Paper No. 91-0
A 1600-YEAR HISTORY OF THE LABRADOR CURRENT OFF NOVA SCOTIA
KEIGWIN, Lloyd D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mclean Lab., m/s 8, 360 Woods Hole Rd, Woods Hole, MA 02543, Lkeigwin@whoi.edu, SACHS, Julian, EAPS, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and ROSENTHAL, Yair, Rutgers Univ, New Brunswick, NJ

Sediments in Emerald Basin, on the continental shelf off Halifax, N.S., accumulate at a rate of about 30 cm/thousand years. This rate is great enough to record century to millennial scale changes in the surface and deep (~230m) waters in the basin which are influenced by the Labrador Current. A new multicore from Emerald Basin (OCE326 MC-29 has a modern 14C age at the top, and other 14C dates indicate approximately linear sedimentation rates to 1600 calendar years B.P. We applied 5 proxies for seawater temperature changes to the sediments of Emerald Basin. Surface water temperature changes are reflected in the percent abundance of the polar planktonic foraminifer N. pachyderma (s.), in the oxygen isotope ratio (d18-O) of the shells of this species, and in the unsaturation ratio of alkenones produced by phytoplankton. Bottom water temperature changes are recorded by the d18-O of benthic forams, and by the Mg/Ca in their shells. All five of these proxies indicate the ocean warmed suddenly sometime in the past 150 years or so. The exact date is uncertain because 14C dating is inaccurate in recent centuries, but we believe this abrupt warming probably correlates with the ice melt layer evidence for warming in the ice caps of the Canadian Archipelago. This region is known to be one of the main source regions for the Labrador Current. Before this recent warming, SST was continually lower by 1-2 degrees, and bottom water was colder by about 6 degrees. These results suggest that there was no Medieval Warm Period off Nova Scotia. Because there is no evidence of Medieval warming in the Canadian archipelago, it seems likely that coastal waters from Baffin Bay to at least as far south as Nova Scotia were continually cold for ~1500 of the past 1600 years. The present hydrography on the Labrador and Scotian Shelves may be strongly influenced by anthropogenic effects.

GSA Annual Meeting, November 5-8, 2001
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 91
Holocene Climate Change: Seasonal Variability to Centennial Trends II
Hynes Convention Center: 206
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, November 6, 2001
 

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