High-resolution grain size analyses of the AMS 14C-dated, 32 m long core MD99-2286 from the northeastern Skagerrak were performed in order to study late Glacial and Holocene paleoceanographic and sedimentary changes. All ages in this study are given in calibrated thousand years before present (= AD 1950), abbreviated ‘kyr’, unless otherwise noted.
The distinct ending of IRD (ice rafted debris) in core MD99-2286, which was retrieved from a location down current from the final calving ice margin in the region, indicates that iceberg calving in the Skagerrak ended between 10.6 and 10.2 kyr.
A clay-rich sequence in core MD99-2286, deposited between 11.3 and 10.3 kyr, is attributed to outflow from the Baltic basin across south central Sweden. The sequence is correlated to similar units from cores along the Swedish west coast. The onset of this clay-rich deposition occurs progressively later in cores further south along the coast, supporting a previous hypothesis that differential glacio-isostatic uplift caused a southward migration of the Baltic outflow from the Otteid-Stenselva to the Göta Älv outlet.
A distinct coarsening towards younger sediments in core MD99-2286 indicates a hydrographic shift at 8.5 kyr, which is correlated to a shift previously reported in the Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Norwegian Channel. This shift reflects the establishment of the modern circulation system in the eastern North Sea, as a consequence of the opening of the English Channel and the Danish straits and increased Atlantic water inflow, and the subsequent development of the South Jutland Current. A general trend of coarsening, poorer sorting and increasing variability from 8.5 kyr until the present indicates increasing strength and influence of the variable South Jutland Current.
A series of changes from ca. 6.3 to ca. 3.8 kyr in core MD99-2286 reflects strengthening of the Jutland Current towards the present day sedimentation system in the Skagerrak–Kattegat. These changes are correlated to previously reported hydrographic shifts at 5.5 14C years BP in the Skagerrak and at 4.0 14C years BP in the Kattegat. It is suggested that these shifts were separate features of a transitional period related to strengthening of the current system. The resulting changes are differently manifested in different parts of the Skagerrak–Kattegat, due to the complex circulation system.
The last 800 years are characterised by poorly sorted sediments with a relatively high and variable proportion of coarse material, reflecting a circulation system significantly modified by regional climatic conditions, especially the general wind directions and storm frequency over the southern North Sea.
Elsevier B.V. , 2005. Vol. 222, no 3-4, 344-369 p.