Northeast Atlantic sea surface circulation during the past 30-10 14C kyr B.P.


  • Susanne Lassen,

  • Eystein Jansen,

  • Karen Luise Knudsen,

  • Antoon Kuijpers,

  • Margrethe Kristensen,

  • Karen Christensen


A study was made of three cores from the Faeroe-Shetland gateway, based on planktonic foraminifera, oxygen isotopes, accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates, magnetic susceptibility, and counts of ice rafted debris (IRD). The data, covering the period 30–10 ka, show that during the Last Glacial Maximum the Arctic Front occupied a position close to the Faeroes, allowing a persisting inflow of Atlantic surface water into the Faeroe-Shetland Channel. The oceanographic environment during deposition of two IRD layers is influenced by Atlantic surface water masses during the lower IRD layer, with transport of icebergs from N-NW. Polar surface water conditions prevailed only during deposition of the upper IRD layer. There is no indication of surface meltwater influence in the region during the deglaciation, but there is a persistent influence of Atlantic surface water masses in the region. Thus we conclude that during almost the entire period (30-10 ka) the Faeroe-Shetland Channel was a gateway for transport of Atlantic surface water toward the Norwegian Sea.