Arctic Glacial and Interglacial Variability throughout the Quaternary: Evidence from Lake El'gygytgyn, northeastern Russia (English)

In: Polarforschung   ;  87 ,  1  ;  43-60  ;  2017
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Abstract: Lake El'gygytgyn in the north-eastern Russian Arctic became the target of extensive international site surveys in the late 1990s, with complex geoscientific fieldwork conducted in 1998, 2000, and 2003. The surveys strongly supported the hypothesis that the lake hosts a nearly continuous sediment record, which is highly sensitive to climatic and environmental changes and covers the time since the lake formation by a meteorite impact some 3.6 Ma ago. These promising findings led to deep drilling operations within the scope of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) in 2008 and 2009, during which 141 m of permafrost deposits in the catchment, the 318 m thick lake sediment succession in the lake centre, and about 200 m of impact rocks underneath were drilled. Palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatological research on the Quaternary part of the lake sediment record revealed that full glacial conditions, with mean annual air temperatures at least 3.3 ±0.9 °C lower than today, first commenced at the Pliocene/ Pleistocene boundary 2.6 Ma ago. They gradually increased in frequency from ca. 2.3 to 1.8 Ma, eventually concurring with all global glacials and several stadials. The interglacials at Lake El’gygytgyn significantly differ in intensity. So-called super interglacials irregularly occurred throughout the Quaternary, including Marine Isotope Stages 11.3 and 31, when mean temperatures of the warmest month and annual precipitation were up to 4-5 °C and ~300 mm higher than today, respectively. According to climate modelling these climatic settings cannot in all cases be traced back to orbital forcing or greenhouse gas concentrations. They are, at least partly, the result of other processes and feedbacks in the climate system. A remarkable coincidence of the super interglacials with diatomite layers in the Antarctic ANDRILL 1B record suggests that they were associated with considerable retreats of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The ice decay may have caused reductions in Antarctic Bottom Water formation, its transport to the Pacific Ocean, and its upwelling in the north-western Pacific, and potentially increased warm-water intrusions through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean.

  • Title:
    Arctic Glacial and Interglacial Variability throughout the Quaternary: Evidence from Lake El'gygytgyn, northeastern Russia
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  • Published in:
    Polarforschung ; 87 ; 1 ; 43-60
  • Publisher:
    Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung und Deutsche Gesellschaft für Polarforschung 
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    Bremerhaven, Germany
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    18 pages
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    Article (Journal)
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    Electronic Resource
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    DDC:    550 Earth sciences and geology
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Table of contents – Volume 87, Issue 1

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The tables of contents are generated automatically and are based on the data records of the individual contributions available in the index of the TIB portal. The display of the Tables of Contents may therefore be incomplete.

The Climate of the Arctic: an Early Warning System for Global Warming
Wilhelm, Gernot | 2017
Pathways of Siberian Freshwater and Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean Traced with Radiogenic Neodymium Isotopes and Rare Earth Elements
Laukert, Georgi / Frank, Martin / Hathorne, Ed C / Krumpen, Thomas / Rabe, Ben / Bauch, Dorothea / Werner, Kirstin / Peeken, Ilka / Kassens, Heidemarie | 2017
A Stratigraphical-Sedimentological Study of the Last Interglacial Period in the Central Nordic Seas on the Basis of XRF Core Scanning
Kolling, Henriette / Bauch, A Henning | 2017
Case Studies of the Role of Arctic Gateways in Plio-Pleistocene Arctic Changes
Spielhagen, Robert F | 2017
Interactions between the Arctic Ocean and the Siberian Hinterland during the Late Mesozoic and the Cenozoic and Their Impact on the Ice Covers
Tiede, Jörn | 2017
Arctic Glacial and Interglacial Variability throughout the Quaternary: Evidence from Lake El'gygytgyn, northeastern Russia
Melles, Martin / Wennrich, Volker | 2017
From Greenhouse to Icehouse: The late Mesozoic-Cenozoic Arctic Ocean Sea Ice and Climate History
Stein, Rüdiger | 2017