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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 10 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Reconstruction of Holocene oceanographic conditions in the Northeastern Baffin Bay

Katrine Elnegaard Hansen1, Jacques Giraudeau2, Lukas Wacker3, Christof Pearce1, and Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz1 Katrine Elnegaard Hansen et al.
  • 1Department of Geoscience, Arctic Research Centre and iClimate, Aarhus University
  • 2Université de Bordeaux, CNRS
  • 3ETH, Zürich

Abstract. The Baffin Bay is a semi-enclosed basin connecting the Arctic Ocean and the western North Atlantic, thus making out a significant pathway for heat exchange. Here we reconstruct the alternating advection of relatively warmer and saline Atlantic waters versus the incursion of colder Arctic water masses entering the Baffin Bay through the multiple gateways in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the Nares Strait during the Holocene. We carried out benthic foraminiferal assemblage analyses, X-Ray Fluorescence scanning and radiocarbon dating of a 738  cm long marine sediment core retrieved from the eastern Baffin Bay near Upernavik (Core AMD14-204C; 987m water depth). Results reveal that the eastern Baffin Bay was subjected to several oceanographic changes during the last 9.2 ka BP. Waning deglacial conditions with enhanced meltwater influxes and an extensive sea-ice cover prevailed in the eastern Baffin Bay from 9.2–7.9 ka BP. A transition towards bottom water ameliorations are recorded at 7.9 ka BP by increased advection of Atlantic water masses, encompassing the Holocene Thermal Maximum. A cold period with growing sea-ice cover at 6.7 ka BP interrupts the overall warm subsurface water conditions, promoted by a weaker northward flow of Atlantic waters. The onset of the Neoglaciation at ca. 2.9 ka BP, is marked by an abrupt transition towards a benthic fauna dominated by agglutinated species likely partly explained by a reduction of the influx of Atlantic water, allowing increased influx of the cold, corrosive Baffin Bay Deep Water originating from the Arctic Ocean, to enter the Baffin Bay through the Nares Strait. These cold subsurface water conditions persisted throughout the late Holocene, only interrupted by short-lived warmings superimposed on this cooling trend.

Katrine Elnegaard Hansen et al.

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Katrine Elnegaard Hansen et al.

Katrine Elnegaard Hansen et al.


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