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Dating High Arctic Holocene relative sea level changes using juvenile articulated marine shells in raised beaches

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... Zone 2 was internally divided into two sub-zones on the basis of dominating sediment type. Zone 3, i.e. raised marine terraces is the oldest part of the valley (more than 5000 years old, according to deglaciation and sea level changes dating e.g. by Kłysz et al. 1989, long et al. 2012, Rachlewicz and Szczuciński 2013. ...
... It is a pioneer species within its entire geographical range (Pirożnikow 1996). Saxifraga oppositifolia is resilient to being covered by fine sediments and colonizes new terrains by producing single long shoots (prostrate form) instead of forming a cushion ( Kume et al. 1999). This prostrate form was observed in the majority of sample plots in Zone 1. Creeping stems allowed it to expand and to find places sheltered from winds. ...
... On the basis of the collected data on the number of species within sampling plots and their abundance and/or dominance determined on the grounds of space occupancy and shoot density, the attempt to distinguish successional stages in the Ebba Valley has been made. The age of landforms documented for the valley (Kłysz 1985, long et al. 2012, Rachlewicz and Szczuciński 2013, van der Meij et al. 2016) and indicator species were also taken into account in the case, as well as disturbance regime, soil depth and moisture regime. In Ebba Valley, three stages of succession may be specified. ...
Article
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Global warming observed nowadays causes an increase in geomorphic activity in polar regions. Within the areas influenced by cold climatic conditions, relief dynamics and vegetation development are the main landscape shaping processes. The study is limited to the Ebba Valley (78°43’N; 16°37’E) in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), where geomorphologic observations and vegetation sampling were conducted in 2007. The valley was divided into three zones differentiated by dominating geomorphic activity and stability of deposits. The settlement and the evolution of plant cover have been documented there. The main factors that control well developed vegetation cover within raised marine terraces are frost heave and solifluction. In deeper parts of the valley, aeolian processes dominate and high differentiation of microsite conditions causes high variability in plant coverage. The area close to the Ebba glacier marginal zone is characterized by initial stages of plant colonisation where disturbance to vegetation is mainly caused by hydrological processes.
... It has long been acknowledged that uplifted marine terraces are of primary importance in regard to glacial reconstruction, and are considered isostatic fingerprints of past ice volume expansions in Svalbard (Birkenmajer, 1960;Feyling-Hanssen, 1965;Boulton, 1979;Forman and Miller, 1984;Salvigsen, 1984;Landvik et al., 1987;Salvigsen et al., 1990;Ziaja and Salvigsen, 1995;Forman et al., 2004;Salvigsen and Høgvard, 2005;Ingólfsson, 2011;Long et al., 2012;Ingólfsson and Landvik, 2013). Extensive investigations of maximum elevations and marine terrace locations in the Svalbard and Barents Sea region have led to the consensus that the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice-Sheet (SBSIS) of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) has experienced differential loading on the land surface (Salvigsen and Slettemark, 1995;Ziaja and Salvigsen, 1995;Forman et al., 2004;Ingólfsson, 2011). ...
... Extensive investigations of maximum elevations and marine terrace locations in the Svalbard and Barents Sea region have led to the consensus that the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice-Sheet (SBSIS) of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) has experienced differential loading on the land surface (Salvigsen and Slettemark, 1995;Ziaja and Salvigsen, 1995;Forman et al., 2004;Ingólfsson, 2011). Modern theory revolves around a multi-domed SBSIS of varying ice thicknesses and thereby variations in differential loading and isostatic rebound (Hogan et al., 2010;Hormes et al., 2011;Long et al., 2012;Ingólfsson and Landvik, 2013). Therefore, the marine limit of one area in Svalbard, for example, may vary from one location to another within the same fjord. ...
... The shoreline displacement curves for the locations other than Fredheim are inferred from recalibrated, previously published radiocarbon dates as indicated in Table 1 (Feyling-Hanssen, 1965;Salvigsen, 1984;Salvigsen et al., 1990;Long et al., 2012) that they may be comparable to the new curve for Fredheim which is plotted on the same figure (Fig. 5). Radiocarbon dates are plotted against time in an idealized curve with time on the x-axis showing zero as AD 1950. ...
Article
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Abrupt shifts in sediment supply, relative sea level, permafrost regime, glacier state, snow cover and sea ice conditions associated with Holocene climate changes control processes operating on High Arctic coasts and make reconstructions of their past evolution a significant research challenge. This study attempts to describe the development of the coastal zone in southern Sassenfjorden, Svalbard, throughout the Holocene focusing on the styles of adjustment to major landscape changes. Five marine terraces (MT1-5) are identified and assessed. Spatial and chronological analysis suggests that the highest terrace, MT5, is pre-LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) and that MT4-3 underwent rapid uplift (151 and 11.4 mm/year, respectively) shortly prior to 11 061 ± 174 cal. yr BP and became fully terrestrial by 9100 years ago (as indicated by emergence rates) during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). Uplift rates for MT2-1 slowed to 5 and 2 mm/year, respectively, with suggested emergence between 7200 and 6800 cal. yr BP. A final 2 m uplift of the relict alluvial plain probably happened during the Medieval Warm Period (1200–950 cal. yr BP). Most recent coastal development (AD 1912–2012) is characterised by episodes of coastal erosion on the cliff and progradation of the Nøiselva delta. Interactions between sea ice, snow cover, permafrost, wind and wave regimes are assessed to understand their implications on future coastal development in a warming climate.
... To prevent the effect of reworking, the best preserved fossils or specific fractions of organic material are chosen for dating (e.g. Brock et al., 2010;Lachniet et al., 2012;Long et al., 2012) (Fig. 3). Large series of radiocarbon age determinations in a sediment succession can also indicate the occurrence of reworking and help to exclude erroneous sediment ages due to incorporation of reworked organic material (e.g. ...
... There are several recent reviews of luminescence dating in various environments relevant for the Arctic (Wolfe et al., 2004;Bateman, 2008;Fuchs and Owen, 2008;Jacobs, 2008) as well as Fig. 3. Relative sea-level change on Svalbard, as elsewhere in the Arctic, is commonly dated by radiocarbon on marine fossils and driftwood found on raised beaches. The marine fossils generally suffer from larger uncertainties than the drift wood due to less well known reservoir ages and unclear relationship with sea level, but by targeting juvenile Astarte borealis shells, Long et al. (2012) reduce some of these problems. Modified from Bondevik et al. (1995) and Long et al. (2012). ...
... The marine fossils generally suffer from larger uncertainties than the drift wood due to less well known reservoir ages and unclear relationship with sea level, but by targeting juvenile Astarte borealis shells, Long et al. (2012) reduce some of these problems. Modified from Bondevik et al. (1995) and Long et al. (2012). Age uncertainty within symbol size, unless marked with black lines. ...
Article
To better understand Pleistocene climatic changes in the Arctic, integrated palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic signals from a variety of marine and terrestrial geological records as well as geochronologic age control are required, not least for correlation to extra-Arctic records. In this paper we discuss, from an Arctic perspective, methods and correlation tools that are commonly used to date Arctic Pleistocene marine and terrestrial events. We review the state of the art of Arctic geochronology, with focus on factors that affect the possibility and quality of dating, and support this overview by examples of application of modern dating methods to Arctic terrestrial and marine sequences.
... In this study, we focused on soils in a sequence of marine terraces in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago, to derive natural processes and rates of soil formation in a landscape context (Elster and Rachlewicz, 2012;Rachlewicz et al., 2013;Zwoliński et al., 2013). We first used optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to complement earlier experimental datings of juvenile marine shells on the same series of terraces (Long et al., 2012). Then, we performed field and laboratory analyses to describe soil properties in a variety of locations on the marine terrace complex. ...
... The area has been the subject of research for many years (e.g. Gulińska et al., 2003;Kłysz et al., 1988Kłysz et al., , 1989Long et al., 2012;Zwoliński et al., 2013). The marine terraces occupy a range of altitudes in the landscape (∼ 1-50 m), due to isostatic rebound after the Last Glacial Maximum. ...
... The oldest marine terrace in the series (terrace 6, Fig. 1) dates back to the Late Pleistocene (Kłysz et al., 1989), yet it is very small and was not sampled in the present study. Terrace levels 1-4 have been dated using an experimental approach of radiocarbon dating of juvenile marine shells (Long et al., 2012). The ages range from 3156 ± 81 to 9718 ± 91 years, suggesting that younger soils might have been flooded again (Strzelecki, 2012). ...
Article
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Soils in Arctic regions currently enjoy attention because of their sensitivity to climate change. It is therefore important to understand the natural processes and rates of development of these soils. Specifically, there is a need to quantify the rates and interactions between various landscape- and soil-forming processes. Soil chronosequences are ideal natural experiments for this purpose. In this contribution, we combine field observations, luminescence dating and soil–landscape modelling to improve and test our understanding of Arctic soil formation. The field site is a Holocene chronosequence of gravelly raised marine terraces in central Spitsbergen. Field observations show that soil–landscape development is mainly driven by weathering, silt translocation, aeolian deposition and rill erosion. Spatial soil variation is mainly caused by soil age, morphological position within a terrace and depth under the surface. Luminescence dating confirmed existing radiocarbon dating of the terraces, which are between ∼ 1.5 and ∼ 13.3 ka old. The soil–landscape evolution model LORICA was used to test our hypothesis that the field-observed processes indeed dominate soil–landscape development. Model results additionally indicated the importance of aeolian deposition as a source of fine material in the subsoil for both sheltered and vegetated trough positions and barren ridge positions. Simulated overland erosion was negligible. Consequently, an un-simulated process must be responsible for creating the observed erosion rills. Dissolution and physical weathering both play a major role. However, using present-day soil observations, the relative contribution of physical and chemical weathering could not be disentangled. Discrepancies between field and model results indicate that soil formation is non-linear and driven by spatially and temporally varying boundary conditions which were not included in the model. To conclude, Arctic soil and landscape development appears to be more complex and less straightforward than could be reasoned from field observations.
... The mouths of local valleys in the Petuniabukta region were penetrated by marine water and, as relative sea level (RSL) fell rapidly, spectacular flights of raised beaches developed. One of the most accurate relative sea-level curves for central Spitsbergen (Long, Strzelecki, Lloyd, and Bryant, 2012) suggests that in Petuniabukta RSL fell from approximately 27 m a.s.l at 9,700 cal year −1 BP and reach close to present sea level by 3,100 cal year −1 BP. The trend in the mid-Holocene RSL data implies that the sea level most probably fell below present level during the late Holocene and later started a slow rise to the present. ...
... FF3 is the largest fan system along the coast of Petuniabukta and fills the area between the modern barrier coast and the bedrock threshold bones observed in exposed cliff walls. A fragment of the distal margin of old fan is located approximately 5 m a.s.l. and suggests that the intensified surface erosion and the accumulation of modern fan began at approximately 4,000 cal year −1 BP (based on the RSL data presented by Long et al., 2012). As in the modern system, the relict fan was bordered by gravel-dominated Ferdinand Old Spits whose remnants are located at approximately 1.5 m a.s.l. ...
... The Ferdinand Spits were also very sensitive to shifts in nearshore water depths which in turn impact on wave energy at the coast. The rapid relative sea-level fall observed in Petuniabukta since the onset of the Holocene resulted in cutting off the direct contact of fjord with glacial landforms as early as 9,700 cal year −1 BP (Long et al., 2012), at which time Petuniabukta was filling the entrances to Ebbadalen and Hørbyedalen and reworking the ice-contact deposits produced at that time by the then tide-water Ebbabreen and Hørbyebreen. In the northern part of the bay, the tidal flat started to develop along the distal margin of an outwash plain that was supplied with sediment from the Sven-Hørbye-Ragnarbreen catchments. ...
