This project aims to analyze sediment cores of lakes located on both shores of the Fury and Hecla Strait, in the Canadian Arctic, in order to reconstruct past climates and landscapes since the end of the last glacial period. A multi-proxy approach, based on physical, chemical and biological parameters, will permit high-resolution paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the region, including natural climate fluctuations, past extreme climate events and major landscape changes (induced by glacial retreat, marine inundation and glacial isostatic adjustment).
Combined with sedimentological and geochemical (stable isotopes and X-ray fluorescence) analyses, the paleoecological approach (based on the evolution of fossil diatom assemblages of both marine and freshwater species) will help us understand the evolution of the Fury and Hecla Strait region during the Holocene. Various radiometric dating methods (210Pb, 137Cs and 14C) will be used to establish a chronology for the reconstructed changes.
The results will also be correlated with past temperature records inferred from δ18O analyses of the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) as well as palynological data (Gajewski, 2015).
All this information will help us acquire fundamental knowledge of postglacial dynamics in northwestern Foxe Basin (mainly climatic and hydrological conditions) and enable us predict Arctic ecosystem responses to global warming.
Campeau, S. Héquette, A. et Pienitz, R. (2000). Late Holocene diatom biostratigraphy and sea-level changes in the southeastern Beaufort Sea. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 37: 63-80.
Dahl-Jensen, D., Mosegaard, K., Gundestrup, N., Clow, G.D., Johnsen, S.J, Hansen, A.W. et Balling, N. (1998). Past temperatures directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Science. 282: 268-271.
Gajewski, K. (2015). Quantitative reconstruction of Holocene temperatures across the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Global and Planetary Change. 128: 14-23.