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Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research








The dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet and drift of sea ice from the Arctic Ocean reaching Denmark Strait are poorly constrained. We present data on the provenance of Fe oxide detrital grains from two cores in the Denmark Strait area and compare the Fe grain source data with other environmental proxies in order to document the variations and potential periodicities in ice-rafted debris delivery during the Holocene. Based on their Fe grain geochemistry, the sediments can be traced to East Greenland sources and to more distal sites around the Arctic Basin. On the Holocene time scales of the two cores, sea ice biomarker (IP25) data, and quartz weight percent reveal positive associations with T°C and inverse associations with biogenic carbonate wt%. Trends in the data were obtained from Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA), and residuals were tested for cyclicity. Trends on the environmental proxies explained between 15 and 90% of the variance. At both sites the primary Fe grain sources were from Greenland, but significant contributions were also noted from Banks Island and Svalbard. There is a prominent cyclicity of 800 yrs as well as other less prominent cycles for both Greenland and arctic sources. The Fe grain sources from Greenland and the circum-Arctic Ocean are in synchronization, suggesting that the forcings for these cycles are regional and not local ice sheet instabilities.


© 2017 Regents of the University of Colorado

"Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research (AAAR) is an international open access journal publishing interdisciplinary research into cold region environments."

Data Availability

Article states: "The Fe grain data used in this study are deposited in the Pangaea Data Publisher ("

Archived Fe grain data noted as a supplement to this article are available online at:

Original Publication Citation

Darby, D. A., Andrews, J. T., Belt, S. T., Jennings, A. E., & Cabedo-Sanz, P. (2017). Holocene cyclic records of ice-rafted debris and sea ice variations on the East Greenland and Northwest Iceland margins. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 49(4), 649-672. doi:10.1657/aaar0017-008


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