The following research groups participate in the OSL Fellowship Program 2014.

1. Quantifying the potential impact of methane emission from East-Siberian Arctic shelf region on global air temperature under current and projected for the 21st century climate
O. Anisimov, V. Kokorev

2. Provenance discrimination in sediments from the Mendeleev Ridge (Central Arctic Ocean): implications for reconstructions of sediment sources and pathways over the last 200,000 years
E. Bazhenova, S. Kostygov

3. Transformation of geochemical flows in the Lena River delta
A. Chetverova

4. Tracking environmental and climate changes in Siberian Arctic lakes and ponds using bioproxy
L. Frolova, G. Nigamatzyanova, N. Mukhametgaliev

5. Comparison of millennial environmental changes in the Barents and Bering seas over the Termination I
E. Ivanova, E. Ovsepyan, E. Seitkalieva

6. How much anthropogenic factors affect the emission of greenhouse gases in tundra ecosystems at local scale
D. Karelin, A. Pochikalov, V. Kaganov

7. Subpolar salt-marsh foraminifera
S. Korsun, E. Golikova, D. Mikhailov

8. Cenozoic ice/iceberg history of the central Arctic Ocean (based on IODP-302 data)
A. Krylov, L. Ermakova, I. Valdaev

9. Biodiversity of the dominant benthic taxa of the abyssal Kuril-Kamchatka Trench area
M. Malyutina, I. Alalykina, A. Lavrenteva

10. Reconstruction of Holocene environmental history in the north-western part of Beringia
O. Palagushkina, L. Syrykh

11. Phytoplankton in the Laptev Sea: composition, distribution and environmental forcing (autumnal season 2013)
Ye. Polyakova, I. Kryukova

12. Volcanic record in the Arctic sedimentary archives
V. Ponomareva, A. Plechova, N. Bubenshchikova

13. Postglacial short-term environmental changes in the eastern Laptev Sea region inferred from pollen case study of the core sequences from the continental slope and Lena-Yana paleochannel
O. Rudenko, V. Yenina

14. Impacts of climate change on hillslope erosion in permafrost landscapes and suspended sediment transport to the Arctic Ocean (by the Lena River basin as an example)
O. Semenova, L. Lebedeva, N. Volkova

15. Limnology of thermokarst lakes and polygonal ponds in the Indigirka-Kolyma Lowland
V. Sitalo

16. Deglacial to early Holocene environmental variability in the eastern Fram Strait
E. Taldenkova, N. Chistyakova, Ya. Ovsepyan

17. Periodic elimination of foraminiferal assemblages at the mouths of the great Siberian rivers
A. Yudina



1. Quantifying the potential impact of methane emission from East-Siberian Arctic shelf region on global air temperature under current and projected for the 21st century climate

O. Anisimov, V. Kokorev

The project is targeted at evaluation of the Arctic drivers of the climate change and has the objective to quantify the effects of different components of the methane emission in the East-Siberian Arctic shelf region on the global temperature under current climatic changes and changes projected for the 21st century. The study area includes both the East-Siberian Arctic shelf and the adjacent terrestrial permafrost zone along the Arctic coast. The results of our preceding studies suggest that the observed enhanced fluxes of methane over the East-Siberian Arctic shelf are most likely bound to fault zones and paleo river beds and are thus not related to thawing subaquatic permafrost and modern climatic changes. The total methane flux on the East-Siberian Arctic shelf includes a component highly responsive to climate forcing and associated with the biogenic production, which is governed by temperature and availability of organic material in the upper bottom sediments. The latter depends on organic flux to the ocean due to coastal erosion and fluvial sediment transport, which are likely to increase in the course of warming.
In collaboration with the German partners we will analyze the observational data for the study region and use it to develop the model-assisted analytical and predictive framework that combines databases, and permafrost, vegetation, and carbon models. Models will be used to calculate changes in the biogenic methane flux under the climate projected for the 21st century and associated changes in the radiative forcing. To accomplish this goal we will develop the optimal climatic projection for the study region through testing the regional performance of CMIP-5 GCMs and combining the top-ranked models into an ensemble. Ultimately, we shall use the available estimates of the sensitivity of global air temperature to atmospheric methane concentration to evaluate the effect that projected changes in methane production in the East-Siberian Arctic shelf region may have on the global climate.

