The following research groups participate in the OSL Fellowship Program 2015.

1. Synergy of field observations and laboratory analysis for examination of parametrizations linking the atmosphere and soil thermal regime in permafrost regions: accounting for the effects of climate change
O. Anisimov, V. Kokorev, A. Zhirkov

2. Late Quaternary circulation of surface currents in the central Arctic Ocean: insights from study of ice-rafted debris composition
E. Bazhenova, A. Kudryavtseva, E. Voronovich

3. Process of organic matter transport in lakes of the Yamal region (POLYAR)
A. Dvornikov, T. Skorospekhova

4. Climatic and environmental conditions changing in the New East-Siberian Islands and in the Laptev Sea coast
L. Gafiatullina, N. Mukhametgaliev, A. Mukhametshina

5. The Holocene foraminiferal assemblages, sedimentology and environments in the Barents and Bering seas: a comparative study
E. Ivanova, E. Ovsepyan, E. Seitkalieva

6. Cenozoic history of the perennial/seasonal sea ice in the Central Arctic
A. Krylov, L. Ermakova, I. Valdaev

7. Suspended sediments transportation by rivers of the Kamchatky Krai into surrounding seas
L. Kuksina

8. Middle-Late Pleistocene terrestrial palaeoenvironmental changes at the New Siberian Islands and Laptev Sea coast
T. Kuznetsova, N. Prilepskaya, A. Felker

9. Investigations of fossilized organisms from modern sediments of high-latitude water bodies of Beringia (New Siberian Islands, Russia, and Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada) for identifying the leading environmental factors for palaeo-environmental reconstructions
O. Palagushkina, L. Syrykh

10. The production-destruction characteristics of cryogenic shrub communities on the northern limit of the spread of northern taiga
A. Pochikalov

11. New evidence of variability in species composition and biomass of polar phytoplankton: a case study in the Laptev Sea in autumn 2014
Ye. Polyakova, I. Kryukova

12. Ultra-distal correlations of tephra layers across the Eurasian Arctic
V. Ponomareva, N. Bubenshchikova, P. Vakhrameeva

13. Holocene land-sea interactions in the Laptev Sea inferred from the inner-shelf pollen records: implications for paleoreconstructions
O. Rudenko, V. Enina

14. Isotope and hydrochemical data in the study of climate change effects on runoff sources and flow pathways in continuous and discontinuous permafrost
O. Semenova, L. Lebedeva, N. Nesterova

15. Aeolian matter in the environment of the White Sea coastal area
D. Starodymova

16. Environmental variability in the eastern Fram Strait since early deglacial times
E. Taldenkova, N. Chistyakova, Ya. Ovsepyan

17. Climate  change and zooplankton composition variations in freshwater Arctic lakes: current trends
I. Zhulay


1. Synergy of field observations and laboratory analysis for examination of parametrizations linking the atmosphere and soil thermal regime in permafrost regions: accounting for the effects of climate change

O. Anisimov, V. Kokorev, A. Zhirkov

The project goal is to examine parametrizations linking the atmospheric and ground thermal regime through field observations and laboratory analysis. They wereconstructed in the early 1970s using data under the "pre-global warming" climate, and many may have become invalid under the new climatic conditions with the consecutive effect on the accuracy of permafrost modelling. In the course of the project we will perform field observations at permafrost experimental plots in Yakutsk, soil sampling, and laboratory analysis. We will construct the full set of site-specific input forcing and edaphic parameter data, as well as actual data on the permafrost thermal regime that are needed for the critical evaluation and update of the existing empirical parametrizations in permafrost models.
Field work and soil sampling will be performed in Yakutsk on the basis of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute and the research station of Spasskaya Pad (30 km from Yakutsk), which represent two different types of permafrost landforms. Laboratory analysis of the soil columns will be done in the OSL. Ultimately, we will update the existing and develop new parametrizations for comprehensive permafrost modelling that will be adjusted to modern climatic conditions. In collaboration with the German partner, these results will be later accounted for in the development of the permafrost components in the Earth System Models and utilized in the on-going projects such as FP7 PAGE21 and the CarboPerm project.

