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Early to mid-Holocene Atlantic water influx and deglacial meltwater events, Beaufort Sea Slope, Arctic Ocean


Holocene high-resolution cores from the margin of the Arctic Ocean are rare. Core P189AR-P45 collected in 405-m water depth on the Beaufort Sea slope, west of the Mackenzie River delta (70°33.03′N and 141°52.08′W), is in close vertical proximity to the present-day upper limit of modified Atlantic water. The 5.11-m core spans the interval between ∼6800 and 10,400 14C yr B.P. (with an 800-yr ocean reservoir correction). The sediment is primarily silty clay with an average grain-size of 9 φ. The chronology is constrained by seven radiocarbon dates. The rate of sediment accumulation averaged 1.35 mm/yr. Stable isotopic data (δ18O and δ13C) were obtained on the polar planktonic foraminifera Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (s) and the benthic infaunal species Cassidulina neoteretis. A distinct low-δ18O event is captured in both the benthic and planktonic data at ∼10,000 14C yr B.P.—probably recording the glacial Lake Agassiz outburst flood associated with the North Atlantic preboreal cold event. The benthic foraminifera are dominated in the earliest Holocene by C. neoteretis, a species associated with modified Atlantic water masses. This species decreases toward the core top with a marked environmental reversal occurring ∼7800 14C yr B.P. possibly coincident with the northern hemisphere 8200 cal yr B.P. cold event.

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