A multiproxy record including benthic foraminifera, diatoms and XRF data of a marine sediment core from a SW Greenland fjord provides a detailed reconstruction of the oceanographic and climatic variations of the region during the last 4,400 cal. years. The lower part of our record represents the final termination of the Holocene Thermal Maximum. After the onset of the ‘Neoglaciation’ at app. 3.2 ka cal. BP, the fjord system was subject to a number of marked hydrographical changes that were closely linked to the general climatic and oceanographic development of the Labrador Sea and the North Atlantic region. Our data show that increased advection of Atlantic water (Irminger Sea Water) from the West Greenland Current into the Labrador Sea was a typical feature of Northeast Atlantic cooling episodes such as the ‘Little Ice Age’ and the ‘European Dark Ages’, while the advection of Irminger Sea Water decreased significantly during warm episodes such as the ‘Mediaeval Warm Period’ and the ‘Roman Warm Period’. Whereas the Mediaeval Warm Period was characterised by relatively cool climate as suggested by low melt-water production, the preceding Dark Ages display higher melt-water runoff and consequently warmer climate. When compared with European climate, these regional climate anomalies indicate persisting patterns of advection of colder, respectively warmer air masses in the study region during these periods and thus a long-term seesaw climate pattern between West Greenland and Europe.
Holocene, 2007, Vol 17, Issue 3, p. 387-401
Vestgrønland, sen Holocæn, Lille Istid, Middelalder Varmtid, hydrografi, Nordatlantisk havcirkulation, foraminiferer, diatommer, sporelementer; West Greenland, late Holocene, Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, hydrography, North Atlantic seesaw, foraminifera, diatoms, trace elements