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2. Late Quaternary circulation of surface currents in the central Arctic Ocean: insights from study of ice-rafted debris composition

E. Bazhenova, A. Kudryavtseva, E. Voronovich

The proposed study will be based on core sediment records from the central Arctic Ocean spanning the last two glacial/interglacial cycles (ca. 200,000 years). Over this time period, paleoceanographical settings will be reconstructed based on the composition of ice-rafted debris (IRD) found in sediments.
The sediment cores were recovered during the PS72 (2008) and PS87 (2014) expeditions aboard the German research vessel POLARSTERN: PS72/340-5 and PS72/344-3 at the Mendeleev Ridge, and PS87/023-1, PS87/030-1 and PS87/056-1 at the Lomonosov Ridge. The study area is located in the frontal zone between the two major systems of surface currents in the Arctic Ocean, the Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift Stream. Therefore, these sites can be used to study changes in the ocean circulation. This research will be focused on petrographic analysis of coarse grains (> 0.5 mm). It is planned to use the optical binocular Olympus SZX-12 at the Otto Schmidt Laboratory to perform identification of grains representing variable rock clasts.
Our research activities will be carried out in cooperation with the AWI (group of Prof. Dr. Ru?diger Stein). The obtained results on the IRD composition will be compared to the grain-size composition, mineralogy and geochemistry of the bulk sediments which were investigated at the AWI.

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3. Process of organic matter transport in lakes of the Yamal region (POLYAR)

A. Dvornikov, T. Skorospekhova

Climatic and environmental fluctuations in the permafrost zone lead to the activation of various cryogenic processes. This activation results in a strong impact on the redistribution of substances and changes in the biochemical composition of the water bodies. Lakes in the Arctic are good indicators of changing natural conditions.
In this regard, the main purpose of the study is to establish the number of processes influencing the cDOM concentrations in lakes based on in-situ measurements, remote sensing and topographical data. To reach this purpose, the participants of the project plan to study the biochemical composition of water samples, as well as optical properties of the water samples collected at several different key sites of Yamal and the central Lena Delta.
The key sites where water samples were previously collected and more sampling is planned are: the coastal zone of Yamal and Gydan, Central Yamal. As Yamal Peninsula is a very specific territory, comparison with data, collected from the Lena Delta and analyzed due to cooperation with partners from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Potsdam, and the Environmental Research Company FIELAX, Bremerhaven, is planned as well.
The work is the joint research of staff from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Earth Cryosphere Institute.

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4. Climatic and environmental conditions changing in the New East-Siberian Islands and in the Laptev Sea coast

L. Gafiatullina, N. Mukhametgaliev, A. Mukhametshina

The main idea of our work in the New Siberian Islands region (Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island and Faddeyevsky peninsula) is using the record of bioindicators such as pollen and cladocera for the qualitative characteristics of assemblages,for understanding the background of the natural climate variability, underlying anthropogenic influences on climate change, and using further co-operation data of other researchers' related fields of palaeolimnology, a multidisciplinary study of Arctic regions.
Our study is aimed at supplementing the existing knowledge based on various palaeoproxies from frozen deposits useful for reconstructions of late Quaternary palaeoenvironments and palaeoclimate in the Laptev Sea region (Northeast Siberia).
Research will focus on three main tasks:
- using the biological methods, alternative for others, allows us to trace the actual events of the past; preserving evidence of the encountered investigated organisms in the form of microphotos;
- improving the data of the acquired knowledge about the Arctic region, for later use by interested researchers, using sub-fossil Cladocera, and pollen;
- constructing a picture of the stratigraphy of pollen and cladoceran species in sediment layers; providing science-based conclusions about the changing boundaries of the investigated species, if there are any, in connection with the global warming processes.

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5. The Holocene foraminiferal assemblages, sedimentology and environments in the Barents and Bering seas: a comparative study

E. Ivanova, E. Ovsepyan, E. Seitkalieva

The target of the proposed research is to assess and compare the millennial to centennial changes in benthic and planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, sedimentology and environmental conditions in the Barents and Bering seas during the Holocene in relation to global and regional climatic and paleoceanographic changes. We plan to carry out a high-resolution multi-proxy study of the Holocene intervals from three sediment cores and one mini core with rather high sedimentation rates applying micropaleontological, geochemical and sedimentological methods and using the age models already developed. We expect to define the timing of the Holocene climatic optimum and highlight its manifestation in the regional environments to infer the meridional changes in benthic assemblages, sea-ice conditions, bottom hydrodynamics and sedimentation in the northwestern Barents Sea along the Atlantic water pathway, and to reconstruct variations in bioproductivity, sedimentation, foraminiferal preservation and bottom-water oxygenation in the western Bering Sea. We will also focus on the comparison of benthic foraminiferal fauna from the Barents and Bering seas. The results of the project will provide new insights into the mechanisms of the regional paleoceanographic changes and ecological preferences of indicative species.  

