Deglacial seasonal and sub-seasonal diatom record from Palmer Deep, Antarctica

Maddison, Eleanor; Pike, Jennifer; Leventer, Amy and Domack, Eugene W. (2005). Deglacial seasonal and sub-seasonal diatom record from Palmer Deep, Antarctica. Journal of Quaternary Science, 20(5) pp. 435–446.



The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most sensitive regions of Antarctica to climate change. Here, ecological and cryospheric systems respond rapidly to climate fluctuations. A 4.4m thick laminated diatom ooze deposited during the last deglaciation is examined from a marine sediment core (ODP Site 1098) recovered from Basin I, Palmer Deep, western Antarctic Peninsula. This deglacial laminated interval was deposited directly over a glaciomarine diamict, hence during a globally recognised period of rapid climate change. The ultra-high-resolution deglacial record is analysed using SEM backscattered electron imagery and secondary electron imagery. Laminated to thinly bedded orange-brown diatom ooze (near monogeneric Hyalochaete Chaetoceros spp. resting spores)alternates with blue-grey terrigenous sediments (open water diatom species). These discrete laminae are interpreted as austral spring and summer signals respectively, with negligible winter deposition. Sub-seasonal sub-laminae are observed repeatedly through the summer laminae, suggesting variations in shelf waters throughout the summer. Tidal cycles, high storm intensities and/or intrusion of Circumpolar Deep Water onto the continental shelf introduced conditions which enhanced specific species productivity through the season.

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