Article
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In Svalbard, the rapid glacier retreat observed since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) has transformed the geomorphology and sediment budgets of glacial forelands, river valleys and slope systems. To date, relatively little information exists regarding the impact of such a profound glacial landscape degradation on the evolution of coastal environment. This paper addresses this deficiency by detailing the post-LIA sediment fluxes to the coastal zone in Billefjorden, central Spitsbergen (Svalbard). We analysed the response of the gravel-dominated barrier coast to the decay of Ferdinandbreen, one of the fastest retreating glaciers in the region. Glacier retreat resulted in the development of paraglacial sediment cascade where eroded and reworked glacigenic sediments progressed through alluvial fans to the coast, thus feeding gravel-dominated spit systems in Petuniabukta. We demonstrated the that coastal systems in central Spitsbergen responded abruptly to post-LIA climatic changes. The acceleration of coastal erosion and associated spit development was coincident with rapid climate warming that dates from the 1980's and has been associated with longer ice-free periods and activation of multiple sediment supply sources from the deglaciated landscape. In colder phases of post-LIA period, coastal zone development was subdued and strongly dependent on the efficiency of sediment transport via in a longshore drift. Finally, we discuss the differences in the post-LIA coastal responses between central Spitsbergen and western Spitsbergen highlighting the efficiency of paraglacial sediment delivery from land to the coast controlled by the state of glacial systems, bedrock topography and development of river channels.
... To prevent the effect of reworking, the best preserved fossils or specific fractions of organic material are chosen for dating (e.g. Brock et al., 2010;Lachniet et al., 2012;Long et al., 2012) (Fig. 3). Large series of radiocarbon age determinations in a sediment succession can also indicate the occurrence of reworking and help to exclude erroneous sediment ages due to incorporation of reworked organic material (e.g. ...
... There are several recent reviews of luminescence dating in various environments relevant for the Arctic (Wolfe et al., 2004;Bateman, 2008;Fuchs and Owen, 2008;Jacobs, 2008) as well as Fig. 3. Relative sea-level change on Svalbard, as elsewhere in the Arctic, is commonly dated by radiocarbon on marine fossils and driftwood found on raised beaches. The marine fossils generally suffer from larger uncertainties than the drift wood due to less well known reservoir ages and unclear relationship with sea level, but by targeting juvenile Astarte borealis shells, Long et al. (2012) reduce some of these problems. Modified from Bondevik et al. (1995) and Long et al. (2012). ...
... The marine fossils generally suffer from larger uncertainties than the drift wood due to less well known reservoir ages and unclear relationship with sea level, but by targeting juvenile Astarte borealis shells, Long et al. (2012) reduce some of these problems. Modified from Bondevik et al. (1995) and Long et al. (2012). Age uncertainty within symbol size, unless marked with black lines. ...
Article
Full-text available
New luminescence dates and lithostratigraphic information from key section Bolshoi Shar on the Lower Yenissei shed light on the history of terrestrial sedimentation between 100 and 40 ka BP and change the chronostratigraphic position of two major ice advances of the Late Pleistocene.
... Similar to most material used to constrain relative sea level, the deposition of ocean-rafted pumice may not necessarily occur at the actual sea level (Blake 1961a;Bondevik et al., 1995;Newton 1999a;Long et al., 2012). Pumice sample elevation likely corresponds to near or up to several meters above the actual sea level. ...
... However, observation of modern ocean-rafted material located 2e3 m above modern high-tide suggest the porous slag and pumice has the potential to be thrown above the actual sea level during stormy conditions. This process is not uncommon for driftage material (e.g., driftwood, whalebones, shell fragments and articulated juvenile Astarte borealis) used to date palaeo-shorelines (Dyke et al., 1991;Bondevik et al., 1995;Forman et al., 2004;Long et al., 2012). Bondevik et al. (1995) suggest modern deposition of driftwood and whalebones may occur 1.6e3.2 ...
Article
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Distally deposited tephra from explosive volcanic eruptions can be a powerful tool for precise dating and correlation of sedimentary archives and landforms. However, the morphostratigraphic and chronological potential of ocean-rafted pumice has been under-utilized considering its long observational history and widespread distribution on modern and palaeo-shorelines around the world. Here we analyze the geochemical composition and elevation data of 60 samples of ocean-rafted pumice collected since 1958 from raised beaches on Svalbard. Comparison of pumice data with postglacial relative sea-level history suggests eight distinct pumice rafting events throughout the North Atlantic during the Middle and Late Holocene. Analyzed ocean-rafted pumice exhibit consistent silicic composition characteristic of deposits from Iceland’s volcanic system, Katla. Eruption-triggered jökulhlaups are key drivers of the transport of pumice from the Katla caldera to beyond the coast of Iceland and into the surface currents of the North Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the correlation of distinct, high-concentration pumice horizons from Katla deposited along raised Middle Holocene beach ridges in Svalbard further advocates for the persistence of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap through the Holocene thermal maximum.
... foraminifera, basal saltmarsh peats, amoebae tests, etc.) are absent; indeed, sea level is the most common paleo-environmental signal derived from beach-and foredune-ridge plains. For example, along the high-latitude coasts of Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean, coarse-grained beach ridges have been used to map isostatic-rebound-induced sealevel fall of tens of metres during the Holocene (Sanjaume and Tolgensbakk, 2009;Pedersen et al., 2011;Long et al., 2012;Simkins et al., 2013;Simms et al., 2018;Sander et al., 2019;Schomacker et al., 2019). Here, elevations of raised, clearly wavebuilt beach ridges are paired with geochronology provided either through optically simulated luminescence (OSL) dating of in situ sediments, or radiocarbon (∆ 14 C) dating of carefully selected mollusk samples. ...
... Additionally, robust chronologies of progradational shoreline deposits are still achievable using 14 C dating so long as care is taken in the identification and sampling of suitable specimens for dating. For example, within coarse gravel beach ridges in Svalbard, Long et al. (2012) specifically selected for dating articulated specimens of a single bivalve species that were clearly storm-deposited. Nonetheless, given concerns of, for example, reworking of organic matter or incomplete bleaching of wave-deposited sediments (Duller, 2008), care is needed in the interpretation of any single age regardless of method, and robust progradational plain chronologies must rely on an abundance of age-control points. ...
Chapter
Sand and gravel beaches are particularly sensitive to changes in sea level, storm frequency/intensity, wave climate, and sediment fluxes. Where sediment delivery outpaces the creation of accommodation space, net progradation may allow for the preservation of records of long-term environmental changes, and how the coastal system has responded to them. This chapter reviews the formational mechanisms and autogenic and allogenic processes responsible for the morphologic characteristics and sedimentary architecture of sand- and gravel-dominated progradational coastal systems, including the preservation potential of paleo-environmental archives, across geological and coastal settings, climatic zones, and sea-level histories. We then present global examples of coastal sedimentologic archives of paleo-environmental change and associated morphodynamic responses. Remaining research challenges and future opportunities for the archive of long-term shoreline change include enhanced quantification through field-model integration.
... Various pedologic and cryogenetic processes have developed into C-poor, scarcely vegetated patterned ground (Etzelmüller & Sollid 1991). Similar to the broad lowland valleys (Fig. 2c), raised beaches are common landforms on Spitsbergen (Salvigsen 1984;Bondevik et al. 1995;Long et al. 2012). Remote-sensing techniques have shown promising results in mapping vegetation units, as well as unvegetated terrain (Johansen & Tømmervik 2014), which can be related to raised beaches (Johansen et al. 2012). ...
... For example, the peak between 80 and 100 m asl in the 7-class model is not expected to indicate a naturally occurring phenomenon, but is expected to simply be a consequence of the small number of samples in the 80-100 class (SOCC = 18.22 ± 95.96 kg C m −2 , n = 2). The upper marine limit in Svalbard is located around 30-90 m asl (Bondevik et al. 1995;Long et al. 2012) and could influence SOC accumulation, but we do not expect this to be responsible for this peak, and it is therefore not further considered in this study. ...
Article
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Accurate quantity and distribution estimates of permafrost soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are needed to project potential feedbacks to climate, following warming. Still, upscaling from local field observations to regional estimates to circumarctic assessments remains a challenge. Here we explore elevation-based upscaling techniques for High-Arctic permafrost SOC stocks. We combine two detailed, high-resolution SOC inventories on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) with regional validation data. We find a clear relationship between elevation and SOC content, and use this observed exponential correlation, as well as discrete elevation classes, as upscaling models for Spitsbergen. We estimate the total amount of permafrost SOC currently present in soils on Spitsbergen to be 105.36 Tg (0.11 Pg), with a mean SOC content of 2.84 ± 0.74 kg C m⁻² (mean ± 95% confidence interval). Excluding glaciers and permanent snowfields, exposed land is currently estimated to contain 6.26 ± 1.47 kg C m⁻².
... Rachlewicz, 2010, Evans et al., 2012Tomczyk, 2015, Pleskot, 2015;Szpikowski et al., 2014a,b;Strzelecki et al., 2015a,b). The latest relative sea-level (RSL) curve developed for Petuniabukta by Long et al. (2012) suggests that the highest Holocene beaches, at ca. 40-45 m a.s.l., formed shortly after local deglaciation at c. 10,000 cal yr BP. RSL fell from this level to reach within a meter of present sea-level by c. 3100 cal yr BP. ...
Article
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This paper presents the results of the Schmidt Hammer Rock Tests (SHRTs) across a range of rocky coastal landforms.Northern Billefjorden (central Spitsbergen), represents typical High Arctic microtidal fjord environment. Sheltered location and prolonged sea-ice conditions limit wave action. Coastal cliffs, shore platforms and skerries are developed in various rock types including limestone, sandstone, anhydrite/gypsum, dolomite and metamorphic outcrops. SHRT demonstrated a broad variety of relationships between rock strength and distance from shoreline, presence of sediment cover, distribution of snow patches and icefoot , and accumulations of seaweed and driftwood. In general, rock cliff surfaces were the most resistant in their lower and middle zones, that are thermally insulated by thick winter snowdrifts. More exposed cliff tops were fractured and weathered. The differences in rock strength observed along the shore platforms were highly dependent on thickness of sediment cover and shoreline configuration promoting stronger rock surfaces in areas exposed to the longest wave fetch and washed from gravel deposits. Rock strength of skerry islands is influenced by tidal action controlling the duration of tide inundation and movement of sea-ice scratching boulder surfaces. The results presented in this paper emphasize the richness of rock coast geomorphology and processes operating in High Arctic settings.
... According to Long et al. (2012) the RSL in study area was about 40-45 m asl ca. 10,000 cal. ...
Article
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The pristine coasts of Spitsbergen, major island of Svalbard Archipelago provide a superb opportunity to quantify how High Arctic coasts are responding to glacier retreat and associated intensified sediment flux to the fjord and shelf zones. This study focuses on the mechanisms controlling the recent coastal evolution (1990–2009) in Northern Petuniabukta, one of the most sheltered bays of central Spitsbergen, characterised by a semi-arid subpolar climate, limited wave action and rapid retreat rate of all surrounding glaciers. The formation of the coastal landforms here was to a large degree dependent of the rate of sediment excavation from alluvial fans and outwash plains that developed across a wide coast plain between the glacier valleys and the fjord. During last two decades most of the sediments transported from proglacial zones has been accumulated on outwash plains and after reworking supplied a prograding tidal flat system. Despite sheltered location and drier climate the rates of coastal evolution in Petuniabukta are comparable to those seen along the W and S coasts of Spitsbergen.
... The Billefjorden RSL history is characterised by a fall from the local marine limit (40-45 m asl) during the early Holocene to reach present sea level by c. 3 ka cal BP, after which the RSL likely fell below present before rising to the current level (Long et al., 2012). A narrow graveldominated barrier (6 to 15 m wide) is typical of much of the Petuniabukta coast but, in the mouth of the Ebbaelva, it has developed into an 80 to 100 m wide beach-ridge plain ( Figure 2A) with five finger-like spits (numbered I-V). ...