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6. Cenozoic history of the perennial/seasonal sea ice in the Central Arctic

A. Krylov, L. Ermakova, I. Valdaev

The Cenozoic ice/iceberg history of the central Arctic will be reconstructed based on the study of the large-sized (>0.5 cm) psephitic fraction and heavy minerals obtaining in ACEX-IODP-302, Polarstern (2008, 2011 and 2014) and Akademik Fedorov (2000) cores. The study of these samples might help to solve the following important issues: 1) precise the source for ice/icebergs and their changes with time; 2) reveal the Cenozoic history of the ice/iceberg regime in the central Arctic; 3) check the idea of Dennis Darby about the first appearance of perennial sea-ice in the Central Arctic in the Middle Eocene. For reliable solutions of these issues, petrographic and chemical composition of rock fragments and their morphology (shape, roundness, and surface), as well as the mineralogical composition of the heavy fraction will be studied.

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7. Suspended sediments transportation by rivers of the Kamchatky Krai into surrounding seas

L. Kuksina

This proposal is based on results obtained from expeditions to Kamchatka in 2008-2013. Scientists from Moscow State University (MSU) and the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS FEB RAS) participated in those field works.
The main idea of the project is the determination of the amount of suspended sediments transported into the surrounding seas (the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk) and the Pacific Ocean by rivers in the Kamchatsky Krai. The ratio between potential sediment washout in the river basins and true sediment yield in their outlets will be estimated.
The Kamchatsky Krai is a hydrologically poorly studied territory. The total suspended sediment yield of rivers in their outlets has never been studied. The interest in this research is also connected with the natural conditions in Kamchatka because a lot of active and extinct volcanoes are situated there. And they are the source of a huge amount of suspended sediments.
The research will be concentrated on the estimation of the suspended-sediment yield of the rivers, including non-studied territories. The main sources of sediment inflow will be examined. The ratio between potential washout of sediments and its real values will be estimated. The research is based on field measurements, laboratory analysis of sediment samples, satellite-image analysis, and stationary observation data. A GIS project of the the distribution of suspended-sediment yield in the Kamchatsky Krai territory will be created.

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8. Middle-Late Pleistocene terrestrial palaeoenvironmental changes at the New Siberian Islands and Laptev Sea coast

T. Kuznetsova, N. Prilepskaya, A. Felker

A multidisciplinary study of different sections on the New Siberian Islands and Laptev Sea coast provides the most complete record of the Middle and Late Pleistocene environment in the East Siberian Arctic. Compiling and synthesizing all received palaeoecological information and factors, we will determine the changes of the terrestrial ecosystem and reveal the time lags of the palaeoenvironmental changes of the different Laptev Sea regions. The main part of the material was collected during the Russian-German expeditions LENA DELTA and NEW SIBERIAN ISLANDS (1998-2007) with the active help of all team members.
The m ain goal of the proposed project is to reconstruct terrestrial palaeoenvironmental changes of the Laptev Sea surroundings – the New Siberian Islands and the mainland during the end of the Middle Pleistocene and the beginning of the Late Pleistocene. It is based on high-resolution analyses of the Middle-Late Pleistocene spore-pollen and diatom assemblages, morphological investigations of the mammals combined with geological, geochronological and isotopic data.
The research will be focused on:
- reconstruction of the terrestrial ecosystems in different regions of the Laptev Sea surroundings during the end of the Middle Pleistocene and the beginning of the Late Pleistocene;
- analysis of the dynamic palaeoenvironmental changes in different regions of the New Siberian Islands and the southeast coast of the Laptev Sea during the Middle-Late Pleistocene.
All data on the Middle-Late Pleistocene reconstruction and the dynamic terrestrial palaeoenvironmental changes in this region are new.

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9. Investigations of fossilized organisms from modern sediments of high-latitude water bodies of Beringia (New Siberian Islands, Russia, and Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada) for identifying the leading environmental factors for palaeo-environmental reconstructions

O. Palagushkina, L. Syrykh

Modern sediments of high-latitude water bodies of Beringia (New Siberian Islands, Russia and Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada) will be studied for diatom and chironomid assemblages with special emphasis on the specific ecological conditions and their influence on diatom flora and chironomid fauna. The results of this study will contribute to a calibration dataset and a transfer function for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions using diatoms and chironomids for a future monitoring study tracing general changes in lakes ecosystems development.
Within the proposed project, the variations of the taxonomic composition of diatom and chironomid assemblages of modern sediments of high-latitude water bodies will be examined with respect to environmental gradients, and the type and morphological characteristics of the water bodies. A comparative analysis of diatom and chironomid compositions in the high-latitude water bodies of the New Siberian Islands, Russia, and Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada, will refill regional databases. The proposed work is part of a multi-proxy study.

