The Baltic Sea has experienced major shifts in salinity over the last 12.5 thousand years of Earth’s history (Holocene Epoch). Geoscience faculty member Johnathan Warnock, working with an international team of collaborators, studied microscopic fossils and organic geochemical evidence to understand how these salinity shifts affected the ecology of the Baltic Sea through the Holocene.
Utilizing sediments recovered by the International Ocean Drilling Program, Warnock and coauthors were able to identify shifts in the nutrient levels, temperature, sea ice conditions, and rates of primary productivity within the Ångermanälven estuary along the Swedish coast in the Northern Baltic Sea.
Research revealed changes driven by coastal uplift, the strength of the Ångermanälven River, and the Baltic’s connection to the Atlantic as well as human colonization and industrialization in Sweden.
The results of their study has been published in Boreas and is titled “Holocene environmental history of the Ångermanälven Estuary.”