Project

Back to overview

Sea-level history and past climate variability inferred from the varved sediments of a hypersaline coastal Arctic lake

English title Sea-level history and past climate variability inferred from the varved sediments of a hypersaline coastal Arctic lake
Applicant Amann Benjamin
Number 162029
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Department of Geography Queen's University
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.10.2015 - 31.03.2017
Show all

All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Meteorology
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy

Keywords (10)

Sedimentology; Lake sediments; Microstratigraphy; Arctic2k; Limnogeology; Paleoclimatology; MicroXRF; Radiometric dating; Calibration in time; Arctic Oscillation

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le réchauffement global de la planète est un fait reconnu et sans précédent. L’Arctique, du fait de son extrême vulnérabilité, constitue un endroit privilégié à l’étude du réchauffement climatique. Afin de placer ce réchauffement sur le long terme, et de pouvoir l’attribuer à des causes naturelles (ex. activité solaire, éruptions volcaniques) et/ou humaines (ex. gaz à effet de serre), le recours aux données climatiques sur le passé (>150 ans) est nécessaire. Dans ce contexte, les lacs arctiques sont d’excellentes archives du paléoclimat. Au travers des sédiments qui se déposent en leurs fonds, ces lacs enregistrent les variations extrêmes de température, de précipitations, et du niveau de la mer selon les saisons. Bien que ces données soient très importantes pour l’étude du climat dans le passé, elles n’en demeurent pas moins très rares et difficiles à obtenir, du fait notamment de la difficulté d’accès aux lacs de cette région isolée.
Lay summary

Objectifs du travail de recherche

À travers l’étude d’une carotte de sédiments d’un lac côtier de l’Arctique Canadien (Shellabear Lake, Melville Island), nous avons pour objectifs principaux de reconstruire le climat (températures et précipitations) ainsi que les changements du niveau de l’Océan Arctique sur les mille dernières années. Cet objectif final passe par trois étapes spécifiques de travail: (i) développer une chronologie fiable et précise de la carotte grâce à la présence de varves (=lamines annuelles de sédiments); (ii) déterminer l’origine de l’enrichissement en sel marin de Shellabear Lake; (iii) reconstruire le climat et les changements associés au niveau de l’Océan.

 

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

Ce projet générera le premier enregistrement sédimentaire d’un lac hyper salin d’Arctique. Les résultats permettront de mieux comprendre: (i) la récente hausse de salinité des lacs arctiques; (ii) leur lien avec les changements du niveau de l’Océan Arctique; et (iii) les impacts du changement climatique et de l’inondation côtière.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.07.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence United States of America (North America)
- Publication
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston Canada (North America)
- Publication
Department of Physical sciences, MacEwan University, Edmonton Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Geography and Planning, Queen's University, Kingston Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Department of Environmental Chemistry, University of Toronto Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institut of Geography and OCCR, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
(coming May 24) Ontario-Quebec Paleolimnology Symposium PALS2017 Individual talk Seasonality matters: a quantitative winter climate reconstruction using clastic varves from the Canadian High Arctic 10.05.2017 Saint-Catherine's, Canada Amann Benjamin;
Arctic Workshop 2017 Talk given at a conference A 400-yr temperature reconstruction from the High Arctic using varved lake sediments 23.03.2017 Buffalo, United States of America Amann Benjamin;
Canadian Geophysical Union Student Meeting 2017 Individual talk Jury Member_Sessions: Hydrology/Biogeosciences/Earth Surface Processes 04.02.2017 Guelph, Canada Amann Benjamin;
American Geoscience Union AGU2016 Poster A 400-year reconstruction of winter conditions using varved lake sediments, Canadian High Arctic: a step forward in the data coverage for the most sensitive season to climate change 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Amann Benjamin;
European Geoscience Union EGU2016 Poster Multiple climatic signals inferred from the varved sediments of a coastal lake in the Canadian High Arctic 23.04.2016 Vienna, Austria Amann Benjamin;
Queen's Northern Research Symposium Poster Winter climate conditions of the Canadian High Arctic reconstructed over the last 400 years using varved lake sediments 15.04.2016 Kingston, Canada Amann Benjamin;
PEARL Limnology Seminar Series Individual talk Varved lake sediments for millennial-long hydroclimate reconstructions: a hint from the European Alps 11.11.2015 Kingston, Canada Amann Benjamin;
Canadian Geophysical Union Student Meeting Individual talk Jury Member_Sessions=Hydrology/Biogeosciences/Earth surface processes 11.11.2015 Guelph, Canada Amann Benjamin;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Weekly Science Lunch Talks_An introduction to the power of ClimateExplorer ClimateExplorer KNMI International 2017

