Paleoceanographic changes and calcium carbonate dissolution in the central Fram Strait during the last 20 ka
A deep-sea sediment core covering the last 20 ka and located between the Polar and the Arctic fronts in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) of the central Fram Strait has been investigated for changes in paleoceanography and calcium carbonate preservation. The reconstruction is based on the distribution patterns of planktic foraminifera, mean shell weight and the degree of fragmentation of their shells, stable isotopes and other geochemical and sedimentological data. The results show that the planktic foraminifera shells are poorly preserved throughout most of the record. Only the intervals comprising the early Holocene from 10.8 to ~ 8 cal ka BP and the last 800 yr show improved preservation of CaCO3. The dissolution correlated with the extent of Arctic water and the associated marginal ice zone (MIZ) and high organic productivity. Dissolution of planktic foraminifera is generally high during the late deglaciation, mid and late Holocene prior to ~ 800 cal yr BP. The abundance of small subpolar species increases in the surface sediments dating from the last century, which could be interpreted as a large and significant surface water warming. However, this apparent high-magnitude warming seems to be overestimated due to preservation changes in the youngest sediments.