Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

Holocene neoglacial events in the Bransfield Strait (Antarctica). Palaeocenographic and paleoclimatic significance


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2006.70n4607

María Ángeles Bárcena
Dpto. Geologia, Paleontologia, Fac. Ciencias, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Joan Fabrés
GRC Geociencies Marines, Dpt. Geologia Dinamica, Geof. i P. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Enrique Isla
Instituto Ciencias del Mar (CSIC). Barcelona, Spain

José Abel Flores
Dpto. Geologia, Paleontologia, Fac. Ciencias, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Francisco Javier Sierro
Dpto. Geologia, Paleontologia, Fac. Ciencias, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Miquel Canals
Dpto. Geologia, Paleontologia, Fac. Ciencias, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Albert Palanques
Instituto Ciencias del Mar (CSIC). Barcelona, Spain

Abstract


Geochemical analysis, micropalaeontological analysis and radiometric dating techniques were performed on four gravity cores, G-1, G-2, A-3 and A-6, recovered during the BIO Hesperides expeditions GEBRA-93 and FRUELA-96 from the Bransfield Strait (Antarctica). Moreover, in order to improve the sedimentation rate control we tentatively relate abundance variations in the sea-ice taxa group (SITG) to air temperature estimations based on Deuterium contents in Vostok ice-core. The results of diatom analyses were related to the sequence of neoglacial events that have occurred over the last three millennia. For these periods, a restricted communication between the Weddell, Bransfield and Bellingshausen seas has been proposed. The abundance patterns of diatom valves, resting spores (RS) of the diatom Chaetoceros and opal content agree with the high productivity values previously reported for the area. The significant reduction Chaetoceros RS towards the present is interpreted as a reduction in surface productivity. Trend differences between Chaetoceros RS and TOC contents are explained in terms of organic matter preservation. Diatom communities from the Bransfield Strait did not play an important role in the global CO2 cycle during cold periods. Bio- and geochemical changes have overprinted high frequency cyclicity at about 200-300 yr, which might be related to the 200-yr solar cycle.


Keywords


diatoms; geochemistry; neoglacial events; palaeoceanography; palaeocliomatology; Holocene; Bransfield Strait; Antarctica

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