Calibration of an ice-core glaciochemical (sea-salt) record with sea-ice variability in the Canadian Arctic


Correlation between glaciochemical time series from an ice core collected on Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada, and gridded time series of sea-ice concentrations reveals statistically significant inverse relationships between sea-salt concentrations (mainly Na+, Mg2+ and Cl) in the ice core and sea-ice cover in Baffin Bay over the period 1980–97. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis performed on all major ions shows that the dominant mode of glaciochemical variability (EOF1) represents a sea-salt signal, which correlates best with sea-ice concentration in Baffin Bay. On a seasonal basis, the strongest and most spatially extensive anticorrelations are found in Baffin Bay during the fall, followed by spring, summer and winter. These results support the notion that increased open-water conditions in Baffin Bay during the stormy seasons (fall and spring) promote increased production, transport and deposition of sea-salt aerosols on Devon Ice Cap. Comparison of ice-core time series of EOF1, 18O and melt percentage, with air temperatures recorded in Upernavik, Greenland, suggests that ice-cover variations in Baffin Bay over the past ∼145 years were dynamically rather than thermodynamically controlled, with periods of strengthened cyclonic circulation leading to increased open-water conditions, and a greater sea-salt flux on Devon Ice Cap.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

Publication Date


Journal Title

Annals of Glaciology


International Glaciological Society

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type