Awards

Title Year
Postdoctoral Travel Awards http://www.queensu.ca/postdoc/current-scholars/travel-funding Obtained to atend the International Conference EGU2016, April 17, 2016 in Vienna Award: 1000$ CAD 2016

Abstract

The Arctic is extremely sensitive to climate change, and an influential part of the global climate system. However, the assessment of climate change and impacts from the Arctic remains a challenge because meteorological records are short and sparse, and because natural and human-induced climate changes are difficult to separate.In this context, data from natural paleoclimate archives are fundamental to place climate variability into perspective and assess the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to natural and anthropogenic forcings. In particular, Arctic lakes are excellent archives. They are sensitive to more extreme seasonal variations in surface processes and have a limited direct human impact.Nevertheless, the study of Arctic lakes is a logistic, analytical and technical challenge because: (i) limnological information are often lacking in remote Arctic regions due to difficult accessibility; (ii) 210Pb fallout inventories are low and terrestrial macrofossils for 14C dating are rare, which limits the development of precise sediment chronologies; and (iii) sediment accumulation rates are extremely low, which may restrict the temporal resolution and length of the paleoclimate records.Here, through the present Early Postdoc.Mobility project, the applicant Dr. Amann proposes to overcome all these challenges by studying at high resolution the varved sediments (annual laminations) of a hypersaline coastal lake located in the Canadian High Arctic (Shellabear Lake; 74°50’N, 113°30’W). The aim of this project is to generate a high-resolution geochemical and mineralogical record together with a lithostratigraphical analysis of these varved sediments to reconstruct past sea-level changes, and to address questions related to past, present and future climate variability and change.The proposed project is divided in three Work Packages, three specific aims:•Aim 1 (Work Package 1): Develop a high-resolution chronology based on sedimentary facies and varve formation process understanding•Aim 2 (Work Package 2): Determine the onset of saline enrichment of Shellabear Lake and assess the impact of marine transgressions on the sediment biogeochemical properties •Aim 3 (Work Package 3): Assess a climate signal from sediment proxies and reconstruct past climatic variability for the past ca. 700 years.This Early Postdoc.Mobility project will provide the first sedimentary record from a hypersaline Arctic lake, which has broad importance and implications. It will help understand the salinity development of Arctic lakes and its link to marine transgressions in order to assess the impacts of future climate change, sea-level rise and coastal inundation. This study will contribute to the IGBP-PAGES Arctic2k Working Group and its proxy database.The proposed project will be carried out at the Research Laboratory ‘Environmental Variability and Extremes’ (EVEX) at the Department of Geography of Queen’s University in Kingston (Ontario, Canada), and supervised by Prof. Dr. Scott Lamoureux.Prof. Dr. Scott Lamoureux is recognized in the scientific community as a worldwide leading expert for microfacies and thin section analysis of varved lake sediments, and in properties of sediments that relate to changes in climatic and other environmental changes. The applicant will gain extensive new knowledge and experience from Prof. Dr. Scott Lamoureux, especially in microstratigraphy, µXRF, data interpretation and analysis (statistics), and automated field observations in remote places (hydrometeorology: weather stations and monitoring systems establishment). Further expertise will be gained in the collaboration with numerous leading scientists from Canada and North America; Prof. Dr. John Smoll, Prof. Dr. Peter Leavitt, Prof. Dr. Pierre Francus, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pienitz, and Prof. Dr. Raymond Bradley, in particular.
-