Article
ABSTRACTWe reconstruct the behaviour of a High Arctic gravel-dominated beach complex that has developed in centralSpitsbergen, Svalbard, since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA). The studied coastal environment in northernBillefjorden (Petuniabukta) is characterised by limited wave action and ephemeral sediment delivery from non-glaciated, mainly snow-fed fans and talus slopes. Aerial photographic evidence and morpho-sedimentologicalobservations of a beach-ridge plain and spit complex in northern Billefjorden reveal a dynamic coastal system.During the post-LIA period, a prominent coastal barrier at the mouth of the Ebbaelva migrated seawards severaltens of metres and prograded northwards to form new spit systems, each>150 m in length. The post-LIA coastalevolution occurred in two main phases. In thefirst half of the 20thcentury, increased paraglacial sediment releasedby retreating land-based glaciers led to the development of a subaqueous spit platform and the progradation of anebb-tide delta into the mouth of the Ebbaelva, diverting its mouth to the northwest. In the second half of the 20thcentury, the barrier prograded onto this platform, promoting the development of three massive spits. Sedimentolog-ical data suggest that changes in beach-ridge composition that occurred during the 20thcentury are linked toepisodic sediment delivery from an adjacent permafrost and snow-fed alluvial fan and delta system. Our work pro-vides a basis for a new model of paraglacial barrier development that recognises the fundamental role of climateand sediment supply as two intimately connected processes that control coastal development in the High Arcticover decadal to centennial timescales.
... Profiles PT7 and PT8 were collected from an alluvial fan developed in the marginal zone of the Ebba Glacier with only profile PT8 being covered by tundra vegetation. Formation of the three groups of soils began at different periods: 14 ± 2.5 ka BP for profiles PT1, PT2 and PT3; during the LIA for PT5 and PT7 and after the LIA for PT4, PT6 and PT8 [22]. The lake sediments accumulated on the post-Pleistocene raised marine terrace [23]. ...
Article
This work provides the first results on activity concentrations, inventories and activity ratios of the artificial and natural fallout (¹³⁷Cs, ²³⁸Pu, ²³⁹⁺²⁴⁰Pu, ²⁴¹Am, ²¹⁰Pb) and lithogenic radionuclides (²²⁶Ra, ²²⁸Ra, ⁴⁰K) in soils and lake sediments of the inland Spitsbergen. The depths of activity peaks of the artificial radionuclides point to accumulation of up to 10 cm thick deposits during last 50 years. The activity ratios of the radionuclides suggest global fallout as their source. Despite low annual precipitation the inventories of fallout radionuclides in sites not affected by the secondary deposition agree with those reported from the more humid areas of Spitsbergen.
... One sample contained modern, post-bomb carbon, indicating a post-1960 age. To constrain the age of the sample, an approach applied for Svalbard by Long et al. (2012) was used, and the result was compared with 14 C marine bombspike curves obtained from cod otoliths of known age collected from the Barents Sea (Kalish et al., 2001) and from Arctica islandica annual growth bands in the Tromsø region of northern Norway (Scourse et al., 2012). The sample containing modern carbon was not corrected for reservoir age. ...
Article
Recent palaeogenetic studies have demonstrated the occurrence of preserved ancient DNA (aDNA) in various types of fossilised material. Environmental aDNA sequences assigned to modern species have been recovered from marine sediments dating to the Pleistocene. However, the match between the aDNA and the fossil record still needs to be evaluated for the environmental DNA approaches to be fully exploited. Here, we focus on foraminifera in sediments up to one thousand years old retrieved from the Hornsund fjord (Svalbard). We compared the diversity of foraminiferal microfossil assemblages with the diversity of aDNA sequenced from subsurface sediment samples using both cloning and high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Our study shows that 57% of the species archived in the fossil record were also detected in the aDNA data. However, the relative abundance of aDNA sequence reads and fossil specimens differed considerably. We also found a limited match between the stratigraphic occurrence of some fossil species and their aDNA sequences, especially in the case of rare taxa. The aDNA data comprised a high proportion of non-fossilised monothalamous species, which are known to dominate in modern foraminiferal communities of the Svalbard region. Our results confirm the relevance of HTS for studying past micro-eukaryotic diversity and provide insight into its ability to reflect fossil assemblages. Palaeogenetic studies including aDNA analyses of non-fossilised groups expand the range of palaeoceanographical proxies and therefore may increase the accuracy of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.
... (Kłysz et al. 1988. As a result of these processes, along the coast of the fjord elevated levels of wellpreserved marine terrace are developed, built mainly of gravel and sandy material, which can have larger or very fine grains locally, accumulated in a mar ginal (lagoon) conditions , Samołyk, Tylkowski 2009, Long et al. 2012. The thick ness of these deposits is generally 1-2 m, but in some cases (e.g., on the east coast of Petuniabukta at the foot of Wordiekammen), wellpreserved, builtup spitlike forms can reach up to 20 m. ...
Book
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This book, targeted at scientists and students, is a publication of the Association of Polish Geomorphologists (APG) and is a successful impression of the APG workshops and the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG/AIG) Regional Conference on Geomorphology in Spitsbergen. This is the first professional synthesis for all Polish scientific polar stations not only in geomorphological terms but also in geographical and geological dimensions. Moreover the book presents an extensive array of case studies from different parts of Spitsbergen. Publication is dedicated to Professor Alfred Jahn, famous Polish periglacial geomorphologist, who was the first to initiate an idea of publication of Spitsbergen monograph many years ago. This monograph is published as a monumental work of 66 authors, in English and Polish, in A4 format, containing 15 chapters on 456 pages with 213 full-color images and photographs as well as powerful list of bibliographic items. Those working and efficient in polar geomorphology, polar regions and allied areas, will find the text of immense value. The book can be ordered in Bogucki Scientific Publisher by e-mail ksiegarnia@bogucki.com.pl.
... This pattern might indicate that the presence of the local ice dome was short-lived (e.g., a feature of the latter stages of LW glaciation) or the ice was thinner in this area than our data suggest. Long et al. (2012) used radiocarbon dating of marine shells on raised beaches on central Spitsbergen to reconstruct changes in relative sea level and concluded that the ice load from local ice domes were too small to modify the regional pattern from the SBSIS. Salvigsen et al. (1995) used glacial striae and other ice movement indicators to identify LW ice movement in eastern Svalbard and the northern Barents Sea. ...
Article
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The chronology and configuration of the Svalbard Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBSIS) during the Late Weichselian (LW) are based on few and geographically scattered data. Thus, the timing and configuration of the SBSIS has been a subject of extensive debate. We present provenance data of erratic boulders and cosmogenic 10Be ages of bedrock and boulders from Northwest Spitsbergen (NWS), Svalbard to determine the thickness, configuration and chronology during the LW. We sampled bedrock and boulders of mountain summits and summit slopes, along with erratic boulders from coastal locations around NWS. We suggest that a local ice dome over central NWS during LW drained radially in all directions. Provenance data fromerratic boulders from northern coastal lowland Reinsdyrflya suggest northeastward ice flow through Liefdefjorden. 10Be ages of high-elevation erratic boulders in central NWS (687e836 m above sea level) ranging from 18.3 � 1.3 ka to 21.7 � 1.4 ka, indicate that the centre of a local ice dome was at least 300 m thicker than at present. 10Be ages of all high-elevation erratics (>400 m above sea level, central and coastal locations) indicate the onset of ice dome thinning at 25e20 ka. 10Be ages from erratic boulders on Reinsdyrflya ranging from 11.1 � 0.8 ka to 21.4 � 1.7 ka, indicate an ice cover over the entire Reinsdyrflya during LW and a complete deglaciation prior to the Holocene, but apparently later than the thinning in the mountains. Lack of moraine deposits, but the preservation of beach terraces, suggest that the ice covering this peninsula possibly was cold-based and that Reinsdyrflya was part of an inter ice-stream area covered by slow-flowing ice, as opposed to the adjacent fjord, which possibly was filled by a fast-flowing ice stream. Despite the early thinning of the ice sheet (25e20 ka) we find a later timing of deglaciation of the fjords and the distal lowlands. Several bedrock samples (10Be) from vertical transects in the centralmountains of NWS pre-date the LW, and suggest either ice free or pervasive coldbased ice conditions. Our reconstruction is aligned with the previously suggested hypothesis that a complex multi-dome ice-sheet-configuration occupied Svalbard and the Barents Sea during LW, with numerous drainage basins feeding fast ice streams, separated by slow flowing, possibly cold-based, inter ice-stream areas.
... General characteristic of the Billefjorden area geomorphology is dependent on tectonics, rock type distribution, and their diversified resistance to weathering and erosional processes. The ultimate relief is an effect of direct traces of multiscale Quaternary glaciations, from extensive early Pleistocene covers, repeated until the Last Glacial Maximum that reached the western margin of the archipelago shelf, through large ice streams shaping most expressive fjords and valleys, combined with glacioisostatic rebound, to the last retouch, responsible for the Little Ice Age (LIA) valley glaciers' marginal zones architecture ( Karczewski, 1995;Forman et al., 2004;Rachlewicz, 2010;Long et al., 2012). Cyclicality and differentiated direction of glaciations and their interaction with littoral processes shaped in a large extent basic features of the relief in the bottom of glacierized valleys and is mostly responsible for solute and sedimentary fluxes ( Karczewski et al., 1989;Kłysz et al., 1989;Karczewski et al., 1990;Rachlewicz, 2009a). ...
Chapter
Amplified climate change and ecological sensitivity of polar and cold climate environments are key global environment issues. Understanding how projected climate change will alter surface environments in these regions is only possible when present-day source-to-sink fluxes can be quantified. The book provides the first global synthesis and integrated analysis of environmental drivers and quantitative rates of solute and sedimentary fluxes in cold environments, and the likely impact of projected climate change. The focus on largely undisturbed cold environments allows ongoing climate change effects to be detected and, moreover, distinguished from anthropogenic impacts. A novel approach for coordinated and integrative process geomorphic research is introduced to enable better comparison between studies. This highly topical and multidisciplinary book, which includes case studies covering Arctic, Antarctic, and alpine environments, will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in the fields of geomorphology, sedimentology, and global environmental change.
... Over the past four decades, a wealth of data highlighting the patterns of postglacial emergence in the Barents Sea and constraining the extent and thickness of the last SvalbardeBarents sea ice sheet has been accumulated from the Svalbard archipelago (Blake, 1961;Hoppe et al., 1969;Birkenmejer and Olsson, 1970;Salvigsen, 1981;Salvigsen and Østerholm, 1982;Forman et al., 1987Forman et al., , 2004Landvik et al., 1987;Forman, 1990;Salvigsen et al., 1990;Salvigsen and Mangerud, 1991;Bondevik et al., 1995;Salvigsen and Slettemark, 1995;Ziaja and Salvigsen, 1995;Forman and Ingólfsson, 2000;Brückner et al., 2002;Long et al., 2012), as well as from Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land (Grosswald, 1963;Glazovskiy et al., 1992;Forman et al., 1996Forman et al., , 1997Forman et al., , 2004Zeeberg et al., 2001). These studies have greatly improved the resolution in the isostatic data and enhanced our understanding of the pattern of postglacial emergence and isostasy. ...
Article
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The history of research on the Late Quaternary SvalbardeBarents Sea ice sheet mirrors the developments of ideas and the shifts of paradigms in glacial theory over the past 150 years. Since the onset of scientific research there in the early 19th Century, Svalbard has been a natural laboratory where ideas and concepts have been tested, and played an important (but rarely acknowledged) role in the break-through of the Ice Age theory in the 1870’s. The history of how the scientific perception of the SvalbardeBarents sea ice sheet developed in the mid-20th Century also tells a story of how a combination of fairly scattered and often contradictory observational data, and through both deductive and inductive reasoning, could outline a major ice sheet that had left but few tangible fingerprints. Since the 1980’s, with increased terrestrial stratigraphical data, ever more marine geological evidence and better chronological control of glacial events, our perception of the SvalbardeBarents Sea ice sheet has changed. The first reconstructions depicted it as a static, concentric, single-domed ice sheet, with ice flowing from an ice divide over the central northern Barents Sea that expanded and declined in response to large-scale, Late Quaternary climate fluctuations, and which was more or less in tune with other major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. We now increasingly perceive it as a very dynamic, multidomed ice sheet, controlled by climate fluctuations, relative sea-level change, as well as subglacial topography, substrate properties and basal temperature. In this respect, the SvalbardeBarents Sea ice sheet will increasingly hold the key for understanding the dynamics and processes of how marine-based ice sheets build-up and decay.
