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TitleSpatial patterns of pollen deposition in arctic snow
AuthorBourgeois, J C; Gajewski, K; Koerner, R M
SourceJournal of Geophysical Research vol. 106, no. D6, 2001 p. 5255-5565, (Open Access)
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2000019
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Nunavut
NTS15; 25; 35; 45; 55; 65; 75; 85; 95; 105; 115; 26; 36; 46; 56; 66; 76; 86; 96; 106; 116; 27; 37; 47; 57; 67; 77; 87; 97; 107; 117; 28; 38; 48; 58; 68; 78; 88; 98; 29; 39; 49; 59; 69; 79; 89; 99; 120; 340; 560
AreaArctic; Alaska; Ellesmere Island; Baffin Island; Arctic Ocean; Canada; United States of America; Greece
Lat/Long WENS-150.0000 -10.0000 90.0000 60.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; pollen; pollen analyses; pollen zones; palynology; snow; sea ice; ice sheets; glaciers; spore distributions; sphagnum
Illustrationstables; sections
Released2001 03 01
AbstractThe pollen content of 77 snow samples, collected at 41 sites in the Canadian Arctic, the adjacent Arctic Ocean and Greenland can be used to identify source regions that produced the assemblages. The major vegetation zones of northern Canada produce distinctive pollen assemblages, and principal components analysis (PCA) indicate that these assemblages are retained even in snow on the sea ice surface. It is shown that pollen percentages and concentrations are related to the density of the regional vegetation and to the distance to the source of more productive regions. Because the pollen grains may be transported for great distances (even to the central regions of the Arctic Ocean), they may be used to indicate the source of that pollen and the trajectory of the air masses that carried and deposited them. Pine is particularly valuable in this sense because it has longer trajectories than other tree pollen. For example, there are indications of “over?the?pole” transport of pollen from higher pine pollen concentrations at the North Pole than on northern Ellesmere Island. Pollen concentrations of certain taxa change significantly at ?75°N, north of which the concentrations become lower, thereby suggesting that there is a climatic boundary at that latitude. Therefore it would appear that studies of the concentration of pollen in snow have the potential for determining past and present characteristics of atmospheric circulation and also for helping in the development and interpretation of paleoenvironmental records in regions without vegetation, such as ice caps.