Sedimentological and geochemical (XRF) data together with information from diatom and benthic foraminiferal records of a 3.5 m long gravity core from Ameralik Fjord, southern West Greenland, is used for reconstructing late-Holocene environmental changes in this area. The changes are linked to large-scale North Atlantic ocean and climate variability. AMS 14C-dating of benthic foraminifera indicates that the sediment core records the last 4400 years and covers the termination of the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). The late HTM (4.4-3.2 ka BP) is characterized by high accumulation rates of fine (silty) sediments related to strong meltwater discharge from the Inland Ice. The HTM benthic foraminiferal fauna demonstrates the presence of well-ventilated, saline bottom water originating from inflow of subsurface West Greenland Current water of Atlantic (Irminger Sea) origin. The hydrographic conditions were further characterized by limited sea ice probably related to a mild and relatively windy winter climate. After 3.2 ka BP lower fine-grained sedimentation rates, but a larger input from sea-ice rafted or aeolian coarse material prevailed. This can be related to colder atmospheric conditions with a decreased meltwater discharge and more widespread sea-ice cover in the fjord.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima