Striking similarities in temporal changes to spring sea ice occurrence across the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago over the last 7000 years

TitleStriking similarities in temporal changes to spring sea ice occurrence across the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago over the last 7000 years
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBelt, ST, Vare, LL, Massé, G, Manners, HR, Price, JC, MacLachlan, SE, Andrews, JT, Schmidt, S
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
ISBN Number0277-3791

A 7000 year spring sea ice record for Victoria Strait (ARC-4) and Dease Strait (ARC-5) in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) has been determined by quantification of the seaice diatom-derived biomarker IP25 in two marine sediment piston cores obtained in 2005. The chronologies of the ARC-4 and ARC-5 cores were determined using a combination of 14C AMS dates obtained from macrobenthic fossils and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The ages of the tops of the piston cores were estimated by matching chemical and physical parameters with those obtained from corresponding box cores. These analyses revealed that, while the top of the ARC-4 piston core was estimated to be essentially modern (ca. 60 cal yr BP), a few hundred years of sediment appeared to be absent from the ARC-5 piston core. Downcore changes to IP25 fluxes for both cores were interpreted in terms of variations in spring sea ice occurrence, and correlations between the individual IP25 flux profiles for Victoria Strait, Dease Strait and Barrow Strait (reported previously) were shown to be statistically significant at both 50 and 100-year resolutions. The IP25 data indicate lower spring sea ice occurrences during the early part of the record (ca. 7.0–3.0 cal kyr BP) and for parts of the late Holocene (ca. 1.5–0.8 cal kyr BP), especially for the two lower latitude study locations. In contrast, higher spring sea ice occurrences existed during ca. 3.0–1.5 cal kyr BP and after ca. 800 cal yr BP. The observation of, consecutively, lower and higher spring sea ice occurrence during two periods of the late Holocene, coincides broadly with the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age epochs, respectively. The IP25 data are complemented by particle size and mineralogical data, although these may alternatively reflect changes in sea level at the study sites. The IP25 data are also compared to previous proxy-based determinations of palaeo seaice and palaeoclimate for the CAA, including those based on bowhead whale remains and dinocyst assemblages. The spatial consistency in the proxy data which, most notably, indicates an increase in spring sea ice occurrence around 3 cal kyr BP, provides a potentially useful benchmark for the termination of the Holocene Thermal Maximum for the central CAA.