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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-2019-21
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-21
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Feb 2019

Research article | 20 Feb 2019

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

Multiproxy evidence of the Neoglacial expansion of Atlantic Water to eastern Svalbard: Does ancient environmental DNA complement sedimentary and microfossil records?

Joanna Pawłowska1, Magdalena Łącka1, Małgorzata Kucharska1, Jan Pawlowski2, and Marek Zajączkowski1 Joanna Pawłowska et al.
  • 1Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, 81-712, Poland
  • 2Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland

Abstract. The main goal of this study was to reconstruct the paleoceanographic development of Storfjorden during the Neoglacial (~ 4 cal ka BP). A multiproxy approach was applied to provide evidence for interactions between the inflow of Atlantic Water (AW) and sea-ice coverage, which are the major drivers of environmental changes in Storfjorden. The sedimentary and microfossil records indicate that a major reorganization of oceanographic conditions in Storfjorden occurred at ~ 2.7 cal ka BP. A general cooling and the less pronounced presence of AW in Storfjorden during the early phase of the Neoglacial are prerequisite conditions for the formation of an extensive sea-ice cover. The period after ~ 2.7 cal ka BP was characterized by alternating short-term cooling and warming intervals. Warming was associated with pulsed inflows of AW and sea-ice melting that stimulated phytoplankton blooms and organic matter supply to the bottom. The cold phases were characterized by heavy and densely packed sea ice resulting in a decrease in productivity. The ancient environmental DNA (aDNA) records of foraminifera and diatoms reveal the timing of the major pulses of AW (~ 2.3 and ~ 1.7 cal ka BP) and the variation in sea-ice cover. The AW inflow was marked by an increase in the percentage of DNA sequences of monothalamous foraminifera associated with the presence of fresh phytodetritus, while cold and less productive intervals were marked by an increased proportion of monothalamous taxa known only from environmental sequencing. The diatom aDNA record indicates that primary production was continuous during the Neoglacial regardless of sea-ice conditions. However, the colder periods were characterized by the presence of diatom taxa associated with sea ice, whereas the present-day diatom assemblage is dominated by open-water taxa.

Joanna Pawłowska et al.
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Joanna Pawłowska et al.
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Short summary
Paleoceanographic changes in Storfjorden during the Neoglacial (the last 4,000 years) were reconstructed based on microfossil and ancient DNA records. Environmental changes were steered mainly by the interaction between the inflow of Atlantic water (AW) and sea ice cover. Warming periods were associated with AW inflow and sea-ice melting stimulating primary production. The cold phases were characterized by densely packed sea ice resulting in limited productivity.
Paleoceanographic changes in Storfjorden during the Neoglacial (the last 4,000 years) were...
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