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Late Quaternary Climate Variations Reflected in Baltic Sea Sediments

  • Jan Harff
  • Rudolf Endler
  • Emel Emelyanov
  • Sergey Kotov
  • Thomas Leipe
  • Matthias Moros
  • Ricardo Olea
  • Michal Tomczak
  • Andrzej Witkowski
Chapter
Part of the Central and Eastern European Development Studies (CEEDES) book series (CEEDES)

Abstract

Late Pleistocene to Holocene climate change of the Atlantic and the northern European realm is reflected by the facies of sediments in the Baltic Sea. The sedimentary sequence have been subdivided into zones reflecting the main postglacial stages of the Baltic Sea basin development according to sediment echosounder profiling and investigating sediment cores from the central Baltic. The changes in the environment of Baltic Sea bottom water is displayed by sediment physical, geochemical, and microfossil proxies. These proxies mark the main shift in the sedimentary facies of the Baltic Basin at 8.14 cal. years BP, from a freshwater to a brackish/marine environment due to the Littorina transgression of marine water masses from the North Sea. The downhole physical facies variation from the Eastern Gotland can be correlated basinwide. Thickness maps of the freshwater and the brackish sediments ascribe the general change in the hydrographic circulation from a coast-to-basin to a basin-to-basin system along with the Littorina transgression. Variations in the salinity of the brackish Littorina Baltic Basin are attributed to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) ascribing the wind forces driving the inflow of marine water into the Baltic Basin. Time series analysis of facies variation reveals distinct periodicities of 900 and 1,500 years. These periods can be compared with data from North Atlantic marine sediments and Greenland ice cores identifying global climate change effects in Baltic Basin sediments.

Keywords

Eastern Gotland Basin Holocene Physico stratigraphical zona 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study has been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The authors express their gratitude to the captain and the crew of the R/V “Poseidon” for the excellent co-operation during the expedition in June 2005.

We thank Dr. Torsten Seifert from the Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Germany, who provided results from numerical modelling of the current system in the central Baltic Sea.

We also thank Dorota Kaulbarsz, Polish Geological Institute Gdańsk, and Irina Taranenko, St. Petersburg State University, for her co-operation within the frame of this project.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Harff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rudolf Endler
    • 1
  • Emel Emelyanov
    • 3
  • Sergey Kotov
    • 4
  • Thomas Leipe
    • 1
  • Matthias Moros
    • 1
  • Ricardo Olea
    • 1
    • 5
  • Michal Tomczak
    • 6
  • Andrzej Witkowski
    • 6
  1. 1.Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research WarnemündeRostockGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, University of SzczecinSzczecinPoland
  3. 3.Atlantic BranchP.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (ABIORAS)KaliningradRussia
  4. 4.St. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  5. 5.US Geological SurveyRestonUSA
  6. 6.Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, University of SzczecinSzczecinPoland

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