... −6°C. For these sites, the time window for polygon network development is based on the deglaciation history (Farnsworth et al., 2020) and the Holocene relative sea-level history (Long et al., 2012) of Svalbard. For the lowest site (AD1), at ca. 10 m above sea level (a.s.l.), a window of <7 kyr is determined, while for the other three sites (AD2-3-4), at altitudes between ca. ...
Article
A series of polygon networks has been discovered on the most recent LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) DEM (Digital Elevation Model) of Flanders (Belgium) available in a resolution of 1 m². They are located in the sandy Campine area (northern Belgium) and resemble thermal contraction crack polygon networks from present-day permafrost regions. Different network types were observed, ranging from orthogonal to hexagonal and various combinations of these. The inter-polygon troughs are typically several decimeters deep and up to several meters wide. The average polygon size is ca. 3000 m², which is equivalent to a diameter of ca. 60 m if the polygon shape is approximated with a perfect circle, or a side of ca. 55 m length if it were to be approximated by a perfect square. The average size is (much) larger than any of the studied present-day analogues, and also larger than fossil networks in the western part of Flanders, Poland and France. In contrast to the Campine polygons presented here, the fossil analogues in these countries were detected using satellite imagery and orthophotos, which may partially explain the observed size differences. The morphometric analysis of the Campine networks shows relationships between polygon type and local geomorphological position as orthogonal networks seem to have a preference to develop near shallow valley slopes. In addition, GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) radargrams were acquired across polygon boundaries to investigate subsoil disturbances related to the former position of ice wedges or sand wedges. However, the evidence is not unequivocal due to the low dielectric contrast between the host and wedge material. It is not clear yet whether smaller 2nd and 3rd order cracks did develop but without leaving a topographical imprint. The observed polygon networks in the Campine area are interpreted as first-order networks that developed during a time span of several thousands of years, up to 10 kyr at most, in a former Late Weichselian permafrost climate.
... The obtained conventional 14 C ages were calibrated using the MARINE13 calibration with a marine reservoir effect of 400 years and a Delta R of 100 ± 39 years (Table 2; cf. Long et al., 2012). ...
Article
Understanding the role of fjords in modulating the long-term interaction between ice sheets and glaciers with the surrounding ocean requires the investigation of glacigenic landform and sediment archives. In Svalbard, there is a wealth of data from fjords in west Spitsbergen that constrains the glacial history of this sector of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBIS) since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and the nature and timing of subsequent ice retreat. In contrast, however, very little is known about the glacial history of fjords in east Spitsbergen.
... General underestimation of water depths may be due to the continuous presence of euryhaline species that adapt to relatively wide ranges of water depths and salinities across the neritic zone (see discussion in the next section). The magnitude of the decrease in water-depth from pre-to post-MWP-1B is estimated to be~40e80 m by the MODR method (Fig. 7), which is consistent with our interpretation of ostracod faunal change from Cluster D to Cluster B/C (as discussed above; Table 3) and also coarser time-resolution reconstructions from raised beaches (Forman, 1990;Bondevik et al., 1995;Forman et al., 2004;Long et al., 2012). ...
Article
Better understanding of deglacial meltwater pulses (MWPs) is imperative for future predictions of human-induced warming and abrupt sea-level change because of their potential for catastrophic damage. However, our knowledge of the second largest meltwater pulse MWP-1B that occurred shortly after the start of the Holocene interglacial remains very limited. Here, we studied fossil ostracods as paleoenvironmental indicators of water depth, salinity, and temperature in two marine sediment cores from Storfjorden, Svalbard margin (the Arctic Ocean), to investigate near-field (i.e. areas located beneath continental ice sheets at the Last Glacial Maximum) evidence of MWP-1B. The depositional environment changed from a cold bathyal environment to a warmer bathyal environment at ∼11,300 yr BP indicating incursion of warm Atlantic water into the Nordic seas, and eventually to a cold neritic environment by ∼11,000 yr BP because of melting of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet and resultant isostatic rebound. This process corresponds to rapid relative sea-level fall of 40–80 m of MWP-1B from ∼11,300 to 11,000 yr BP.
... The paraglacial source-to-sink sediment transport could be controlled by several elements as climate change (glaciers mass balance, modification in water drainage areas, and rainstorm events), tectonic activity, and sea-level variations (Ballantyne, 2002;Kirkbride & Deline, 2018). Much part of the Svalbard coasts is under glacioisostatic conditions and undergone a marine regression since 10,000 BP (Feyling-Hanssen, 1959, 1965Héquette & Ruz, 1989;Long, Strzelecki, Lloyd, & Bryant, 2012;Salvigsen, 1984). Since the end of the LIA, Svalbard coasts exposed from glaciers or supply in sediments by glacier rivers and form the coastal erosion of glacier landforms are good examples of modern paraglacial coastal systems. ...
... The paraglacial source-to-sink sediment transport could be controlled by several elements as climate change (glaciers mass balance, modification in water drainage areas, and rainstorm events), tectonic activity, and sea-level variations (Ballantyne, 2002;Kirkbride & Deline, 2018). Much part of the Svalbard coasts is under glacioisostatic conditions and undergone a marine regression since 10,000 BP (Feyling-Hanssen, 1959, 1965Héquette & Ruz, 1989;Long, Strzelecki, Lloyd, & Bryant, 2012;Salvigsen, 1984). Since the end of the LIA, Svalbard coasts exposed from glaciers or supply in sediments by glacier rivers and form the coastal erosion of glacier landforms are good examples of modern paraglacial coastal systems. ...
Conference Paper
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Only 1% of arctic areas have been studied enough to allow to describe the active quantitative processes. In the frame of Marine Bourriquen’s PhD thesis, we explored the way how polar coasts are impacted and record the actual climate changes. In the Kongsforden located in the northern part of the Svalbard, several costal systems, such as tidal flat areas and cliffs, have been studied using different methodologies. Results show that the glacier melting and the hydrographical network tend to increase the progradation of the deltas since the end of LIA. Since 1990, this trend is reversing with a major erosional phase, revealing the end of the paraglacial system. Regarding the cliffs, whatever are their lithologies and insolation, the marine actions have a noticeable influence on their evolution, but seem to be less determinant than the continental processes, although since 2005, the total sea ice cover has partially disappeared in the Kongsfjorden, and completely since 2012.
... There are many examples in which research on chenier plains or coarse clastic beach ridges has used radiocarbon, OSL, GPR, and lidar in various combinations to determine their evolution and a history of storms or sea level (e.g. Billy et al., 2015;Dougherty and Dickson, 2012;Hein et al., 2016;Hijma et al., 2017;Long et al., 2012;Morton et al., 2000;Neal et al., 2002;Weill et al., 2012). While the GOaL approach proposed in this paper is geared toward the more prevalent sandy prograded barriers, it could easily be applied to (and compared with data from) these other types of coastal settings. ...
Article
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Records of past sea levels, storms, and their impacts on coastlines are crucial for forecasting and managing future changes resulting from anthropogenic global warming. Coastal barriers that have prograded over the Holocene preserve within their accreting sands a history of storm erosion and changes in sea level. High-resolution geophysics, geochronology, and remote sensing techniques offer an optimal way to extract these records and decipher shoreline evolution. These methods include light detection and ranging (lidar) to image the lateral extent of relict shoreline dune morphology in 3-D, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to record paleo-dune, beach, and nearshore stratigraphy, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to date the deposition of sand grains along these shorelines. Utilization of these technological advances has recently become more prevalent in coastal research. The resolution and sensitivity of these methods offer unique insights on coastal environments and their relationship to past climate change. However, discrepancies in the analysis and presentation of the data can result in erroneous interpretations. When utilized correctly on prograded barriers these methods (independently or in various combinations) have produced storm records, constructed sea-level curves, quantified sediment budgets, and deciphered coastal evolution. Therefore, combining the application of GPR, OSL, and Lidar (GOaL) on one prograded barrier has the potential to generate three detailed records of (1) storms, (2) sea level, and (3) sediment supply for that coastline. Obtaining all three for one barrier (a GOaL hat-trick) can provide valuable insights into how these factors influenced past and future barrier evolution. Here we argue that systematically achieving GOaL hat-tricks on some of the 300+ prograded barriers worldwide would allow us to disentangle local patterns of sediment supply from the regional effects of storms or global changes in sea level, providing for a direct comparison to climate proxy records. Fully realizing this aim requires standardization of methods to optimize results. The impetus for this initiative is to establish a framework for consistent data collection and analysis that maximizes the potential of GOaL to contribute to climate change research that can assist coastal communities in mitigating future impacts of global warming.
... The paraglacial source-to-sink sediment transport could be controlled by several elements as climate change (glaciers mass balance, modification in water drainage areas and rainstorm events), tectonic activity and sea-level variations (Ballantyne, 2002;Kirkbride & Deline, 2018). Much part of the Svalbard coasts is under glacio-isostatic conditions and undergone a marine regression since 10 000 BP (Feyling-Hanssen, 1955, 1959-1960, 1965Salvigsen, 1984;Héquette & Ruz, 1989;Long et al., 2012). Since the end of the LIA, Svalbard coasts exposed from glaciers or supply in sediments by glacier rivers and form the coastal erosion of glacier landforms are good examples of modern paraglacial coastal systems. ...
Article
The aim of this paper is to quantify and map the impact of the post‐LIA climate change on the coastal evolution on three glacier catchments in the Kongsfjorden area in Svalbard. Climatic data at Ny‐Ålesund indicate an increase in the annual mean air temperature of +4°C from 1969 to 2016 and an increase in precipitation. On the northern coast of the Brøgger Peninsula, the Austre Lovénbreen, Midtre Lovénbreen and Vestre Lovénbreen glaciers have experienced a net retreat in response to changing meteorological conditions. Because of this retreat, the glaciers have disclosed a large area of 7 km² composed of terrigenous sediments. These sediments are transported by runoff and created coastal sandur deltas. Channel network behavior has been studied using the computation of the active floodplain width by photo‐interpretation, which decreased in average from 1966 to 2010. This demonstrated a contraction of the active braided belt and a decrease in the number of braided channels. A photo‐interpretation analysis combined with acquisition of dGPS data during field work shows a mean shoreline progradation of + 0.16 m/a‐1 from 1966 to 2016, with a maximal advance of + 82 m seaward. Since 1966 coastal progradation has decreased in time with higher mean values at the beginning of the studied period and an erosional trend from 1990. The sublittoral area was studied using analog side scan sonar in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2017. Three pro‐deltas were identified and underwent a huge extension from 2009 to 2017. In the light of this knowledge, our main conclusion is that, by retreating, glaciers have an impact on the sediment availability and on the capacity of the fluvial system to effectively transport sediment to the shoreline. These two factors control the overall coastal evolution by regulating the sediment supply to the coastal area. The coastal zones that were fed with sediments by runoff have experienced a coastal progradation and those that lost this supply have undergone a coastal recession. Due to the contraction of proglacial floodplains, current progradation concerns restricted coastal areas.
... (A) Svartknausflya, with radiocarbon ages from Salvigsen (1978). (B) Billefjorden, with radiocarbon ages from Long et al. (2012). (C) Kongsøya, with radiocarbon ages from Salvigsen (1981). ...
Article
About 60% of Svalbard is covered by glaciers today, but many of these glaciers were much reduced in size or gone in the Early Holocene. High resolution modeling of the glacial isostatic rebound reveals that the largest glaciers in Nordaustlandet and eastern Spitsbergen survived the Early Holocene warming, while the smaller, more peripheral glaciers, especially in the northwest, started to form about 5500 years ago, and reached 3/4 of their current size about 600 years ago. Relative sea level has been rising during the last few millennia in the north and western parts of Spitsbergen, while land still emerges in the remaining part of Svalbard. Here we show that this sea level rise in the northwest is caused by the regrowth of glaciers in the Mid- to Late Holocene that slowed down, and even reversed, the post-glacial isostatic uplift and caused the crust to subside over large areas of Spitsbergen.
