Modern and early Holocene ice shelf sediment facies from Petermann Fjord and northern Nares Strait, northwest Greenland
Based on sediment cores and geophysical data collected from Petermann Fjord and northern Nares Strait, NW Greenland, an Arctic ice shelf sediment facies is presented that distinguishes sub and pro ice shelf environments. Sediment cores were collected from sites beneath the present day Petermann Ice Tongue (PIT) and in deglacial sediments of northern Nares Strait with a focus on understanding the glacial and oceanographic history over the last 11,000 cal yr BP. The modern sub ice shelf sediment facies in Petermann Fjord is laminated and devoid of coarse clasts (IRD) due to strong basal melting that releases debris (debris filtering) from the basal ice at the grounding zone driven by buoyant subglacial meltwater and entrained Atlantic Water. Laminated sediments in the deep basin proximal to the gounding zone comprise layers of fine mud formed by suspension settling from turbid meltwater plumes (plumites) interrupted by normally graded very fine sand to medium silt layers with sharp basal contacts and rip-up clasts of mud, interpreted as turbidites. An inner fjord sill limits distribution of sediment gravity flows from the grounding zone to the deep inner fjord basin, such that sites on the inner sill and beyond the ice tongue largely only comprise plumites. Bioturbation and foraminiferal abundances increase with distance from the grounding zone. The benthic foraminiferal species, Elphidium clavatum is absent beneath the ice tongue, but dominant in the turbid meltwater influenced environment beyond the ice tongue. The very sparse IRD in sediments beneath the PIT and in the fjord beyond the PIT derives mainly from englacial debris in the ice tongue, side valley glaciers, rock falls from the steep fjord walls and sea ice.
Authors: Jennings, Anne, Reilly, Brendan, Andrews, John, Hogan, Kelly ORCID record for Kelly Hogan, Walczak, Maureen, Jakobsson, Martin, Stoner, Joseph, Mix, Alan, Nicholls, Keith W. ORCID record for Keith W. Nicholls, O'Regan, Matt, Prins, Maarten A., Troelstra, Simon R.