Holocene Development of Greenland Sea Deep Convection: A Comparison of Calcite Surface and Bottom Water δ13c

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Maciej Mateusz Telesinski1,2, Robert F Spielhagen1,2 and Henning A Bauch1,2, (1)GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany, (2)Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and Literature, Mainz, Germany
The northern polar oceans are a crucially important region to understand the overturning circulation of the North Atlantic within the context of glacial-interglacial climate change. Independent of different water mass properties planktic carbon isotope records (13C/12C) from across the Nordic Seas show a rather consistent pattern over the course of the Holocene. We present data from a number of sediment cores obtained in the central Nordic Seas which show that carbon isotope values were increasing since the early Holocene. They reached a maximum level between 7 and 6 ka and remained relatively stable thereafter. Ca. 3 ka they rapidly decreased. Benthic carbon isotope records from the central Nordic Seas, close to the present-day convection center of the Greenland Sea, reveal a similar trend as the planktic records. Although of lower amplitude, these bottom water data reflect the development of the regional deep convection in this region. A comparison with other proxy records and modelling results supports this presumption. While the early to late Holocene trend apparently reflect the developing deep convection after the last glacial period, the sudden decrease in the convection strength around 3 ka was most probably triggered by a strong solar irradiance minimum. This, combined with low insolation, caused an expansion of the sea ice over the convection center and enhanced stratification, thereby strengthening the entire halocline system.