Early Holocene terrestrial climatic variability along a North Atlantic Island transect: palaeoceanographic implications

Catherine Jessen, Svante Björck, Mats Rundgren

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A synthesis of the early Holocene climatic development in the North Atlantic region is presented, based on three previously published
lake records from southern Greenland (Lake N14), Iceland (Lake Torfadalsvatn) and the Faroe Islands (Lake Lykkjuvøtn). The interval
11 500–8500 cal BP has been divided into five phases with respect to the inferred strength of the North Atlantic Current (NAC) and
Irminger Currents (IC). Phase 1 (11 500–10 750 cal BP) was characterised by the first establishment of the NAC and IC in the vicinity of
the studied sites, interrupted by the Preboreal Oscillation around 11 200 cal BP. Phase 2 (10 750–10 100 cal BP) was marked by a further
warming step in southern Greenland rather concordant with a change into colder and more variable winters on the Faroe Islands. It is
proposed that this could partly be related to a series of melt water outbursts disturbing the thermohaline circulation in the eastern
Atlantic Ocean, resulting in a warming trend in the western region. During Phase 3 (10 100–9400 cal BP) the strength of the IC reaching
northwestern Iceland intensified. A more stable regime in surface circulation was established at the onset of Phase 4 (9400–8900 cal BP) in
southern Greenland and was followed by a change towards further warm conditions on Iceland at the onset of Phase 5
(8900–8500 cal BP).
TidsskriftQuaternary Science Reviews
StatusUdgivet - 2007
Udgivet eksterntJa