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10. The production-destruction characteristics of cryogenic shrub communities on the northern limit of the spread of northern taiga

A. Pochikalov

Our investigations are to be organized at our monitoring field station "Talnik" (Vorkuta, CEPL RAS; 67o20'N, 64o44'E, 120 m a.s.l.). There we plan to proceed our long-term monitoring observations of permafrost active-layer thaw depth, soil temperatures, volumetric soil moisture, phytomass reserves and soil CO2-fluxes. Also we plan to resume the estimations of the C:N content (using OSL equipment for preparing and analyzing the samples) in above-ground phytomass, different soil layers and decomposed tundra litter from litter-bags which we laid out in 2014. Thus, our study is one of the major phases of the research on south tundra sites.

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11. New evidence of variability in species composition and biomass of polar phytoplankton: a case study in the Laptev Sea in autumn 2014

Ye. Polyakova, I. Kryukova

The present project is a logical continuation of our previous researches of the Laptev Sea phytoplankton for the autumnal seasons since 2008, which we carried out within the framework of joint Russian-German multidisciplinary project "Laptev Sea System". The special intention of this study is to assess the influence of the environmental and biological factors on the structure and function of phytoplankton communities in the context of the ongoing environmental changes. The obtained results are expected to provide a large-scale and long-term monitoring of the Arctic pelagic ecosystem. The focus of the proposed researches is the study of phytoplankton communities collected during the TRANSDRIFT XXII expedition to the Laptev Sea in September 2014. Specifically we aim to 1) characterize marine phytoplankton regimes in the Laptev Sea in terms of algal abundance, biomass, community composition, and temporal and spatial distribution of phytoplankton assemblages, and 2) to assess the influence of abiotic factors on algal communities in the context of the ongoing environmental changes.

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12. Ultra-distal correlations of tephra layers across the Eurasian Arctic

V. Ponomareva, N. Bubenshchikova, P. Vakhrameeva

During explosive eruptions, tephra is transported over land and sea, and settles on the surface forming a marker layer, which may cover millions of square kilometers. Geochemical identification of an individual tephra in different sedimentary archives provides direct links between disparate stratigraphies and allows checking the synchronicity of their paleoenvironmental records. The goal of our interdisciplinary project is to explore the previously untapped potential of tephrochronology for correlating and dating various sediments in the Eurasian Arctic. We propose to extract tephra particles from a suite of terrestrial and marine cores along the Eurasian Arctic coast, from the White Sea in the west to the Chukchi Sea in the east, geochemically fingerprint the glasses and correlate those to their source volcanoes and to other paleoclimate archives. The tephra samples will be characterized with the help of electron-microprobe and single-shard LA-ICP-MS analysis in GEOMAR and Kiel University. Density separation, optical mineralogy and imaging of tephra particles will be performed in the OSL analytical lab. These data will be compared to our extensive database of tephra compositions from Kamchatka and the Kurile islands as well as to other available regional databases. This study will also allow evaluating eruption magnitudes and the frequency of volcanic impacts on the Arctic environment.

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13. Holocene land-sea interactions in the Laptev Sea inferred from the inner-shelf pollen records: implications for paleoreconstructions

O. Rudenko, V. Yenina

The peculiarities of marine fossil pollen and NPP spectra in cores, which we had already studied within the framework of our previous OSL projects in 2013-2014 (PS51/118-3, PS80/302, PS80/299? PS80/296), gave clear evidence for the Lena River runoff predominance over aeolian transportation in pollen transportation both onto the outer shelf and continental slope of the Laptev Sea. Therefore, using variations in the abundance and taxonomic composition of pollen and NPP from bottom sediments as a proxy, we aim now to reveal the climate-induced temporal variability in the Lena River (LR) discharge onto the Laptev Sea shelf during the Holocene along an "LR Delta – LR paleodelta – eastern Laptev Sea continental slope" transect. To fill the gap in data from the inner shelf, we plan to study for pollen and spores 1) the AMS14C-dated cores PS51/80-13 (73.27'56N 131.38'0E), obtained east from LR Delta in 1998, and PM9482-2 (74.00N 128.11E), obtained just north from LR Delta from a depth of 21 and 27 m in 1994, respectively; 2) undisturbed surface sediments from a multicore, obtained during the TRANSDRIFT XXI expedition right in the LR paleovalley and outside in 2013, to enlarge the dataset and provide a more reliable actualistic basis for reconstructions. Besides, the response of coastal vegetation to climate changes will be reconstructed on a regional scale through biome curves and indices of moisture and heat supply inferred from pollen data. The "highlight" of the research is a high-resolution study combined with biome reconstructions inferred from marine pollen data from AMS14C-dated cores.

