BAFFEAST Past Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics, Palaeoceanography and Plankton Ecology in the Northeast Baffin Bay - Cruise No. MSM44 - June 30 - July 30, 2015 - Nuuk (Greenland) - Nuuk (Greenland) (English)

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Palaeoclimatic and palaeoceanographic studies from the southern Baffin Bay suggest that, in the past, the development of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and the oceanic circulation in this area have been tightly coupled. For the northeast Baffin Bay, in which 27% of the western GIS drain, this connection has not yet been established due to the lack of data and samples. In order to model and predict the future responses of the GIS to changing climatic conditions, and hence, changing oceanographic conditions, it is important to better understand the nature of these ocean-cryosphere couplings and related GIS dynamics in the northeast Baffin Bay. For this reason, we systematically mapped the shelf and slope of the Melville Bay (northeast Baffin Bay) for glacigenic seabed features associated to past GIS advances and retreats. To investigate the timing of the GIS advance and retreat events, sedimentary records were recovered from the glacigenic features for proxy-studies. Furthermore, samples for palaeoceanographic proxy-studies were recovered to study the ocean circulation patterns in the western Baffin Bay, and thus, the palaeoceanographic influences on the GIS. Biological and palaeontological studies on proxy-signal bearing organism were designed to advance our understanding of these proxy-records and improve our interpretations and models of the ocean-cryosphere feedback processes.