Environmental changes in the central Baltic Sea during the past 1000 years: inferences from sedimentary records, hydrography and climate
Treść / Zawartość
Short sediment cores from the eastern Gotland Basin were investigated using a multi-proxy approach in order to reconstruct the environmental conditions of the area during the past 1000 years. Sediment data and facies were discussed in relation to hydrographic features (salinity, oxygen) and climate change. During the medieval warm period (MWP), from about 900 to 1250 AD, the hydrographic and environmental conditions were similar to those of the present time (modern warm period, since about 1850): a temporally stable halocline, caused by regular saline water inflows from the North Sea, prevents vertical mixing and leads to bottom water anoxia and the deposition of laminated, organic-rich sapropels. During the period from about 1250 to 1850, referred to as the cold phase (including the Little Ice Age), the environmental conditions of the central Baltic Sea were distinctly different: the lower salinity, resulting from reduced North Sea water inflows, allowed vertical convection of the water column and long-term stable ventilation of the sea bed (oxic stage). Both the productivity of the planktonic ecosystem as well as the preservation of organic matter in the sediments improved during the warm periods. The anthropogenic impact can be identified within the recent laminated sequence by a temporal reconstruction of pollutant deposition. Our findings imply a climate-change driven shift in the environmental conditions and the ecosystem of the Baltic from the north to the south and back to the north.