 to 1.9cal.kaBP in relation to the Neoglacial cooling that likely enhanced sea ice occurrence, thus suppressing calving and/or the drifting of icebergs in Nares Strait.

Eleanor Georgiadis et al.
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Eleanor Georgiadis et al.
Eleanor Georgiadis et al.
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Short summary
We present our results from a radiocarbon-dated core collected in central Nares Strait, NW Greenland. Sedimentological and geochemical data reveal that marine sedimentation began ca 9.0 cal. ka BP with the complete opening of the strait occurring at 8.3 cal. ka BP. The collapse of the glacial buttress in central Nares Strait led to accelerated glacial fluxes of the bordering ice sheets between 8.3 and 7.5 cal. ka BP. After 7.5 cal. ka BP increased sea ice cover was induced by Neoglacial cooling.
We present our results from a radiocarbon-dated core collected in central Nares Strait, NW...