Home > climate, climate models, Research Papers > Geirsdóttir: Abrupt Holocene climate transitions in the northern North Atlantic region recorded by synchronized lacustrine records in Iceland

Geirsdóttir: Abrupt Holocene climate transitions in the northern North Atlantic region recorded by synchronized lacustrine records in Iceland

2013 April 30


Fig. 10. Composite proxy records from HAK and HVT compared to the Renland ice core record (normalized δ18O record and its variance) from Greenland (Vinther et al., 2008); Quartz% (normalized) from MD99-2269 as an indicator of sea ice in the northern North Atlantic (Moros et al., 2006) and 65°N summer insolation (Berger and Loutre, 1991). (modified)

Abrupt Holocene climate transitions in the northern North Atlantic region recorded by synchronized lacustrine records in Iceland

Two high-sediment-accumulation-rate Icelandic lakes, the glacial lake Hvítárvatn and the non-glacial lake Haukadalsvatn, contain numerous tephra layers of known age, which together with high-resolution paleomagnetic secular variations allow synchronization with a well-dated marine core from the shelf north of Iceland. A composite standardized climate record from the two lakes provides a single time series that efficiently integrates multi-proxy data that reflect the evolution of summer temperatures through the Holocene. The first-order trends in biogenic silica (BSi), δ13C, and C:N rise relatively abruptly following deglaciation, reaching maximum values shortly after 8 ka following a complex minimum between 8.7 and 8.0 ka. The Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) in the lakes is marked by all proxies, with a sharp transition out of the 8 ka cold event into peak summer warmth by 7.9 ka, and continuing warm with some fluctuations until 5.5 ka. Decreasing summer insolation after the HTM is reflected by incremental cooling, initially ∼5.5 ka, with subsequent cold perturbations recorded by all proxies 4.3 to 4.0 ka and 3.1 to 2.8 ka. The strongest disturbance occurred after 2 ka with initial summer cooling occurring between 1.4 and 1.0 ka, followed by a more severe drop in summer temperatures after 0.7 ka culminating between 0.5 and 0.2 ka. Following each late Holocene cold departure, BSi re-equilibrated at a lower value independent of the sediment accumulation rate. Some of the abrupt shifts may be related to Icelandic volcanism influencing catchment stability, but the lack of a full recovery to pre-existing values after the perturbation suggests increased periglacial activity, decreased vegetation cover, and glacier growth in the highlands of Iceland. The similarity in timing, direction and magnitude of our multi-proxy records from glacial and non-glacial lakes, and from the adjacent marine shelf, suggests that our composite record reflects large-scale shifts in ocean/atmosphere circulation throughout the northern North Atlantic.

Abrupt Holocene climate transitions in the northern North Atlantic region recorded by synchronized lacustrine records in Iceland
Áslaug Geirsdóttir, Gifford H. Miller, Darren J. Larsen, Sædís Ólafsdóttir

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.03.010

Quaternary Science Reviews
Volume 70, 15 June 2013, Pages 48–62

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