... Recent years had also brought some advances in understanding of local coastal and fjord processes (e.g. Szczuciński et al. 2009;Strzelecki 2011;Long et al. 2012;Strzelecki et al. 2015, Strzelecki 2017). ...
Chapter
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Abstract: Pyramiden, Mimerbukta, central Spitsbergen, is an abandoned Russian town and coal mine with port and in¬dustrial infrastructure left in the coastal zone. This study investigates the impact of coastal zone changes and operation of geomorphological processes on Arctic town infrastructure. Using a combination of methods including geomorpholog¬ical mapping, geographical information systems analyses and environmental assessment techniques we have determined the most affected parts of the town and characterised the key geomorphological processes responsible for observed infrastructure damages and urban landscape changes. Main changes that occurred in town since the abandonment in 1998 were associated with glacio-fluvial processes leading to several floodings of town centre as well as intensification of periglacial processes leading to numerous debris flows and solifluction affecting stability of buildings. Exposure of mine waste, wrecks of heavy machines and decaying port infrastructure to coastal erosion are major threats along Pyramiden coastal zone. These results should inform local authorities and help them with decisions on Arctic coastal zone manage¬ment, particularly during planned re-opening of Pyramiden as a center of Arctic tourism and research.
... Many High Arctic archipelagos such as Svalbard, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya have experienced rapid coastal emergence or submergence related glacio-isostatic adjustment to deglaciation and associated with relative sea-level (RSL) changes (e.g. Forman et al., 2004;Long et al., 2012). Therefore, High Arctic rocky coastlines provide an excellent test area for various hypotheses in shore platform development in periglacial conditions as yet described mainly on lacustrine examples from Scotland (Sissons, 1978;Dawson et al., 1987), Norway (Matthews et al., 1986;Dawson et al., 1987;Shakesby and Matthews, 1987;Aarseth and Fosgen, 2004) and Canada (Trenhaile, 2004). ...
Article
This paper presents the results of an investigation into the processes controlling development of a cryo-conditioned rock coast system in Hornsund, Svalbard. A suite of nested geomorphological and geophysical methods have been applied to characterise the functioning of rock cliffs and shore platforms influenced by lithological control and geomorphic processes driven by polar coast environments. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys have been used to investigate permafrost control on rock coast dynamics and reveal the strong interaction with marine processes in High Arctic coastal settings. Schmidt hammer rock tests, demonstrated strong spatial control on the degree of rock weathering (rock strength) along High Arctic rock coasts. Elevation controlled geomorphic zones are identified and linked to distinct processes and mechanisms, transitioning from peak hardness values at the ice foot through the wave and storm dominated scour zones to the lowest values on the cliff tops, where the effects of periglacial weathering dominate. Observations of rock surface change using a traversing micro-erosion meter (TMEM) indicate that significant changes in erosion rates occur at the junction between the shore platform and the cliff toe, where rock erosion is facilitated by frequent wetting and drying and operation of nivation and sea ice processes (formation and melting of snow patches and icefoot complexes). The results are synthesised to propose a new conceptual model of High Arctic rock coast systems, with the aim of contributing towards a unifying concept of cold region landscape evolution and providing direction for future research regarding the state of polar rock coasts.
... The northern Billefjorden region was glacio-isostatically uplifted in response to local deglaciation, and associated sea level fall was up to 90 m during the Middle to Late Weichselian and the Holocene (Salvigsen, 1984;Kłysz et al., 1988Kłysz et al., , 1989Szczuciński and Rachlewicz, 2007). Dating of marine shells and sediments showed that marine terraces above 20 m asl, where all the investigated lower-elevated sorted circles and polygons occur, formed before c. 8.7 cal kyr BP, the terrace sequence up to 40-45 m asl dates from c. 10 cal kyr BP (Long et al., 2012) to 12.8 kyr (van der Meij et al., 2016, and terraces up to 80 m asl are attributed to the Middle Weichselian (Kłysz et al., 1988(Kłysz et al., , 1989. However, the highest terrace sequence was probably ice-covered during the LGM (Landvik et al., 1998). ...
Article
Sorted circles and polygons are widespread features of periglacial landscapes, but the controls on their development remain poorly understood, impeding their use as palaeoenvironmental indicators. We investigate the relationship of sorted circles and polygons to altitude in the northern Billefjorden area, central Svalbard. The patterns occur in two distinct elevation zones, below 200–250 m asl and above 600 m asl. The higher-elevated patterns have smaller diameters and shallower sorting depths due to a thinner active layer at higher elevations, suggesting that sorted patterns can indicate climate conditions and ground thermal state when the patterns initiated. Geology is believed to be of less importance for pattern morphology in the study area, causing only its fine-scale variations. The pattern diameter-to-sorting depth ratios have a median value of 3.57, consistent with previous studies and theoretical models of patterned-ground formation involving circulation mechanisms. Large-scale sorted patterns may develop over centennial timescales in this high-Arctic environment. They are probably not in equilibrium with present-day climate conditions and have probably formed throughout the Holocene.
Chapter
This work deals with the granulometric and geochemical features of sediments collected at the foreshore of Tetouan beaches (NW Morocco) and at the mouth of the local five main watercourses in order to establish the links between the continental and coastal areas. The littoral, which underwent a great increase of human pressure in past decades, records great erosion rates that menace different human settlements and natural features of great environmental importance such as dune ridges, fossil cliffs and coastal lagoon. Specifically, the analysis of sediment samples collected along the Tetouan littoral made possible the characterization of the transport and depositional environments as well as the determination of sediment characteristics that are closely related to the geology and hydrology of adjacent basin areas and the relationship among long shore transport and the influence of human activities and natural coastal features that influence the geochemical composition of coastal sediments. The sedimentological studies support coastal monitoring programs for suitable coastal protection and beach nourishment projects. Analyzed beach sediments are essentially composed by quartz-rich sand and can be clearly distinguished two different sectors: (i) the first one, between Ras Mazari and Cabo Negro headlands, is characterized by medium sand, from well to very well-sorted, main sedimentary supplies to the littoral being provided by Martil River; (ii) the second one, between Cabo Negro and Ceuta headlands, consists of coarse to very coarse sediments, poorly sorted, main sedimentary inputs being related to biogenic sources and to the erosion of metamorphic rocks from Cabo Negro headland.
Article
Postglacial emergence curves are used to infer mantle rheology, delimit ice extent, and test models of the solid Earth response to changing ice and water loads. Such curves are rarely produced by direct dating of land emergence; rather, most rely on the presence of radiocarbon-datable organic material and inferences made between the age of sedimentary deposits and landforms indicative of former sea level. Here, we demonstrate a new approach, ¹⁰ Be dating, to determine rates of postglacial land emergence in two different settings. In southern Greenland (Narsarsuaq/Igaliku), we date directly the exposure, as relative sea level fell, of gravel beaches and rocky outcrops allowing determination of rapid, post–Younger Dryas emergence. In western Greenland (Kangerlussuaq), we constrain Holocene isostatic response by dating the sequential stripping of terrace sediment driven by land-surface uplift, relative sea-level fall, and resulting fluvial incision. The technique we employ provides high temporal and elevation resolution important for quantifying rapid emergence immediately after deglaciation and less rapid uplift during the middle Holocene. ¹⁰ Be-constrained emergence curves can improve knowledge of relative sea-level change by dating land emergence along rocky coasts, at elevations and locations where radiocarbon-datable sediments are not present, and without the lag time needed for organic material to accumulate.
Article
The 3D geometrical evolution of the Barents Sea Ice Sheet (BSIS), particularly during its late-glacial retreat phase, remains largely ambiguous due to the paucity of direct marine- and terrestrial-based evidence constraining its horizontal and vertical extent and chronology. One way of validating the numerous BSIS reconstructions previously proposed is to collate and apply them under a wide range of Earth models and to compare prognostic (isostatic) output through time with known relative sea-level (RSL) data. Here we compare six contrasting BSIS load scenarios via a spherical Earth system model and derive a best-fit, χ 2 parameter using RSL data from the four main terrestrial regions within the domain: Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya and northern Norway. Poor χ 2 values allow two load scenarios to be dismissed, leaving four that agree well with RSL observations. The remaining four scenarios optimally fit the RSL data when combined with Earth models that have an upper mantle viscosity of 0.2-2 × 1021 Pa s, while there is less sensitivity to the lithosphere thickness (ranging from 71 to 120 km) and lower mantle viscosity (spanning 1-50 × 1021 Pa s). GPS observations are also compared with predictions of present-day uplift across the Barents Sea. Key locations where relative sea-level and GPS data would prove critical in constraining future ice-sheet modelling efforts are also identified.
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Preserved beach and foredune ridges may serve as proxies for coastal change, reflecting alterations in sea level, wave energy, or past sediment fluxes. In particular, time-varying shoreface sediment budgets have been inferred from the relative size of foredune ridges through application of radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating to these systems over the last decades. However, geochronological control requires extensive field investigation and analysis. Purely field-based studies might also overlook relationships between the mechanics of sediment delivery to the shoreface and foredune ridges, missing insights about sensitivity to changes in sediment budget. We therefore propose a simple geomorphic model of beach/foredune ridge and swale morphology to quantify the magnitude of changes in cross-shore sediment budget, employing field measurements of ridge volume, ridge spacing, elevation, and shoreline progradation. Model behaviors are constrained by the partitioning of sediment fluxes to the shoreface and foredune ridge, and can be used to reproduce several cross-shore patterns observed in nature. These include regularly spaced ridges (‘washboards’), large singular ridges, and wide swales with poorly developed ridges. We evaluate our model against well-preserved ridge and swale systems at two sites along the Virginia Eastern Shore (USA): Fishing Point, for which historical records provide a detailed history of shoreline progradation and ridge growth, and Parramore Island, for which a relatively more complex morphology developed over a poorly constrained period of prehistoric growth. Our results suggest this new model could be used to infer the sensitivity of field sites across the globe to variations in sediment delivery.
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Paper described geomorphological characteristics of landform sets which occur on research areas investigated by Polish geomorphologists on Spitsbergen. These area involve four areas along the western coast of Spitsbergen, i.e. vicinities of the Kaffiøyra, the Werenskioldbreen, the Calyp-sostranda, and the Hornsund, as wel as one area located in the central part of Spitsbergen, i.e. vicinity of Billefjord with special emphasis on surroundings of the Petuniabkukta. Landforms are characterized in different morphogenetic terms, mainly glacial, peryglacial, deundational, slope, fluvial, even eolian factors and processes.
Chapter
The objective of this chapter is to present a broad survey of landforms that are indicators of past sea levels. These landforms are either erosional landforms formed in resistant materials, constructional biologic indicators, or coastal deposits. The chapter initially discusses coralline features as indicators of past sea levels, starting with late Pleistocene coralline terraced landforms and then discussing coral microatolls as relatively precise late Holocene paleogeodetic tools. The chapter then discusses erosional geomorphic indicators of past sea level, beginning with stair-stepped flights of late Pleistocene marine terraces. The chapter then discusses late Holocene shore platform-sea cliff junctions as sea-level indicators. After addressing notches as sea-level indicators, the chapter finally discusses depositional features on the coast as indicators of past sea levels and concentrates discussion on beach ridges.
Article
In this study, the distribution, morphometry and morphology of alluvial fans and colluvial cones were investigated in a high-Arctic, periglacial environment. The main aims were to present their surface morphology types, analyse the relationship between the morphometric properties of fans and their catchments, and to investigate potential factors controlling the morphometry of fans. Data from a set of 297 fan-shaped landforms in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard, were presented and analysed to ascertain factors likely to influence their distribution and character. First, based on the dominant morphological processes, the studied landforms were divided into three groups: fluvial-flow-dominated fans, debris-flow-dominated fans, and colluvial fans. Then, to analyse the relationship between fans and their catchments, 20 variables were investigated. Those analyses indicate that small catchments, characterised by a low relief and high Melton's R number, tend to produce small and steep fans. This tendency was most visible for colluvial fans and debris-flow-dominated fans but less so for fluvial-flow-dominated fans. The latter tend to adjust stronger to the local topography. However, in all cases, these associations were weaker than in morphometry studies based on data from other climatic settings. The most important controls on the distribution of the studied fan-shaped landforms seem to be the availability of accommodation space (related to deglaciation time) and local erosion base level.
