Polynya Formation, Location, Sea Level History and Human Settlement in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Monday, 15 December 2014
Peter Schledermann1, Maribeth S Murray1 and Charles G Hannah2, (1)Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, (2)Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada
In this paper we illustrate the relationship between polynya location and archaeological site distribution in the Canadian Arctic archipelago. Polynyas in this region may be tidally driven or latent heat polynyas and Holocene-ere human settlement in some regions appears to be strongly correlated with polynya location and possibly type. Changes in sea level may also have affected the size, location and type of polynya and may explain, in part, why some regions experienced fluctuations in settlement density at various times in the Holocene. Past changes in sea level and climate may serve as predictors of future change in polynya formation with concurrent implications for ecological productivity.