Foraminiferal stratigraphy of raised marine deposits, representing isotope stage 5, Prins Karls Forland, western Svalbard
AbstractTwo raised marine sequences from Prins Karls Forland, western Svalbard, interpreted to have been deposited during part of isotope substage 5e (Eemian) and substage 5a, were studied for foraminifera content. Time constraints are given by 14C ages, infrared stimulated luminescence age estimates and amino acid ratios in subfossil marine molluscs. A diamicton (unit B) separates the two marine sequences and reflects an advancement of local glaciers sometime late in isotope stage 5. The two marine sequences contain diverse benthic foraminiferal faunas, indicating periods of a relatively warm and seasonally ice-free marine shelf environment. Compared to the lowermost sequence (unit A), the upper marine sequence (unit C) seems to reflect a more shallow environment that could have resulted from the global lowering of the sea level towards the end of isotope stage 5. Our results further emphasise the problem of biostratigraphic distinction between interglacial and interstadial deposits at high latitudes, with temperature conditions for substage 5a close to those of substage 5e and present conditions.
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