Surface water dynamics in the Reykjanes Ridge area during the Holocene as revealed by coccolith assemblages

Barbara Balestra*, Patrizia Ziveri, Karl Heinz Baumann, Simon Troelstra, Simonetta Monechi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The calcareous nannofossil assemblages from sediment core DS97-2P from the Reykjanes Ridge have been investigated to document oceanographic changes in surface water during the Holocene. The recorded variations in coccolithophore species assemblages and accumulation rates indicate that the region was subjected to rapid changes of surface water masses throughout the entire Holocene. Coccolithophore assemblages generally are of low species diversity and consist mainly of Emiliania huxleyi and Coccolithus pelagicus ssp. pelagicus. Two major events occurred at 8.5-7. ka and at 4.5- 3.5. ka, showing higher coccolith accumulation rates, suggesting that the influence of relatively warm Atlantic waters via the Irminger Current was strong in the investigated area. The coccolithophore assemblages have been compared with diatom, foraminifer and sedimentological records within the same core. These data, supported by a comparison with previously published proxy records, add credit to the hypothesis that Holocene changes did not occur uniformly across the North Atlantic. The results have highlighted the Holocene pattern in the North Atlantic, as a period influenced by strong regionalism with discrepancies in the hydrographical trends and in the distribution of the planktonic proxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Micropaleontology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Coccoliths
  • Irminger Current
  • Paleoceanography
  • Planktonic proxies
  • Polar Front
  • Reykjanes Ridge


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