Multiproxy study of Holocene climatic and biogeochemical change in the Labrador Sea Region

Projet Innovation du Geotop


The Arctic Ocean is highly sensitive to global climate change and is an important driver of climate feedback, both through changes in sea-ice cover (the ice-albedo feedback) and changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which strongly controls global ocean circulation. Despite its importance, we have a poor understanding of how the Arctic Ocean region responds to climatic warming on centennial to millennial timescales. In particular, we do not understand how co-occurring changes in temperature and precipitation affect variables like sea-ice cover, freshwater runoff, and salinity, all of which are important factors modulating the climate feedbacks mentioned above. In addition, it is unclear how climatic change will influence biogeochemical cycling in sediments, which is important for the possible sequestration of carbon derived from both marine and terrestrial ecosystems in Arctic Ocean sediments.

To better understand possible future climate feedbacks in the Arctic Ocean, it is imperative to gain a better understanding of past climate variability. This is, however, challenging because many traditional climate proxies are unavailable in Arctic sediments, whereas other climate parameters (i.e. sea ice extent) have not had well defined climate proxies until recently. In this study, we plan to develop new multi-proxy climate records that will constrain changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, salinity, sea-ice extent, and carbon cycling in coastal sediments from the Labrador Sea since the last deglaciation. This study will take advantage of two key attributes of the Geotop researchers involved: 1) interdisciplinary expertise that will provide for analysis and interpretation of a wide range of geochemical, isotopic, and palynological proxies; 2) ready access to two Holocene sediment cores from the Labrador Sea with which we can begin analytical work immediately.



Accès libre Allan, E., Douglas, P., de Vernal, A., Gélinas, Y., Mucci, A., 2023. Palmitic acid is not a proper salinity proxy in Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea but reflects the variability in organic matter sources modulated by sea ice coverage. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 24(9), e2022GC010837. Données / Data

Accès libre Wang, Y., Gélinas, Y., de Vernal, A., Mucci, A., Allan, E., Seidenkrantz, M.-S., Douglas , P.M.J., 2024. High rates of marine organic carbon burial on the southwest Greenland margin induced by Neoglacial advances. Communications Earth & Environment 5, 335. Données / Data


Allan, E., Douglas, P., de Vernal, A., Gélinas, Y., Mucci, A. Hydrogen and carbon isotopic composition (δ2H, δ13C) of fatty acids preserved in surface sediments of Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea. Goldschmidt Conference, 10-15 juillet 2022, Honolulu.

Wang, Y., Gélinas, Y., de Vernal, A., Mucci, A., Allan, E., Seidenkrantz, M. S., Douglas, P. M. Enhanced Neoglacial Organic Carbon Burial in the Northeastern Labrador Sea despite Decreasing Primary Production. AGU Fall Meeting, décembre 2022, Chicago.