Sediment core logs from six sediment cores in the Labrador Sea show millennial-scale climate variability during the last glacial by recording all Heinrich events and several major Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles. The same millennial-scale climate change is documented for surface water δ18O records of Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (left coiled); hence the surface water δ18O record can be derived from sediment core logging by means of multiple linear regression, providing a paleoclimate proxy record at very high temporal resolution (70 years). For the Labrador Sea, sediment core logs contain important information about deepwater current velocities and also reflect the variable input of ice-rafted debris from different sources as inferred from grain-size analysis, the relation of density and P wave velocity, and magnetic susceptibility. For the last glacial, faster deepwater currents, which correspond to highs in sediment physical properties, occurred during iceberg discharge and lasted from several centuries to a few millennia. Those enhanced currents might have contributed to increased production of intermediate waters during times of reduced production of North Atlantic Deep Water. Hudson Strait might have acted as a major supplier of detrital carbonate only during lowered sea level (greater ice extent). During coldest atmospheric temperatures over Greenland, deepwater currents increased during iceberg discharge in the Labrador Sea, then surface water freshened shortly thereafter, while the abrupt atmospheric temperature rise happened after a larger time lag of ≥ 1 kyr. The correlation implies a strong link and common forcing for atmosphere, sea surface, and deep water during the last glacial at millennial timescales but decoupling at orbital timescales.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

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Washington DC, USA



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Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union