Integrating satellite observations and modern climate measurements with the recent sedimentary record: An example from Southeast Alaska

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
By: , and 

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Abstract

Assessments of climate change over time scales that exceed the last 100 years require robust integration of high-quality instrument records with high-resolution paleoclimate proxy data. In this study, we show that the recent biogenic sediments accumulating in two temperate ice-free fjords in Southeast Alaska preserve evidence of North Pacific Ocean climate variability as recorded by both instrument networks and satellite observations. Multicore samples EW0408-32MC and EW0408-43MC were investigated with 137Cs and excess 210Pb geochronometry, three-dimensional computed tomography, high-resolution scanning XRF geochemistry, and organic stable isotope analyses. EW0408-32MC (57.162°N, 135.357°W, 146 m depth) is a moderately bioturbated continuous record that spans AD ∼1930–2004. EW0408-43MC (56.965°N, 135.268°W, 91 m depth) is composed of laminated diatom oozes, a turbidite, and a hypopycnal plume (river flood) deposit. A discontinuous event-based varve chronology indicates 43MC spans AD ∼1940–1981. Decadal-scale fluctuations in sedimentary Br/Cl ratios accurately reflect changes in marine organic matter accumulation that display the same temporal pattern as that of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. An estimated Sitka summer productivity parameter calibrated using SeaWiFS satellite observations support these relationships. The correlation of North Pacific climate regime states, primary productivity, and sediment geochemistry indicate the accumulation of biogenic sediment in Southeast Alaska temperate fjords can be used as a sensitive recorder of past productivity variability, and by inference, past climate conditions in the high-latitude Gulf of Alaska.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Integrating satellite observations and modern climate measurements with the recent sedimentary record: An example from Southeast Alaska
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
DOI 10.1002/jgrc.20243
Volume 118
Issue 7
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 18 p.
First page 3444
Last page 3461
Country United States
State Alaska