Interglacial Chironomidae (Diptera) from Thule, Northwest Greenland: Matching modern analogues to fossil assemblages

Klaus Peter Brodersen, Ole Bennike

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

19 Citationer (Scopus)


An analysis of subfossil insect remains (Diptera, Chironomidae) from an interglacial site at Narsaarsuk near Thule Air Base, NW Greenland, was undertaken to complement our understanding of last interglacial environments in the Arctic by analogue matching to modern chironomid assemblages. The subfossil larval midge head capsules were well preserved and 82% of the chironomid remains were identified as eight different extant chironomid taxa. The assemblage was dominated by the lotic Diamesa (43.8%), a number of lentic taxa (Hydrobaenus, Psectrocladius, Cricotopus/Orthocladius) and a few semi-aquatic taxa (Smittia, Chaetocladius). A single black fly head capsule (Diptera, Simuliidae) was registered. The interglacial sample was compared to subfossil chironomid assemblages from 42 lakes in West Greenland, two glacier lakes (with and without river influence) and a quantitative zoobenthos study from Narsaq Elv. Similarity analysis, analogue matching and multi-dimensional scaling suggest a lotic, cold, glacier-fed interglacial palaeo-biotope. Quantitative temperature reconstruction was not possible owing to a high dissimilarity to modern lentic chironomid assemblages from West Greenland. However, the simple numerical methods convincingly managed to reflect an interglacial river and stream environment, which can be difficult to document from other palaeoecological data.

Sider (fra-til)560-565
Antal sider6
Udgave nummer4
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2003


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


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