1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus University3 GEUS4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
The Limfjord is a sound in Northern Jutland, Denmark, connecting the North Sea with the Kattegat. A multi-proxy approach has been applied to a sediment core from Kilen, a former fjord arm near the town of Struer, to reveal the Limfjord’s development in more detail. In this paper, we concentrate on radiocarbon dating of shells and on stable isotope measurements of bulk sediment from 7400 to 1300 cal BP. Reservoir ages in coastal waters and estuaries can differ considerably from the global model ocean. The seas around Denmark have a reservoir age of c. 400 years, while a hardwater effect of a few thousand years is possible for freshwater with a high content of dissolved carbonate. On the other hand, freshwater without a significant content of 14C-dead carbon does not have a reservoir age. In coastal waters, the different water sources mix and produce highly variable reservoir ages. Due to Holocene relative sea level fluctuations, caused by the interplay of eustatic sea level changes and isostasy, the Limfjord had varying connections to the sea. As the relative proportion of marine and fresh water varied with time, the reservoir age for the Limfjord is also expected to vary. Radiocarbon datings of shells, compared to a terrestrial age model, resulted in reservoir ages with Delta-R values between -150 and +320 years. The d13C and C/N values of bulk organic matter follow a line which endpoints are the values of terrestrial and marine plants, respectively. The relative contribution of the two sources of organic matter can thus be estimated. The d13C and C/N inferred salinity can be related to changes in Delta-R and other palaeoenvironmental proxies. An increasing marine influence throughout the largest part of the core is followed by large variations around 2000 cal BP.