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14. Isotope and hydrochemical data in the study of climate change effects on runoff sources and flow pathways in continuous and discontinuous permafrost

O. Semenova, L. Lebedeva, N. Nesterova

The hydrological response in permafrost regions is sensitive to the effects of climate warming, which may trigger pronounced changes in water-sources and runoff-pathways phenomena just by a slight additional ground heating. In this project based on laboratory analysis of watershed water samples and end-member mixing analysis we aim 1) to study the sources of river water and flow pathways under the changing climate for different permafrost environments, 2) to improve the hydrological model based on the results of water-origin and age assessment, and 3) to make projections of possible transformations of permafrost-hydrology interactions in the future and their effects on Arctic terrestrial biogeochemical cycle.
For the analysis, water samples of runoff, precipitation, and active layer will be collected in the field (Graviyka River, near Igarka and Shestakovka River, near Yakutsk) in the zones of discontinuous and continuous permafrost by the member of the project team who is currently working in the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk. We will use the facilities of the OSL for chemical analysis, which will allow examining the processes of storage and mixing water in different compartments of permafrost watershed systems and evaluating their vulnerability to climate change.

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15. Aeolian matter in the environment of the White Sea coastal area

D. Starodymova

I plan to study the role of aeolian transport of chemical elements and compounds (including black carbon, organic carbon and heavy metals) in the White Sea coast and catchment area. I would like to estimate the changes in delivery and accumulation of different types of particulate matter.
My work will be focused on samples from the coast and catchment area of the White Sea. I plan to study the composition of aerosols, snow and lake sediment collected in the vicinity of the White Sea Biological Station of Moscow State University and in the Arkhangelsk Region. I will compare my results with my earlier data from the White Sea catchment area and with literature data from the other Arctic regions. Hence I plan to study the composition of aeolian matter in different compounds of the Arctic environment.
This project could link Polar Regions and Coasts in a Changing Earth System, Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, and the Pan-Eurasian Experiment with active Russian-German cooperation.

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16. Environmental variability in the eastern Fram Strait since early deglacial times

E. Taldenkova, N. Chistyakova, Ya. Ovsepyan

The project is a prolongation of the high-resolution multi-proxy investigation of core MSM5/5-723-2 (79°09.66 N, 5°20.27 E, 1359 m water depth) from the western continental margin of Spitsbergen, which started in 2014. It deals with the reconstruction of the deglacial to Holocene environmental variability in the eastern Fram Strait in relation to the influence of Atlantic water, ice sheet decay and meltwater input, surface polar water distribution and sea-ice cover shifts. In 2014 we obtained a continuous IRD record for the upper 677 cm of the core section, which allowed stratigraphically subdividing the deglacial part of the sequence that lacks sound AMS14C chronology, and we analyzed taxonomic composition of benthic foraminifers and ostracods from the early Holocene-deglacial section (200-677 cm) with 10 cm resolution. The first results allowed for time-slice reconstruction of deglacial to early Holocene environmental changes based on correlation with the existing regional data. Our research is part of the ongoing investigation of lithology, planktic foraminifers, and biomarkers carried out on this core by other research groups. In 2015 we plan to enlarge the resolution of benthic records (taxonomic composition of benthic foraminifers and ostracods, benthic isotope record on Cassidulina neoteretis) by investigating samples with 5-cm intervals, and to extend the records to the top of the core to cover the whole Holocene period and deglaciation back to Pre-Bølling times. Additional AMS14C datings of the deglacial part of the sediment sequence will help to develop a sound age model and to access the past environmental variability on a centennial to decadal timescale.

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17. Climate  change and zooplankton composition variations in freshwater Arctic lakes: current trends

I. Zhulay

Zooplankton is especially sensitive and reactive to external perturbations and is a good indicator of environmental change, i.e. ,of the possible impacts of phenomena such as global warming. Recent climate warming is expected to support biological invasions. Southern pelagic species will shift northward with warm river waters, and are likely to compete with northern species. The expansion of the boreal species into the more northern areas in the Laptev Sea region is mostly caused by the increasing influence of Lena River runoff during the past decades. Due to river water, the zooplankton species composition is very changeable and may vary from year to year very strongly in the lakes of the Lena Delta. We plan to analyze and compare zooplankton diversity, ecology, population structure and phenology in the different lakes of Samoylov Island in 2013 (low spring water level) and 2014 (very high spring water level). Preliminary results confirm that the changes in the distribution and phenology of the pelagic fauna are faster and greater than those observed among other groups of water organisms.

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