Holocene sea-ice dynamics in Petermann Fjord Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The Petermann 2015 Expedition to Petermann Fjord and adjacent Hall Basin recovered a transect of cores from Nares Strait to under the 48 km long ice tongue of Petermann glacier, offering a unique opportunity to study ice-ocean-sea ice interactions at the interface of these realms. First results suggest that no ice tongue existed in Petermann Fjord for large parts of the Holocene, raising the question of the role of the ocean and the marine cryosphere in the collapse and re-establishment of the ice tongue. Here we use a multi-proxy approach (sea-ice related biomarkers, total organic carbon and its carbon isotopic composition, and benthic and planktonic foraminiferal abundances) to explore Holocene sea-ice dynamics at OD1507-03TC-41GC-03PC in outer Petermann Fjord. Our results are in line with a tight coupling of the marine and terrestrial cryosphere in this region and, in connection with other regional sea-ice reconstructions, give insights into the Holocene evolution of ice arches and associated landfast ice in Nares Strait. The late stages of the regional Holocene Thermal Maximum (5,500–6,900 cal yrs BP) were marked by reduced seasonal sea-ice concentrations in Nares Strait and the lack of ice arch formation. This was followed by a transitional period towards neoglacial cooling from 3,500–5,500 cal yrs BP, where a southern ice arch might have formed, but an early seasonal break-up and late formation likely caused a prolonged open water season and enhanced pelagic productivity in Nares Strait. Between 1,400 cal yrs BP and 3,500 cal yrs BP, regional records suggest the formation of a stable northern ice arch only, with a short period from 2,100–2,500 cal yrs BP where a southern ice arch might have persisted in response to atmospheric cooling spikes. A stable southern ice arch, or even double arching, is also inferred for the period after 1,400 cal yrs BP. Thus, both the inception of a small Petermann ice tongue at ~2,200 cal yrs BP and its rapid expansion at ~600 cal yrs BP are preceded by a transition towards a southern ice arch regime with landfast ice formation in Nares Strait, suggesting a stabilizing effect of landfast sea ice on Petermann Glacier.;

publication date

  • February 15, 2021

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • February 25, 2021 12:18 PM

Full Author List

  • Detlef H; Reilly B; Jennings A; Mørk Jensen M; O'Regan M; Glasius M; Olsen J; Jakobsson M; Pearce C

author count

  • 9

Other Profiles