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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Eleanor Maddison

Maddison, E. J., Pike, J., Leventer, A. & Domack, E. W. Deglacial seasonal and sub-seasonal diatom record from Palmer Deep, Antarctica. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2005;20:435-446.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most sensitive regions of Antarctica to climate change. Here, ecological and cryospheric systems respond rapidly to climate fluctuations. A 4.4 m thick laminated diatom ooze deposited during the last deglaciation is examined from a marine sediment core (ODP Site 1098) recovered from Basin 1, Palmer Deep, western Antarctic Peninsula. This deglacial laminated interval was deposited directly over a glaciomarine diamict, hence during a globally recognised period of rapid climate change. The ultra-high-resolution deglacial record is analysed using SEM backscattered electron imagery and secondary electron imagery. Laminated to thinly bedded orange-brown diatom ooze (near monogeneric Hyalochaete Chaetoceros spp. resting spores) alternates with blue-grey terrigenous sediments (open water diatom species). These discrete laminae are interpreted as austral spring and summer signals respectively, with negligible winter deposition. Sub-seasonal sub-laminae are observed repeatedly through the summer laminae, suggesting variations in shelf waters throughout the summer. Tidal cycles, high storm intensities and/or intrusion of Circumpolar Deep Water onto the continental shelf introduced conditions which enhanced specific species productivity through the season.