Foraminiferal assemblage changes over the last 15,000 years on the Mackenzie-Beaufort Sea Slope and Amundsen Gulf, Canada: Implications for past sea ice conditions
Scott, D. B. (David Bruce)
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Two cores, one from the Beaufort Sea Slope at 1000 m water depth (core 750) and one from the Amundsen Gulf at 426 m (core 124), were collected to help determine paleo-ice cover in the Holocene and late glacial of this area. Site 750 is particularly sensitive to changes in paleo-ice cover because it rests beneath the present ice margin of the permanent Arctic ice pack. Core 124 was sampled just in front of the former glacier that moved out into the Amundsen Gulf and started to recede about 13 ka B. P. Both cores have a strong occurrence of calcareous foraminifera in the upper few centimeters, but these disappear throughout most of the Holocene, suggesting more open water in that time period than present. In the sediments representing the end of the last glacial period (dated at similar to 11,500-14,000 calibrated years B.P. (cal B.P.)) a calcareous fauna with an abundant planktic foraminiferal fauna suggests a return to almost permanent ice cover, much like the central Arctic today. Together with the foraminifera there was also abundant ice-rafted debris (IRD) in both cores between 12,000 cal B.P. and similar to 14,000 cal B.P., but those units are of different ages between cores, suggesting different events. The IRD in both cores appears to have the same magnetic and chemical signals, but their origins cannot be determined exactly until clay mineralogy is completed. There is abundant organic debris in both cores below the IRD units: the organics in core 750 are very diffuse and not visually identifiable, but the organic material in core 124 is clearly identifiable with terrestrial root fragments; these are (14)C dated at over 37,000 years B.P. This is a marine unit as it also has glacial front foraminifera in the sediment with the organic debris that must have been originating from subglacial streams. The seismic and multibeam data both indicate glaciers did not cross the core 124 site.
Scott, David B., Trecia Schell, Guillaume St-Onge, Andre Rochon, et al. 2009. "Foraminiferal assemblage changes over the last 15,000 years on the Mackenzie-Beaufort Sea Slope and Amundsen Gulf, Canada: Implications for past sea ice conditions." Paleoceanography 24: 2219-PA2219. doi:10.1029/2007PA001575