Peat growth in the Lena Delta and its relation to late Holocene climate change in the Arctic.

Bauch, Henning A. (2014) Peat growth in the Lena Delta and its relation to late Holocene climate change in the Arctic. [Talk] In: 2. PAST Gateways International Conference and Workshop. , 19.05.-23.05.2014, Trieste, Italy . Proceedings of the II PAST Gateways International Conference and Workshop : Trieste, May 19-­23, 2014 / Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale. Eds.: Renata G. Lucchi ; Colm O’Cofaigh ; Michele Rebesco ; Carlo Barbante. ; pp. 49-50 .

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Reconstructions of the postglacial evolution of the Laptev Sea shelf have shown that regional sea level came to its Holocene highstand some time between 5 to 6 ka. During the time after a general stabilization of the sedimentary regime occurred. That is well noted in a drastic decrease in sedimentation rates observed in all sediment cores taken from middle to outer shelf water depths. But, at water depths lower than 30 meters (i.e., in the inner shelf and nearer to the coasts) sedimentation continued at relatively higher rates, presumably due to input of terrigenous material from river runoff as well as coastal erosion. Compared with that latter process, the huge Lena Delta should comprise a region of sediment catchment where aggradation wins over erosion. However, little is known about the detailed history of this delta during the second half of the Holocene. In order to gain more insight into this issue we have investigated three islands within the Lena Delta. All of these are comprised of massive peat of several meters in thickness. Picking discrete specimens of water mosses (Sphagnum) only, we have radiocarbondated these peat sections. The depth/age relation of the sampled profiles reflect the growth rate of peat. It shows that the islands’ history above the present-day delta-sea level is about 4000 yrs. old. Moreover, a significant change in peat growth occurred after 2500 yrs BP in both, accumulation and composition, and allows the conclusion of a major shift in Arctic environmental conditions since then. Thus, our results may add further information also for other coastal studies, as the ongoing degradation of the rather vulnerable permafrost coast in the Laptev Sea and elsewhere along the North Siberian margin is often mentioned in context with recent Arctic climate change due to global warming.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Keywords: Lena Delta; Laptev Sea; Sedimentation; River run-off; Holocene; Climate change
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Related URLs:
Projects: Laptev Sea System, Transdrift
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2015 12:39
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2015 13:03

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