pp 1–13 | Cite as

Ocean surface warming in Krossfjorden, Svalbard, during the last 60 years

  • Harikrishnan GuruvayoorappanEmail author
  • Arto Miettinen
  • Dmitry V. Divine
  • Matthias Moros
  • Lisa C. Orme
  • Rahul Mohan
Original Article


A high-resolution marine sediment core NP16-Kro1-MCB from Krossfjorden, Western Svalbard is studied to investigate changes in sea surface conditions in the fjord during the last 60 years (1953–2014). The diatom-based reconstruction of August sea surface temperature (aSST) demonstrates a clear warming trend of 0.6 °C through the record. As inferred from Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) diatoms, surface warming occurs in parallel with a decline in sea ice extent (SIE) during recent decades. Factor analysis identified variations in diatom assemblages representing different water masses, showing a dominance of Arctic water diatoms throughout the period and decadal variations in the sea ice assemblage during periods of peak sea ice extent. The strong dominance of Arctic water diatoms along with increasing aSST suggest prolonged open-water conditions and increased sea ice melting in the region throughout the observed period. The reconstructed ocean surface changes are in line with the background warming occurring over the Arctic region. A comparison with instrumental records from neighboring regions supports the quality of the reconstructions, including the average reconstructed aSST and the magnitude of the warming trend. We suggest that increased CO2 forcing together with ocean–atmospheric interaction have caused the increasing SST trend and decreasing sea ice presence in Krossfjorden rather than an increasing influence from Atlantic Water, which has amplified changes in many regions of Svalbard.


Sea surface temperature Sea ice Diatoms Reconstruction Krossfjorden Svalbard 



We would like to thank the cruise leader Katrine Husum of NPI MoSJ-ICE 2016 cruise, and the captain and crew of RV Lance for assisting in sediment coring. This work was funded by the Research Council of Norway (Grant no. 248776/E10) and Ministry of Earth Science, Earth System Science Organization (MoES/Indo-Nor/PS-2/2015), through the OCTEL project. We thank Svetlana Divina for grain size distribution analysis and Katrine Husum for her valuable inputs. Harikrishnan Guruvayoorappan and Rahul Mohan would also like to thank the Director of National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) for his constant encouragement and support to our project. This is NCPOR contribution No. J-44/2019-20.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

41063_2019_71_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)
41063_2019_71_MOESM2_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 28 kb)
41063_2019_71_MOESM3_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 12 kb)
41063_2019_71_MOESM4_ESM.jpg (258 kb)
Fig. 1. Figure showing 137Cs accumulation in the sediment from core top (0.5) to the bottom (31.5) (JPEG 258 kb)
41063_2019_71_MOESM5_ESM.png (62 kb)
Fig. 2. CTD-derived temperatures from the core location NP16-Kro1-MCB (PNG 61 kb)
41063_2019_71_MOESM6_ESM.jpg (2 mb)
Fig. 3. Station locations (JPEG 2016 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram CentreTromsøNorway
  2. 2.National Centre for Polar and Ocean ResearchVasco da GamaIndia
  3. 3.Goa University, School of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (SEOAS)Taleigao PlateauIndia
  4. 4.Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea ResearchRostockGermany
  6. 6.ICARUS, Department of GeographyMaynooth UniversityMaynoothIreland

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