» back to contents

 

2. Provenance discrimination in sediments from the Mendeleev Ridge (Central Arctic Ocean): implications for reconstructions of sediment sources and pathways over the last 200,000 years

E. Bazhenova, S. Kostygov

The late Pleistocene history of the Arctic comprised cyclical changes in the extension of land-based ice sheets and sea-ice cover that affected the sedimentary environments in the Arctic Ocean. This study will be based on sediment core PS72/340-5 recovered during the ARK-XXIII/3 expedition of RV "Polarstern" in 2008. The core was taken in the central Arctic Ocean at the eastern flank of the Mendeleev Ridge (ca. 2,200 m water depth). Additionally, a set of surface samples from the adjacent shelf areas will be utilized. We plan to use the OSL facilities to measure the grain-size distribution in sediments. The obtained results can be used to study the role of ocean currents, sea ice and iceberg transport in the sediment deposition. According to the age model created at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the sediment record of core PS72/340-5 spans the last 200 ka. Over this time period, variable sedimentation patterns will be described and possible implications for the reconstruction of glacial/interglacial paleoenvironments will be provided. Grain-size data will be used together with geochemical provenance information obtained at the AWI (radiogenic isotopic signature of Pb and Nd in sediments) to prepare a joint publication.

» back to contents

 

3. Transformation of geochemical flows in the Lena River delta

A. Chetverova

The project is dedicated to understanding the processes of the unique, but poorly studied water objects of the estuary zone of rivers. The main interest of the principal investigator concentrates on the Lena River (East Siberia, Russia) as the biggest delta in the Arctic. The study is based on multiyear data from literature and field data from regular Russian-German expeditions to the delta. As a result, different sources and the role of different factors on the formation of the geochemical flow of the Lena River Delta are planned to be shown.
The features of geochemical flow formation in the different part of the delta (from its head to the sea-edge) are planned to be obtained.
The project will be enriched by data from expeditions to the delta itself and to the river-sea part ("round delta cruise") in 2012 (November) and 2013 (April-May and July-August).
The proposal includes results of the previous investigation and OSL projects and is planned to provide the final answer to the problem. The main results of the project will be included in the PhD thesis of the principal investigator.

» back to contents

 

4. Tracking environmental and climate changes in Siberian Arctic lakes and ponds using bioproxy

L. Frolova, G. Nigamatzyanova, N. Mukhametgaliev

Climatic changes occurring at high latitudes have profound effects on other regions. Unfortunately, long-term monitoring data are generally lacking for most regions, and this is especially true for the Arctic. Without these data, it is difficult to determine whether environmental conditions are changing, and if so, to specify the magnitude and direction of change. Fortunately, a variety of natural archives of environmental change (e.g., sediment cores) can be used to reconstruct these missing data sets.
Studies about the impacts of climate change and its impacts on ecosystems in the Arctic region mostly focused on the Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia, and only few were reported in Arctic Russia. In this project we will concentrate on the impacts of environmental and climate changes on Arctic and subarctic biota and vegetation in northern Russia, based on pollen, Cladocera and Ostracoda analyses from surface sediments, short cores and contemporary limnological samples. As long-term environmental trends in lakes cannot be divorced from an understanding of present-day limnology, we will study present-day limnological conditions and processes in the Arctic.
This study can broaden our understanding of Arctic ecosystems by providing long-term perspectives and highlighting the dynamic interactions with both the natural and the anthropogenic population.

» back to contents


5. Comparison of millennial environmental changes in the Barents and Bering seas over the Termination I

E. Ivanova, E. Ovsepyan, E. Seitkalieva

The proposal is aimed at the evaluation of common and specific features of the deglacial evolution of the Barents and Bering seas. We plan to carry out a high-resolution multi-proxy study of the deglacial intervals from three sediment cores with rather high sedimentation rates applying micropaleontological, geochemical and sedimentological methods (in particular using the OSL equipment). To define and correlate the millennial events including the beginning of Termination I, Heinrich-1, Bolling-Allerod and Younger Dryas, we will use the age models provided by the German partners for the Bering Sea core SO201-2-77KL, and develop age models for the Barents Sea cores S 2528 and S 2519 based on the available AMS14C dates. We expect to highlight the manifestation of the millennial events in the poorly investigated high-latitudinal parts of both seas related to the global and regional climate changes. In the western Bering Sea/Subpolar North Pacific, a special emphasis will be given to surface-water bioproductivity changes and sea-ice conditions depending on sea-level oscillations and water exchange via the straits. In the northwestern Barents Sea, we will focus on variations in the Atlantic water inflow and iceberg calving during the deglaciation.

