Paleoenvironment changes in the NW Okhotsk Sea for the last 18 kyr determined with micropaleontological, geochemical, and lithological data

Gorbarenko, S. A., Psheneva, O. Yu., Artemova, A. V., Matul', A. G., Tiedemann, Ralf and Nürnberg, Dirk (2010) Paleoenvironment changes in the NW Okhotsk Sea for the last 18 kyr determined with micropaleontological, geochemical, and lithological data Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 157 . pp. 797-811. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2010.04.004.

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Lithological, geochemical, and micropaleontological data indicate that the Late Glacial of the northwestern Okhotsk Sea (OS) is characterised by severe climatic and environmental conditions with mainly perennial sea ice coverage and low productivity accompanied by weak deep-water ventilation and a temperate formation of the upper Sea of Okhotsk Intermediate Water (SOIW). The age model of the studied core sediments was constructed by AMS 14C dating. The most severe environmental conditions occurred during the period 15.8–14.8 kyr, synchronous with cold Heinrich event 1. Insignificant regional environmental amelioration accompanied by an increase of productivity and ice weakening during summer occurred almost simultaneously with the Bølling–Allerøed (BA) warming. The obtained results distinguished both the Bølling and Allerøed warmings as having different environmental conditions. Oxygen content in the surface sediment was low, as seen from the production of the benthic foraminifera (BF) species. During 12.6–11.1 kyr, synchronous with the Younger Dryas (YD) cold event, the regional environment conditions were cold, but not as severe as the glacial ones. Some climatic warming since the Preboreal has stimulated sea ice melting and surface amelioration during the summer season, which in turn led to a productivity rise and changes in the water column and bottom environment. Some increase in the surface water stratification and the intensified oceanic diatom and surface radiolarian production is parallel with the development of a mesopelagic regime of productivity. The surface sediment condition favours BF abundance and domination by BF species tolerant to oxygen deficiencies. During the Boreal period more stable surface conditions were accompanied by continuously high productivity and an intensifying of its mesopelagic regime. Significant regional climate warming since the Atlantic (9 kyr ago) strongly intensified the summer sea ice melting in the OS, and this created considerable surface environment amelioration with the preferential transport of bacteria and phytodetritus into the SOIW. Further considerable warming of the regional climate from 6 kyr ago contributed to slight sea ice changes, surface water warming, and the enhancement of its stratification; all typical for most of the OS. Along with a high nutrient supply from the Amur River, the NW OS experienced a strong diatom production increase with the maximum amount occurring during the last 3.6 kyr. This changed the productivity type and organic matter export into the water column while increasing the feeding of the ‘‘productive’’ Plagoniidae spp. group and decreasing the microbial biomass supply into the upper SOIW. Some sea surface water cooling or saltier conditions at the beginning of the Subatlantic (2.4–1.8 kyr) was followed by its warming or freshening 1.5–1.0 kyr ago, which likely correlated with the Medieval Warm Period. In turn, that probably led to strong surface water stratification, productivity deterioration and considerable changes in the overall NW OS environment. The established sequence of the northwestern OS environmental changes during the Late Glacial–Holocene is related to the Northern Hemispheric climate changes and was likely forced by atmospheric teleconnection in line with the polar circulation index variability.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Paleoceanography; Northwestern Okhotsk Sea, sea ice, paleoenvironment of surface, water column and surface sediment, isotope geochemistry, micropaleontology, Late Glaciation, Deglaciation, Holocene
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr.2010.04.004
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2010 14:34
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 13:55

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