The impact of glaciation, river-discharge and sea-level change on Late Quaternary environments in the southwestern Kara Sea
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Sedimentary records from the southwestern Kara Sea were investigated to better understand the extent of the last glaciation on the Eurasian Arctic shelf, sea-level change, and history of the Ob' and Yenisey river discharge. Sediment-core and seismic-reflection data indicate that the Quaternary depositional sequence in the southwestern Kara Sea consists of glacial, glaciomarine, and marine sedimentary units. Glaciogenic sediments in the deep Novaya Zemlya Trough are presumably related to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), whereas further east they may represent an earlier glaciation. Thus, it is inferred that the southeastern margin of the LGM Barents-Kara ice sheet was contained in the southwestern Kara Sea east of the Novaya Zemlya Trough. Changes in mineralogical, foraminiferal, and stable-isotopic composition of sediment cores indicate that riverine discharge strongly influenced sedimentary and biotic environments in the study area during the Late Weichselian and early Holocene until ca. 9 ka, consistent with lowered sea levels. Subsequent proxy records reflect minor changes in the Holocene hydrographic regime, generally characterized by reduced riverine inputs.
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