Tracing the origin of Arctic driftwood

Jan 29, 2013

Tracking the origin of driftwood samples could help scientists to reconstruct past currents in the Arctic Ocean, a new study suggests. Arctic currents are likely to be affected by changing climate, but there are few observations that provide evidence on past current dynamics.

To evaluate the potential use of driftwood samples, Hellmann et al. analyzed 1445 driftwood remains collected in east Greenland and Svalbard, the largest compilation of Arctic driftwood samples so far compiled and analyzed. They were able to characterize four coniferous genera (Pinus, Larix, Picea, and Abies) and three deciduous genera (Populus, Salix, and Betula). At the species level, they distinguish two species of pine, which accounted for 40 percent of their samples. The pine originated mainly from western and central Siberia.

Larch and spruce samples, which represented 26 percent and 18 percent, respectively, could have originated from either Siberia or North America, the authors report. They note that in addition to helping to reconstruct past currents, analysis of driftwood samples can help scientists to evaluate past during the sample tree's life span.

Explore further: NASA sees Genevieve squeezed between 3 tropical systems

More information: Tracing the origin of Arctic driftwood, Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, doi: 10.1002/jgrg.20022, 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrg.20022/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Less ice in the Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 years ago

Oct 20, 2008

Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice ...

Large variations in Arctic sea ice

Aug 04, 2011

For the last 10,000 years, summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been far from constant. For several thousand years, there was much less sea ice in The Arctic Ocean – probably less than half of current ...

Researchers unearth ancient bronze artifact in Alaska

Jan 05, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- A team of researchers led by the University of Colorado Boulder recently discovered the first prehistoric bronze artifact made from a cast ever found in Alaska, a small, buckle-like object ...

Declining sea ice to lead to cloudier Arctic: study

Mar 31, 2012

Arctic sea ice has been declining over the past several decades as global climate has warmed. In fact, sea ice has declined more quickly than many models predicted, indicating that climate models may not be correctly representing ...

The sea ice is getting thinner

Sep 13, 2007

Large areas of the Arctic sea-ice are only one metre thick this year, equating to an approximate 50 percent thinning as compared to the year 2001. These are the initial results from the latest Alfred-Wegener-Institute ...

Recommended for you

NASA sees Genevieve squeezed between 3 tropical systems

16 hours ago

The resurrected Tropical Depression Genevieve appears squeezed between three other developing areas of low pressure. Satellite data from NOAA and NASA continue to show a lot of tropical activity in the Eastern ...

User comments : 0