Post-glacial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge dated to 11 cal ka BP based on new geophysical and sediment records

Martin Jakobsson, Christof Pearce, Thomas M. Cronin, Jan Backman, Leif G. Anderson, Natalia Barrientos, Göran Björk, Helen Coxall, Agatha De Boer, Larry A. Mayer, Carl Magnus Mörth, Johan Nilsson, Jayne E. Rattray, Christian Stranne, Igor Semiletov, Matt O'Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Bering Strait connects the Arctic and Pacific oceans and separates the North American and Asian landmasses. The presently shallow ( ĝ1/4 53 m) strait was exposed during the sea level lowstand of the last glacial period, which permitted human migration across a land bridge today referred to as the Bering Land Bridge. Proxy studies (stable isotope composition of foraminifera, whale migration into the Arctic Ocean, mollusc and insect fossils and paleobotanical data) have suggested a range of ages for the Bering Strait reopening, mainly falling within the Younger Dryas stadial (12.9-11.7 cal ka BP). Here we provide new information on the deglacial and post-glacial evolution of the Arctic-Pacific connection through the Bering Strait based on analyses of geological and geophysical data from Herald Canyon, located north of the Bering Strait on the Chukchi Sea shelf region in the western Arctic Ocean. Our results suggest an initial opening at about 11 cal ka BP in the earliest Holocene, which is later than in several previous studies. Our key evidence is based on a well-dated core from Herald Canyon, in which a shift from a near-shore environment to a Pacific-influenced open marine setting at around 11 cal ka BP is observed. The shift corresponds to meltwater pulse 1b (MWP1b) and is interpreted to signify relatively rapid breaching of the Bering Strait and the submergence of the large Bering Land Bridge. Although the precise rates of sea level rise cannot be quantified, our new results suggest that the late deglacial sea level rise was rapid and occurred after the end of the Younger Dryas stadial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1005
Number of pages15
JournalClimate of the Past
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Fingerprint

Beringia
Postglacial
strait
flooding
sediment
Younger Dryas
canyon
land bridge
nearshore environment
submergence
shelf sea
lowstand
Last Glacial
whale
meltwater
mollusc
foraminifera
stable isotope
Holocene
sea level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Stratigraphy
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Jakobsson, M., Pearce, C., Cronin, T. M., Backman, J., Anderson, L. G., Barrientos, N., ... O'Regan, M. (2017). Post-glacial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge dated to 11 cal ka BP based on new geophysical and sediment records. Climate of the Past, 13(8), 991-1005. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-991-2017

Post-glacial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge dated to 11 cal ka BP based on new geophysical and sediment records. / Jakobsson, Martin; Pearce, Christof; Cronin, Thomas M.; Backman, Jan; Anderson, Leif G.; Barrientos, Natalia; Björk, Göran; Coxall, Helen; De Boer, Agatha; Mayer, Larry A.; Mörth, Carl Magnus; Nilsson, Johan; Rattray, Jayne E.; Stranne, Christian; Semiletov, Igor; O'Regan, Matt.

In: Climate of the Past, Vol. 13, No. 8, 01.08.2017, p. 991-1005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jakobsson, M, Pearce, C, Cronin, TM, Backman, J, Anderson, LG, Barrientos, N, Björk, G, Coxall, H, De Boer, A, Mayer, LA, Mörth, CM, Nilsson, J, Rattray, JE, Stranne, C, Semiletov, I & O'Regan, M 2017, 'Post-glacial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge dated to 11 cal ka BP based on new geophysical and sediment records', Climate of the Past, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 991-1005. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-991-2017
Jakobsson, Martin ; Pearce, Christof ; Cronin, Thomas M. ; Backman, Jan ; Anderson, Leif G. ; Barrientos, Natalia ; Björk, Göran ; Coxall, Helen ; De Boer, Agatha ; Mayer, Larry A. ; Mörth, Carl Magnus ; Nilsson, Johan ; Rattray, Jayne E. ; Stranne, Christian ; Semiletov, Igor ; O'Regan, Matt. / Post-glacial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge dated to 11 cal ka BP based on new geophysical and sediment records. In: Climate of the Past. 2017 ; Vol. 13, No. 8. pp. 991-1005.
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