Holocene Paleoenvironmental Change Along the Antarctic Peninsula: A Test of the Solar/Bi-Polar Signal
Domack: OPP 9615053 Manley: OPP 9615670 Banerjee: OPP 9615695 Dunbar: OPP 9615668 Ishman: OPP 9615669 Leventer: OPP 9714371 Abstract This award supports a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional effort to elucidate the detailed climate history of the Antarctic Peninsula during the Holocene epoch (the last 10,000 years). The Holocene is an important, but often overlooked, portion of the Antarctic paleoclimatic record because natural variability in Holocene climate on time scales of decades to millennia can be evaluated as a model for our present "interglacial" world. This project builds on over ten years of prior investigation into the depositional processes, productivity patterns and climate regime of the Antarctic Peninsula. This previous work identified key locations that contain ultra-high resolution records of past climatic variation. These data indicate that solar cycles operating on multi-century and millennial time scales are important regulators of meltwater production and paleoproductivity. These marine records can be correlated with ice core records in Greenland and Antarctica. This project will focus on sediment dispersal patterns across the Palmer Deep region. The objective is to understand the present links between the modern climatic and oceanographic systems and sediment distribution. In particular, additional information is needed regarding the influence of sea ice on the distribution of both biogenic and terrigenous sediment distribution. Sediment samples will be collected with a variety of grab sampling and coring devices. Analytical work will include carbon-14 dating of surface sediments using accellerator mass spectrometry and standard sedimentologic, micropaleontologic and magnetic granulometric analyses. This multiparameter approach is the most effective way to extract the paleoclimatic signals contained in the marine sediment cores. Two additional objectives are the deployment of sediment traps in front of the Muller Ice Shelf in Lallemand Fjord and seismic reflection work in conjunction with site augmentation funded through the Joint Oceanographic Institute. The goal of sediment trap work is to address whether sand transport and deposition adjacent to the ice shelf calving line results from meltwater or aeolian processes. In addition, the relationship between sea ice conditions and primary productivity will be investigated. The collection of a short series of seismic lines across the Palmer Deep basins will fully resolve the question of depth to acoustic basement. The combination of investigators on this project, all with many years of experience working in high latitude settings, provides an effective team to complete the project in a timely fashion. A combination of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students will be involved in all stages of the project so that educational objectives will be met in-tandem with research goals of the project.
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