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In northern Greenland, the Cape Grinnell beach ridge plain offers a 9,000 year multi-proxy record for isostatic recovery, storm history, and the hydrological changes related to precipitation and slope evolution. The chronology of uplifted beach ridges is constrained by ten geological 14C ages on shell and sea mammal bones and eleven upper limiting ages from archaeological sites that span the last 3,000 years. Beach ridges formed under the influence of open water storms with renewed frequency and intensity ca. 3 ka and 1 ka ago. A lack of shell may reflect cooler sea surface temperatures. The presence and absence of ice can be inferred by push-features. Three intervals of heightened precipitation produced extensive fan deltas: (a) after 9 ka BP (b) prior to 4.5 ka BP and (c) during the Little Ice Age (AD 1350-1900). Active solifluction lobes and colluvia cover beach ridge deposits that are between 9 and 7 ka old.
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Within the sequence of marine and glacial sediments from the northeastern Billefjorden region, Central Spitsbergen, five glacial episodes are distinguished. Two of them are referred to the late Pleistocene: the older, about 87 ka, which remains unnamed, and the younger, about 40-56 ka, which is named the Petuniabukta-Adolfbukta Stage and correlated with the Billefjorden Stage from the Kapp Ekholm section. The other three glacial episodes are referred to the Holocene: the oldest, about 8-9 ka (and named the Ebbadalen-Thomsondalen Stage), the middle, probably about 2-3 ka, and the youngest, correlated with the Little Ice Age. -from Authors
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Hormes, A., Akçar, N. & Kubik, P. W. 2011: Cosmogenic radionuclide dating indicates ice-sheet configuration during MIS 2 on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. Boreas, 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2011.00215.x. ISSN 0300-9483.0300-9843 Glacial geological field surveys, aerial image interpretation and cosmogenic radionuclide (CRN) dating allowed us to reconstruct the ice-sheet configuration on Nordaustlandet, the northernmost island of the European sector on the margin of the Arctic Ocean. The timing of deglaciation was investigated by determining the 26Al and 10Be ages of glacially scoured bedrock, weathered periglacial blockfields and glacial erratic boulders. Only 10Be ages were useful for our interpretations, because of unresolved analytical problems with 26Al. Fjords and lowlands on Nordaustlandet yielded Late Weichselian 10Be ages, indicating that actively erosive ice streams scoured the coastal fjord bathymetry during marine isotope stage (MIS) 2. In Murchisonfjorden, ground-truthed air-photograph interpretation and 10Be ages of boulders indicated a cold-based glacier ice cover during MIS 2 on higher plateaus. 10Be ages and lithological studies of erratic boulders on higher and interior plateaus of Prins Oscars Land (>200–230 m a.s.l.) suggest that the Mid-Weichselian glaciation (MIS 4) might have been more extensive than that during MIS 2.
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Study of a Holocene fan delta in Adventfjorden, Spitsbergen, provides new insight into the nature of high-arctic coastal sedimentation and deglaciation dynamics. The fjord-side, gravelly Gilbert-type fan delta began to form at the local marine limit c. 10 ka BP, supplied seasonally with sediment by meltwater from a cirque glacier left behind by the retreating Late Weichselian ice sheet. Relative sea level had fallen by 63 m, and the fan delta reached a radius of c. 1 km by 6 ka BP, when the relic glacier eventually melted down and fluvial activity declined. A strong influence of marine processes is recorded by the fan-delta foreset facies, overlain by alluvium. Supplied with sediment by longshore drift, the fan-delta front continued to advance at a lower rate, while relative sea level fell further by 5 m and ceased to fall around 5·4 ka BP. The following transgression was countered by longshore sediment supply until 4·7 ka BP, when the delta-front beach aggraded and a spit platform began to climb onto the delta plain, recording a relative sea-level rise of 4 m. The subsequent regression was initially non-depositional, with the relative sea level falling by > 4 m in 200 years, outpacing fluvial supply, and the re-emerging fan delta being swept by longshore currents. A regressive beach began to form c. 4·3 ka BP, while relative sea level gradually reached its present-day position. The feeder braided stream was wandering across the delta plain during this time, but incised once the fan-delta shoreline began to retreat by wave erosion and turned into a receding modern escarpment. The stream has since been adjusting its profile by gradually eroding the pre-existing alluvium and distributing the coarse sediment supplied from catchment slopes by debrisflows and snow avalanches. Modern snowflows have also spread debris onto the abandoned fan surface. The erosional retreat of the fan delta has been accompanied by lateral shoreline accretion on both its sides. The study has important regional implications and demonstrates that Holocene fan deltas can provide a valuable record of the deglaciation history in high-arctic terrains, where glacial deposits are scarcely preserved on land.
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The timing, extent and configuration of the Late Weichselian Barents ice sheet has been debated for several decades. This debate has arisen largely because of the limited or conflicting field evidence on which most models have been based. In particular, reconstruction of the marine parts of the former Barents ice sheet has been controversial. This paper aims to review the geological observations and interpretations regarding the size and timing of the Late Weichselian ice sheet, combined with numerical modelling of its formation in order to produce a reconstruction of ice sheet extent and behaviour. Sub-glacial till with overlying glacimarine deposits dated to the Late Weichselian is found over most of the Barents Sea floor and the continental shelf west of Svalbard. Glacially induced debris flow deposits on the large Bjønøya and Isfjorden trough mouth fans strongly support the idea of ice sheet extension to the shelf edge during maximum glaciation. Isobase maps show a centre of post-glacial uplift in the north-central Barents Sea, and glaciological and isostatic modelling suggest that the ice sheet was 2000–3000 m thick in this area. The ice sheet was confluent with ice over the Kara Sea, but the interaction between the Barents and Kara ice sheets is not yet fully understood. The deglaciation of the Barents ice sheet started ca 15 ka, probably by calving within the deeper troughs. By 12 ka, most of the central Barents Sea was ice free, and ice remained over the Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaja Zemlya archipelagos and adjacent shallow shelf areas. The coasts and fjords of these islands were ice free by 10 ka.
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The pattern of postglacial emergence in the Barents Sea is pivotal to constraining the timing of deglaciation and extent and thickness of the last ice sheet in northern Eurasia. This review unites records of Holocene relative sea level from Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, and Novaya Zemlya to better understand the geometries of past ice sheet loads. Emergence data from northern Eurasia confine the maximum area of glacier loading to the northwestern Barents Sea, where >100 m of emergence is measured on Kongsøya. Deglacial unloading commenced on western and northern Spitsbergen c. 13¿12 14C ka ago, and by c. 10.5 14C ka on eastern Svalbard and more distal sites on Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya. The marine limit phase (c. 13¿12 14C ka) on western and northern Spitsbergen is characterized by the construction of spits indicating a dominance of long-shore drift over storm-generated fetch, reflecting extensive sea-ice coverage of coastal areas. At sites in proximity to the ice sheet margin on western and northern Spitsbergen there is evidence for a transgressive¿regressive cycle c. 6¿4 14C ka, possibly reflecting back migration of displaced mantle material. A modern transgression is inferred from the marine erosion of 17th century cultural features and 14C ages of whalebone and terrestrial peat buried by modern storm gravels that place sea level at its present position by c. 2 to 1 ka ago. The greatest observed emergence on Franz Josef Land occurs on Bell Island, with a marine limit at 49 m aht, formed c. >10 14C ka. Available emergence data since 9 ka show rising strandlines toward the southwest at 0.3 m/km. The northern limit of emergence on Franz Josef Land is poorly constrained because relative sea-level data is sparse north of 80°30¿N. In contrast to Svalbard and Franz Josef Land, the marine limit on northern Novaya Zemlya is only 10¿15 m above high tide and formed between 6.5 and 5.0 14C ka when global sea level was stabilizing. All sites show little apparent emergence during the past 2 ka, with the youngest raised landforms at identical heights to storm beaches. This minimal glacio-isostatic signature on Novaya Zemlya and on Vaygach Island, where deglaciation commenced >10 ka ago, indicates ice sheet thicknesses of <1.5 km. The spatial variation in emergence for the Barents Sea indicates that western and northern Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya were near the reactive margin of the ice sheet and these areas sustained the briefest ice coverage (2¿6 ka) and were probably not in isostatic equilibrium. In contrast, central and eastern Svalbard and southern Franz Josef Land were beneath a substantial ice load and probably sustained this load for c. 10 14C ka and achieved isostatic equilibrium. Isostasy residual from an ice sheet model portrays well the general pattern of uplift and load response at the centre of ice sheets, but deviates substantial at the ice sheet margin or areas covered by thin ice, like Novaya Zemlya.
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Radiocarbon measured in seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) can be used to investigate ocean circulation, atmosphere/ocean carbon flux, and provide powerful constraints for the fine-tuning of general circulation models (GCMs). Time series of 14C in seawater are derived most frequently from annual bands of hermatypic corals. However, this proxy is unavailable in temperate and polar oceans. Fish otoliths, calcium carbonate auditory, and gravity receptors in the membranous labyrinths of teleost fishes, can act as proxies for 14C in most oceans and at most depths. Arcto-Norwegian cod otoliths are suited to this application due to the well-defined distribution of this species in the Barents Sea, the ability to determine ages of individual Arcto-Norwegian cod with a high level of accuracy, and the availability of archived otoliths collected for fisheries research over the past 60 years. Using measurements of 14C derived from Arcto-Norwegian cod otoliths, we present the first pre- and post-bomb time series (1919-1992) of 14C from polar seas and consider the significance of these data in relation to ocean circulation and atmosphere/ocean flux of 14C. The data provide evidence for a minor Suess effect of only 0.2% per year between 1919 and 1950. Bomb 14C was evident in the Barents Sea as early as 1957 and the highest 14C value was measured in an otolith core from a cod with a birth date of 1967. The otolith 14C data display key features common to records of 14C obtained from a Georges Bank mollusc and corals from the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic. © 2001 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.
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More than one hundred beach ridges formed in northern Andréeland (Spitsbergen) during the Lateglacial and Holocene deglaciation. These uplifted shorelines reflect times when (a) glacio-isostatic rebound was stronger than glacio-eustatic transgression, and when (b) littoral morphodynamics were possible due to the retreat of the glacier and seasonally sea-ice free conditions in the fjord at the respective site. The latter was only possible in times when the warm West Spitsbergen Current, the northernmost extension of the Gulf Stream, was strong enough to reach 80° N latitude, thus dominating the cold Transpolar Drift. Therefore, the uplifted beach ridges may serve as an excellent terrestrial geo-archive for palaeo-oceanography. The first pulse of the West Spitsbergen Current after LGM is traceable during the Bølling; some beach pebbles from this period were later integrated into the terminal moraine of the readvancing glaciers during the Older Dryas ("Vårfluesjøen Stage"). The next pulse of this warm ocean current triggered the onset of the so far oldest dated fjord bottom sediments at the end of the Older Dryas. Beach ridge system I testifies to open waters during the Allerød Interstadial. During the Younger Dryas, the pack ice limit was further south even in the summer months; therefore, permanent sea ice blocked any beach ridge formation. The warm West Spitsbergen Current re-emerged at the end of the Younger Dryas, stabilized at the beginning of the Holocene and has not collapsed since. Preboreal and early Boreal were the major depositional phases of prominent beach ridges, lasting in northern Andréeland at least until 8,800 14C-years BP. During the Atlantic, the innermost parts of the main fjords were deglaciated (at the latest 6,000 14C-years BP) and the major phase of glacio-isostasy was terminating. Since then the ongoing transgression and the exposition to wave action have formed many active cliffs, thereby abrading the lowermost beach ridges. The ice offloading effect is documented in strong glacio-isostatic uplift: 9,800 14C-years old beach sediments which are now at an altitude of 33 m asl. testify to an absolute emergence of c. 70 m, since sea level was then at a glacio-eustatic position of around -35 m. The landscape evolution of northern Andréeland since LGM is summarized in table 2.
