Revision of the palynofacies model of Tyson (1993) based on recent high-latitude sediments from the North Atlantic

Lucia Roncaglia, Antoon Kuijpers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents data on the distribution of the palynofacies assemblages during the last 1500 years in sediments from Greenland and Faroe Islands fjords and North Atlantic deep-water sites. The sediments studied consist of olive grey to brown muddy silt occasionally mottled and faintly laminated. The chronology is based on 210Pb and 137Cs measurements and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 14C dating of shells and plant remains. As a result, the distribution of particulate organic matter at the high latitudes is controlled by the distance from the shore and water depth. Changes in water depth do not affect the assemblages near the shore. In order to provide a tool using palynofacies analysis for assessing high-latitude depositional settings, we propose to revise the palynological model of Tyson (1993). The revised model is a ternary plot of the relative amount of (1) amorphous organic material, (2) phytoclasts +sporomorphs, and (3) foraminifera +dinoflagellates +acritarchs +other marine algae in the sediment. Based on the integration of quantitative palynofacies analysis and environmental data, the revised model has the potential for discriminating spatial and redox status differences and providing information about terrestrial/fresh water influx at the high latitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-39
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Depositional facies
  • Holocene
  • North Atlantic
  • Palynology
  • Quaternary

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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