Paleoceanography and Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions on the Central West Greenland Margin, LGM through Deglaciation
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 2:40 PM
Hemipelagic sediments in several central West Greenland trough mouth fan cores are critical for testing whether an ice shelf covered Baffin Bay during the late LGM and H1 (core HU2008029-12PC) and to investigate the role of ocean warming in initiating and/or sustaining retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet from the shelf edge (cores JR175-VC29 & -VC46). We use benthic and planktic foram assemblages, IP25 sea ice biomarker, ice-rafted detritus (IRD), lithofacies and quantitative mineralogy to reconstruct paleoceanographic conditions. HU2008029-12PC comprises bioturbated, thin turbidites and hemipelagic sediments with Greenlandic provenance from >19.2 to 16.7 cal ka BP. Abundance spikes of planktic forams provide the radiocarbon dates in this interval and coincide with abundance spikes of benthic foram species indicative of chilled Atlantic Water and episodic marine productivity. IRD and IP25 are rare in this interval. These characteristics are consistent with the ice margin at the shelf edge meeting a heavily sea-ice covered ocean with chilled Atlantic Water at depth, rather than an ice shelf-covered ocean. Initial deglaciation from the West Greenland margin began c. 16.7 ka BP, as recorded by a lithofacies shift from turbidites to bioturbated mud with dispersed IRD and continued presence of Atlantic Water benthic species. After 16.7 ka BP, IP25, large diatoms and benthic forams indicative of sea-ice edge productivity show warming conditions. By 15.2 ka BP Greenlandic IRD and meltwater species, Elphidium excavatum, reflect accelerated ice sheet ablation. By 14.4 ka BP a strong rise in IP25 content, introduction of key Atlantic Water species Cassidulina neoteretis, and IRD spikes rich in detrital carbonate with a northern Baffin Bay provenance provide evidence for increased advection of West Greenland Current, collapse of the LIS ice streams, and formation of an IRD belt along the W. Greenland margin during the Bølling-Allerod and early Holocene warm intervals.