Late-Holocene environment and climatic changes in Ameralik Fjord, southwest Greenland: evidence from the sedimentary record

H.S. Møller, K.G. Jensen, A. Kuijpers, S. Aagaard-Sørensen, M.-S. Seidenkrantz, M. Prins, R. Endler, N. Mikkelsen

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59 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-695
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Ameralik Fjord
  • Benthic foraminifera
  • Climate change
  • Diatoms
  • Fjords
  • Greenland
  • Late Holocene
  • Sedimentary environment

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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