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Extensive floors of well-developed ancient trough-like valleys around Petuniabukta were subject to glacial, marine and alterations caused by gravity movements during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Palaeogeographical changes took place and are still occurring under the influence of land uplifting movements. The earliest recognizable phase of glaciation occurred during the so called Billefjorden Stage about 35 000 to 45 000 years ago. This glacial episode was followed by morphological alterations conditioned largely by the action of sea and gravitational factors. About 6500 years BP a short-term, though rather extensive glacier advance took place and afterwards, the processes of marine morphogenesis recurred. -from Authors
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Marine features are found up to c120m above sea level and sea levels up to 70m are dated here. Dates on 20 driftwood samples and 3 whalebones give an emergence curve starting at 9500 yr BP. The rate of emergence was high from 9500 to 7500 BP and low in the period 7500 - 5500 BP. Uplift has been insignificant during the last 1500 yr. The only pumice level found is dated to c4500 BP.-from Author
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Twenty-three radiocarbon datings of driftwood, whalebones, and shells from Kong Karls Land are presented. An emergence curve for eastern Kongsøya shows that a shoreline displacement of more than 100 m has taken place during the Holocene. The rate of emergence is high, about 4 m/100 years during the first one thousand years and 0.3 m/100 years during the last thousand years. Two levels with high concentrations of pumice have been dated by driftwood samples with ages of 5240±70 years and 3110±80 years. Driftwood seems to have floated ashore throughout most of the Holocene. The about 9000 years old driftwood had an unexpected high percentage of Salix sp. (40%) and a low percentage of Larix sp (25%). The occurrence of American species was also remarkable. The emergence curve presented is the strongest evidence in favour of a Late Weichselian ice sheet over Kong Karls Land. Glacial striae show that the last ice movements have taken place from the north-northwest and the north. Six driftwood, whalebone and shell datings gave Middle Weichselian ages (or older), indicating that numerous interstadial sediments have survived the last glaciation in Kong Karls Land.
Article
Age determinations on marine mollusks indicate that the northwestern part of Jones Sound became open to the sea more than 9000 conventional radiocarbon years ago. The presence of postglacial marine features at elevations of up to 130 m near Cape Storm, Ellesmere Island, shows that a significant thickness of glacier ice was present in this area, and the differential uplift of pumice and other materials associated with raised beaches provides convincing evidence that the former ice cover was thicker to the west and to the north. Numerous cross-checks have shown that in such an Arctic environment the organic (collagen) fraction of whale bones gives reliable results, as opposed to the bone apatite fraction, which commonly yields ages that are too young. Marine mollusks also are reliable for 14C age determinations, and the evidence available from areas of carbonate rocks in the Queen Elizabeth Islands suggests that the ages of marine mollusks are no more than 350 years older than the ages of contemporaneous terrestrial plants. Near Cape Storm over fifty 14C age determinations on driftwood, whale bone, and marine mollusks have permitted the construction of a curve showing the pattern of emergence over the past 9000 to 9500 years. Emergence between 9000 and 8000 years ago proceeded at a rate of 7 m/century, and over one-half of the total emergence (70 m out of 130 m) since the initial incursion of the sea took place during this interval. By 6500 to 4500 years ago emergence had slowed to 0.8 m/century, and for the last 2400 years it has averaged <0.3 m/century. The age determinations are sufficiently numerous and closely-spaced, especially between 6500 and 4400 years B. P., to indicate that fluctuations of sea level have not exceeded amplitudes of 2 m or periods >500 years. The concentration of the pumice and the nature of the features associated with it suggest that its deposition may be related to: 1) a eustatic rise close to 5000 years ago; 2) a period of more open water, when wave action and storm surges would have been more effective; 3) a combination of these two factors. The formation of the strandline where the pumice occurs is not believed to be related to a slowing-down or cessation of uplift due to the thickening of ice caps and glaciers.
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High-resolution seismic data from the Isfjorden area, Spitsbergen, have been analysed in order to 1) establish a conceptual model that can be used as a helpful tool to establish stratigraphies and chronologies in Spitsbergen fjords, and 2) to reconstruct the deglaciation pattern in the study area, with particular focus on glacier dynamics during the Allerød, Younger Dryas and the earliest Holocene. The stratigraphy is divided into seven units. Unit S1 contains subglacial deposits from the last glacial, but probably also deposits of various origins, predating the last glacial. Unit S2 is compo-sed of glacier-frontal deposits, reflecting halts and readvances during the deglaciation of the study area between c. 14,100 and 11,200 cal. years BP (calendar years before the present). Single and multiple sediment wedges comprising unit S3 reflect sediment reworking during the deglaciation. Unit S4 includes glacimarine sediments that reflect frequent changes in the physical environment (sub-unit S4a), as well as more stable physical environments with occasional ice-rafting (sub-unit S4b) during the deglaciation. A brief event of enhanced ice-rafting terminated the deposition of sub-unit S4b. Relatively homogeneous sediments were deposited in a glacimarine environment with reduced ice rafting between c. 11,200 and c. 9000 cal. years BP (unit S5). More heterogeneous deposits comprising unit S6 are related to increased ice rafting during the last c. 9000 years. Unit S7 contains deposits and landforms that were deposited during and after glacier advances related to the Little Ice Age cooling and to surges. The deglaciation of the Isfjorden area was interrupted by several halts and readvances of the glacier fronts. During the Younger Dryas, glacier fronts probably advanced up to 25 kms in eastern/central parts, and at least 7 kms in the western parts of the study area.
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Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a complex mixture of molecules found throughout the worlds oceans. It plays a key role in the export, distribution, and sequestration of carbon in the oceanic water column, posited to be a source of atmospheric climate regulation. Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter, Second Edition, focuses on the chemical constituents of DOM and its biogeochemical, biological, and ecological significance in the global ocean, and provides a single, unique source for the references, information, and informed judgments of the community of marine biogeochemists. Presented by some of the worlds leading scientists, this revised edition reports on the major advances in this area and includes new chapters covering the role of DOM in ancient ocean carbon cycles, the long term stability of marine DOM, the biophysical dynamics of DOM, fluvial DOM qualities and fate, and the Mediterranean Sea. Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter, Second Edition, is an extremely useful resource that helps people interested in the largest pool of active carbon on the planet (DOC) get a firm grounding on the general paradigms and many of the relevant references on this topic. Features up-to-date knowledge of DOM, including five new chapters The only published work to synthesize recent research on dissolved organic carbon in the Mediterranean Sea Includes chapters that address inputs from freshwater terrestrial DOM.
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Swath bathymetry data and one sediment core were used to improve the understanding of the Late Weichselian and Holocene glacier activity in Billefjorden, Svalbard. Grounded ice existed in Billefjorden prior to 11.23 cal ka BP (calendar years before present), depositing a basal till and producing glacial lineations. The glacier front retreated from the central parts to the inner parts of the fjord between c. 11.23 and 11.2 cal ka BP. Annual recessional moraines suggest that this retreat occurred at a rate of up to 170 m a -1. During the early Holocene, the glacier Nordenskiöldbreen was comparatively small and sediment supply to central Billefjorden occurred mainly from the fjord sides. An increase in ice rafting around 7930 cal a BP is ascribed to enhanced sea-ice formation. The activity of Nordenskiöldbreen increased around 5470 cal a BP. Ice rafting was generally low during the past c. 3230 a. This was most likely related to the formation of a more permanent sea-ice cover. Nordenskiöldbreen reached its maximum Holocene extent around AD 1900, generating glacial lineations and depositing a terminal moraine in the inner fjord. Annual recessional moraines were formed during its subsequent retreat. Icebergs from Nordenskiöldbreen generated iceberg ploughmarks during the late Holocene.
Article
We present and discuss quasi-continuous long-term (CO2)-C-14 observations from the continental background station Schauinsland (48 degrees N, 8 degrees E, 1205 m asl, Black Forest, southern Germany). The observed steady decline of atmospheric (CO2)-C-14 from 1977 to 1996 can be described by a single exponential function with an e-folding time of(16.3 +/- 0.2) yr. Summer means (May to August) in atmospheric (CO2)-C-14 at Schauinsland compare within Delta(14)C = +/-4 parts per thousand with measurements made on individual rings from a tree grown in the near vicinity of the Schauinsland site. Both data sets are slightly depleted by up to 5 parts per thousand if compared to maritime background measurements of atmospheric (1)4CO(2) made at Izana, Tenerife. This is due to the influence of fossil fuel CO2 emissions over the European continent as well as generally in mid latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. delta(13)C analyses from the Schauinsland samples show mean seasonal variations with an amplitude of +/-0.4 parts per thousand, caused by atmosphere-biosphere exchange, and a mean decrease from 1977 to 1996 of delta(13)C = -0.017 parts per thousand yr(-1). This trend is mainly due to an increasing quantity of fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere, depleted in C-13/C-12 ratio, and compares well to trends measured at other stations in mid-to-high northern latitudes.
Article
More than 130 new radiocarbon dates form the basis for 14 emergence curves for Prince of Wales and adjacent smaller islands. These curves and 14 additional curves from a large surrounding area are the primary basis for a set of central Arctic isobase maps. During and just after deglaciation the Boothia Arch was reactivated, producing 60-120m of relief on the regionally elevated 9.3 ka shoreline. This deformation could have the form of a symmetrical ridge or a ridge with a fault zone on its western side. The ridge is flanked on the west by a large isobase plateau where the emerged 9.3 ka shoreline has little gradient. The 8 ka and younger shorelines are not affected by the Boothia Arch, but the Prince of Wales Island isobase plateau persisted as the predominant regional isobase feature throughout postglacial time. The emergence history of Prince of Wales Island since 8 ka can be described by a single exponential least squares regression curve based entirely on 41 driftwood dates. Addition of two select shell dates produces a curve for the area of earliest deglaciation at about 11 ka. The half-response time - the time during which one half of remaining emergence is accomplished - is 2000 years. -from Authors
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Three modes of reporting ¹⁴ C activities are in use, in part analogous to the internationally accepted (IAEA) conventions for stable isotopes: (1) absolute activity , the specific activity of ¹⁴ C or the activity per gram of carbon; (2) activity ratio , the ratio between the absolute activities of a sample and the standard; and (3) relative activity , the difference between the absolute activities of a sample and standard material, relative to the absolute standard activity. The basic definitions originate from decisions made by the radiocarbon community at its past conferences. Stuiver and Polach (1977) reviewed and sought to specify the definitions and conventions. Several colleagues, however, have experienced inadequacies and pitfalls in the definitions and use of symbols. Furthermore, the latter have to be slightly amended because of the use of modern measuring techniques. This paper is intended to provide a consistent set of reporting symbols and definitions, illustrated by some practical examples.
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Substantial postglacial emergence (up to 150m) characterizes the Canadian High Arctic following the last glacial maximum. Across northern Ellesmere Island, rapid emergence is not observed during the early stages of deglaciation as it is in other parts of Arctic Canada. Rather, the curves show an interval of slow emergence (c. 1 m per century) during initial ice retreat. This is attributed to a slow rate of glacial rebound that was countered by a similar rate of eustatic sea-level rise. Normally, isobases drawn on postglacial shorelines define broad cells of uplift that mimic centres of former maximum ice thickness. However, isobases on the 8 ka sp shoreline, surveyed throughout northern Ellesmere Island, indicate more complex patterns of crustal uplift that seem incongruent with reported ice thicknesses. On west-central Ellesmere Island, the isobases (110-150 m asl) trace a plunging ridge, aligned with geological structure, across an area considered to have had minimal ice cover during the last glacial maximum. The ridge may record an important structural influence associated with the geologically youthful Sverdrup Basin. Collectively, this evidence cautions against the view that postglacial emergence has a universally, predictable signature solely portraying former ice loads.
