Sea ice extent and seasonality for the Early Pliocene northern Weddell Sea

Williams, Mark; Nelson-Laloë, Anna E.; Smellie, John L.; Leng, Melanie J. ORCID:; Johnson, Andrew L.A.; Jarram, Daniel R.; Haywood, Alan M.; Peck, Victoria L. ORCID:; Zalasiewicz, Jan; Bennett, Carys; Schöne, Bernd R.. 2010 Sea ice extent and seasonality for the Early Pliocene northern Weddell Sea. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 292 (1-2). 306-318.

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Growth increment analysis coupled with stable isotopic data (δ18O/δ13C) from Early Pliocene (ca 4.7 Ma) Austrochlamys anderssoni from shallow marine sediments of the Cockburn Island Formation, northern Antarctic Peninsula, suggest these bivalves grew through much of the year, even during the coldest parts of winter recorded in the shells. The high frequency fluctuation in growth increment width of A. anderssoni appears to reflect periodic, but year-round, agitation of the water column enhancing benthic food supply from organic detritus. This suggests that Austrochlamys favoured waters that were largely sea ice free. Our data support interpretation of the Cockburn Island Formation as an interglacial marine deposit and the previous hypothesis that Austrochlamys retreated from the Antarctic as sea ice extent expanded, this transition occurring during climate cooling in the Late Pliocene.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Climate Change Science
BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Greenhouse to Icehouse. Evolution of the Antarctic Cryosphere and Palaeoenvironment
ISSN: 0031-0182
Date made live: 16 Jun 2010 10:54 +0 (UTC)

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