Article
The late Weichselian and Holocene raised-beach sequences on northwestern Spitsbergen provide a detailed record of sea-level oscillations during the last deglacial hemicycle. Initial emergence commenced at ≥13 ka, coincident with local deglaciation, and until 10.5 ka was chracterized by a relative slow rate of emergence (1.5 to 5 m/ka) interrupted by minor stillstands or transgressions associated with possible glacier re-advances. The orientation of paleo-spits and the paucity of whale remains at the late Weichselian marine-limit indicate that the prevailing westerly fetch was dampened by a semi-permanent sea-ice cover, allowing long shore-drift to predominate. A period of accelerated emergence (15 to 30 m/ka) between 10.5 and 9 ka is correlative with rapid deglaciation of fiords. The middle and late Holocene is characterized by two brief transgressions: one between 6.5 and 5.0 ka that did not exceed 7 m asl and a present, probable slow rise in sea level that commenced 2 to 1 ka. The strandline tilts in northwestern Spitsbergen, and the pattern and rate of emergence on Svalbard indicate that the maximum glacier loads during the late Weichselian were centered on Nordaustlandet, and on the central and eastern part of the archipelago. -from Author
Article
The pattern of late Weichselian (ca. 20 ka) ice flow in the northern Barents Sea is not well known, due mainly to a lack of marine data east of Svalbard. Several years with little summer sea ice have allowed acquisition of swath-bathymetric imagery of well-preserved subglacial landforms characterizing late Weichselian ice-flow directions over similar to 150,000 km(2) of the northwestern Barents Sea. We show that a major ice dome was located on easternmost Spitsbergen or southern Hinlopen Strait, at least 500 km west of its previously inferred position in the northern Barents Sea. This dome controlled the regional flow pattern; ice flowed eastward around Kong Karls Land into Franz Victoria Trough and north through Hinlopen Strait. An ice dome west of Kong Karls Land is required to explain the observed ice-How pattern, but does not preclude an additional ice dome to the southeast. Discrepancies with earlier ice-sheet reconstructions reflect the lack of previous seafloor observations, with evidence limited mainly to past ice loading and postglacial rebound. The new pattern of ice-How directions shows predominantly eastward rather than northward flow, with Franz Victoria Trough a major drainage pathway with a full-glacial balance flux of >40 km(3) yr(-1).
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IN 1955 the senior author of the present paper established a Late Pleistocene stratigraphical sequence for Billefjorden in central Spitsbergen (Feyling-Hanssen 1955 a). It was done on the basis of shoreline studies and investigation of fossil shells of marine molluscs and cirripeds in the deposits. This standard stratigraphy was later (Feyling-Hanssen 1955 b) successfully applied to the raised features of the area around Kapp Wijk in Dicksonfjorden, to the west of Billefjorden.
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The pattern of crustal warping in northern Spitsbergen as a result of widespread deglaciation is plotted. This is facilitated by the occurrence on ancient strandlines of pumice fragments at 4 major horizons 14C dated at 6500 (A), 6200 (B), 4100 (C) and 2200 years b.p. (D). Trace element analyses indicate an origin for the pumice in the Jan Mayen area. At least 2 pumice horizons are thought to be contemporaneous with eruptions at 6500 and 4100 years b.p.
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Radiocarbon measured in seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) can be used to investigate ocean circu-lation, atmosphere/ocean carbon flux, and provide powerful constraints for the fine-tuning of general circulation models (GCMs). Time series of 14 C in seawater are derived most frequently from annual bands of hermatypic corals. However, this proxy is unavailable in temperate and polar oceans. Fish otoliths, calcium carbonate auditory, and gravity receptors in the membranous labyrinths of teleost fishes, can act as proxies for 14 C in most oceans and at most depths. Arcto-Norwegian cod otoliths are suited to this application due to the well-defined distribution of this species in the Barents Sea, the ability to deter-mine ages of individual Arcto-Norwegian cod with a high level of accuracy, and the availability of archived otoliths collected for fisheries research over the past 60 years. Using measurements of 14 C derived from Arcto-Norwegian cod otoliths, we present the first pre-and post-bomb time series (1919–1992) of 14 C from polar seas and consider the significance of these data in relation to ocean circulation and atmosphere/ocean flux of 14 C. The data provide evidence for a minor Suess effect of only 0.2‰ per year between 1919 and 1950. Bomb 14 C was evident in the Barents Sea as early as 1957 and the highest 14 C value was measured in an otolith core from a cod with a birth date of 1967. The otolith 14 C data display key features common to records of 14 C obtained from a Georges Bank mollusc and corals from the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic.
Article
Four relative sea-level curves from Edgeøya and Barentsøya are constructed based on 81 radiocarbon age determinations on carefully selected and levelled samples in raised beaches, mostly driftwood embedded in beach gravel. All the dates, covering the period from the deglaciation to the present, are calibrated to calendar years, and the sea-level curves are defined by fitting the data with a least square regression curve. The dates are internally very consistent, and the results are some of the most precise sea-level curves from the Arctic.The four curves are quite similar, and from the marine limit at 85-90 m a.s.l. they show a rapid emergence (ca 40 mm/year), formed about 11,000 cal yrs BP (∼10,00014C yrs BP). A minimum rate of emergence close to 8000 cal years ago is explained by a decreased rate in isostatic uplift parallel with a sustained rate of eustatic sea-level rise. During the last 7000 cal years, the emergence rate has decreased linearly. The uplift rates have been slightly higher on southern Edgeøya than further north during the last 7000 years. By comparing the sea-level curves from Storøya (ca 270 km to the north) and Hopen (ca 150 km to the south), we suggest that a memory of an earlier and larger glacio-isostatic downwarping in the southern Barents Sea is detected in the sea-level curves from Hopen and southern Edgeøya.
Article
Finds of pumice on raised beaches in the inner Isfjorden area are reported. Pumice is abundant in two zones, and four levels can be distinguished in some areas. The highest lying level has the greatest concentration of pumice and is dated to a maximum of 6, 500 years B.P. Tentative correlations with pumice levels from other places in Svalbard indicate approximate ages of 6, 000, 4, 100, and 3, 100 years for the lower levels in inner Isfjorden. A shoreline displacement curve based on the pumice levels and on 10, 000 year old driftwood is presented.
Article
Observations of Lateglacial and Holocene sea levels from the Barents Sea region provide constraints on the grounded ice sheet during Late Weischselian time. Ice sheets that were restricted primarily to the Svalbard islands and the immediate shallow sea floor are inadequate to explain the observed age-height relations across the region. Instead, the ice sheet extended out to the edge of the shelf and attained a maximum thickness of the order of 3000 m over the central region of the Barents Sea. Ice volumes to the east of Novaya Zemlya have been small compared to the ice over the Barents Sea. The raised shoreline information from western Spitsbergen implies that retreat of ice over this area was initially slow until about 13,000 yr B.P. following which the remaining deglaciation appears to have been rapid.
Article
Direct evidence for Late Weichselian grounded glacier ice over extensive areas of the Barents Sea is based largely on indirect observations, including elevations of old shorelines on Svalbard and arguments of isostatic rebound. Such isostatic models are discussed here for two cases representing maximum and minimum ice-sheet reconstructions. In the former model the ice extends over the Kara Sea, whereas in the latter the ice is limited to the Barents Sea and island archipelagos. Comparisons of predictions with observations from a number of areas, including Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, Edgeøya, Kong Karls Land, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya and Finnmark, support arguments for the existence of a large ice sheet over the region at the time of the last glacial maximum. This ice sheet is likely to have had the following characteristics, conclusions that are independent of assumptions made about the Earth's rheological parameters. (i) The maximum thickness of this ice was about 1500–2000 m with the centre of the load occurring to the south and east of Kong Karls Land. (ii) The ice sheet extended out to the western edge of the continental shelf and its maximum thickness over western Spitsbergen was about 800 m. (iii) To the north of Svalberg and Frans Josef Land the ice sheet extended out to the northern shelf edge. (iv) Retreat of the grounded ice across the southern Barents Sea occurred relatively early such that this region was largely ice free by about 15,000 BP. (v) By 12,000 BP the grounded ice had retreated to the northern archipelagos and was largely gone by 10,000 BP. (vi) The ice sheet may have extended to the Kara Sea but ice thicknesses were only a fraction of those proposed in those reconstructions where the maximum ice thickness is centered on Novaya Zemlya. Models for the palaeobathymetry for the Barents Sea at the time of the last glacial maximum indicate that large parts of the Barents Sea were either very shallow or above sea level, providing the opportunity for ice growth on the emerged plateaux, as well as on the islands, but only towards the end of the period of Fennoscandian ice sheet build-up.
Article
The glaciation history of Svalbard (78°N) and the NW Barents Sea is reconstructed for the last 130 ka, based on studies of sediments exposed in coastal cliffs at the head of Isfjorden. Four different till beds separated by marine sediments are recognized. The lowest marine formation, containing Mytilus edulis, reflects warmer conditions than at present, and is correlated with the last interglacial, the Eemian of Europe and Oxygen Isotope Substage 5e in the deep sea. The post-Eemian tills are inferred to represent major glaciations around 110 ka BP, 75-50 ka BP, and 25-10 ka BP. During the intervening intervals the glaciers on Svalbard were not significantly larger than at present and the NW Barents Sea was probably ice-free. The ice-free periods, named Phantomodden and Kapp Ekholm interstadials, lasted from about 110 to 75 and from 50 to 25 ka BP respectively. The marine fauna from both these interstadials indicate seasonally ice free conditions. The ages of the recorded glaciations coincide with, or are slightly younger than, periods with insolation minima, which at this latitude is determined by a low tilt of the Earth's axis. Thus we postulate that the Quaternary glaciations of Svalbard were driven by orbital variations with the 41 ka tilt period, in contrast to the lower-latitude glaciations of Scandinavia that were partly driven by the precession cycle with a periodicity of around 23 ka.
Geological map of Billefjorden, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard with geological excursion guide 1: 50,000
  • W K Dallmann
  • K Pipejohn
  • D Blomeier
Dallmann, W.K., Pipejohn, K., Blomeier, D., 2004. Geological map of Billefjorden, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard with geological excursion guide 1: 50,000. Norsk Polarinstitutt Tematkart. No 36.
Twenty years of atmospheric (CO2)-C-14 observations at Schauinsland station High-arctic fan delta recording deglaciation and envi-ronment disequilibrium
  • I Levin
  • B Kromer
Levin, I., Kromer, B., 1997. Twenty years of atmospheric (CO2)-C-14 observations at Schauinsland station, Germany. Radiocarbon 39, 205e218. Lønne, I., Nemec, W., 2004. High-arctic fan delta recording deglaciation and envi-ronment disequilibrium. Sedimentology 51, 553e589.
  • S L Forman
  • D J Lubinski
  • O Ingollfsson
  • J J Zeeberg
  • J A Snyder
  • M J Siegert
  • G G Matishov
Forman, S.L., Lubinski, D.J., Ingollfsson, O., Zeeberg, J.J., Snyder, J.A., Siegert, M.J., Matishov, G.G., 2004. A review of postglacial emergence on Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya, northern Eurasia. Quaternary Science Reviews 23, 1391e1434.
  • P J Reimer
  • M G L Baillie
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  • J W Beck
  • C J H Bertrand
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  • C E Buck
  • G S Burr
  • K B Cutler
  • P E Damon
  • R L Edwards
  • R G Fairbanks
  • M Friedrich
  • T P Guilderson
  • A G Hogg
  • K A Hughen
  • B Kromer
  • F G Mccormac
  • S W Manning
  • C B Ramsey
  • R W Reimer
  • S Remmele
  • J R Southon
  • M Stuiver
Reimer, P.J., Baillie, M.G.L., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Bertrand, C.J.H., Blackwell, P.G., Buck, C.E., Burr, G.S., Cutler, K.B., Damon, P.E., Edwards, R.L., Fairbanks, R.G., Friedrich, M., Guilderson, T.P., Hogg, A.G., Hughen, K.A., Kromer, B., McCormac, F.G., Manning, S.W., Ramsey, C.B., Reimer, R.W., Remmele, S., Southon, J.R., Stuiver, M., Talamo, S., Taylor, F.W., van der Plicht, J., Weyhenmeyer, C.E., 2004. IntCal04 terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 26e0 ka BP. Radiocarbon 46, 1029e1058.