» back to contents


6. How much anthropogenic factors affect the emission of greenhouse gases in tundra ecosystems at local scale
D. Karelin, A. Pochikalov, V. Kaganov

The tundra, being in fact one of the biosphere's "cold storages" of carbon in the form of immature or aged organic matter stocks as a result of low decomposition rates, is also rather vulnerable to different human impacts. Besides, in addition to the general goal of studying the global effect of human-induced climate change on ecosystems' (in our case the tundra) C-balance, there is an equally significant concern of assessing the impact of the main anthropogenic factors (fires, mechanical and chemical disturbance of soil surface) on emissions of C-containing biogenic greenhouse gases (methane and CO2), at local spacial-temporal scale. The long-term measurements of carbon emission rates of the tundra ecosystem and the number of supplementary investigations of the soil and plant cover with further chemical analyses using our long-term monitoring data (1996-2013) at human-disturbed sites near the Vorkuta coal-mining and gas-transporting center allow us to estimate the influence of the anthropogenic factors on ??2 and ??4 soil-surface emissions and the attendant plant and soil disturbances. In addition, we plan to estimate the share of ancient carbon in current methane and ??2 surface fluxes in disturbed as well as control sites according to the isotopic content of 14? analysis, and also the comparative respiration activity of local soil microbial communities grown under standard conditions in vitro, and also in situ in disturbed as well as control biotopes, using the method of the artificially induced so-called Birch effect (distilled water) or dissolved sucrose addition.

» back to contents


7. Subpolar salt-marsh foraminifera

S. Korsun, E. Golikova, D. Mikhailov

Salt-marsh foraminiferal assemblages are the principal tool of Holocene sea-level reconstructions for mid-latitudes. Subpolar salt-marsh foraminifera remain literally unknown. Our 2013 sampling of upper intertidal meadows in the White Sea revealed for the first time that salt-marsh foraminifera did exist in this subpolar region (66°20´N) and that they were abundant. We aim to characterize the subpolar salt-marsh fauna taxonomically and also to describe and interpret its horizontal and vertical distribution.

» back to contents


8. Cenozoic ice/iceberg history of the central Arctic Ocean (based on IODP-302 data)
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 obtained from ACEX-IODP-302 cores from 0 to 427.5 m composite depth. The study of these samples might help to solve the following important issues: 1) a qualitative assessment of the duration (extreme values: 400 ka vs. 26 ma) of a mid-Cenozoic hiatus in ACEX record and 2) the Cenozoic history of ice/iceberg regime in the central Arctic. For reliable solutions of these issues the petrographic composition of the fragments and their morphology (shape, roundness, and surface) will be studied. In our project we offer the first detailed study of coarse-grained material from the ACEX borehole.

» back to contents


9. Biodiversity of the dominant benthic taxa of the abyssal Kuril-Kamchatka Trench area
M. Malyutina, I. Alalykina, A. Lavrenteva

The German-Russian expedition KuramBio 2012 was designed to investigate the biodiversity of the abyssal benthos of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench area. About a quarter of all collected species belongs to the dominant macrobenthic taxa Peracarida and Polychaeta. In the framework of the Otto Schmidt Laboratory Fellowship we aim to continue the current work on species identification of the studied taxa and description of the new species (comprising almost half of all collected species). This is the basis for any further taxonomic, faunistic, biogeographic analyses.
Since the collections of previous "Vityaz" expeditions from that area are stored mainly at the ZIN RAS (St. Petersburg) and the IO RAS (Moscow), we plan to use the OSL as a convenient place to work with the KuramBio new samples of Polycheata, Isopoda and Cumacea which have to be brought from ZIM (Hamburg) and IMB (Vladivostok) in order to compare them with the material from ZIN RAS and IO RAS.
Together with our German partners, our plans for 2014 are: identification the species, description of new species, preparation of joint publications of the first results on biodiversity and distribution of the benthic fauna in a special KuramBio volume of the Deep-Sea Research II, 2014-2015, and specialized journals (e.g., Zootaxa, Zookeys).

» back to contents


10. Reconstruction of Holocene environmental history in the north-western part of Beringia
O. Palagushkina, L. Syrykh

The pingo exposure and lake sediments from North-Western Beringia will be studied for diatom and chironomid assemblages. The investigation of the Quaternary environment history in the north-western part of Beringia will be performed in order to reconstruct Holocene palaeoclimatic and environmental dynamics. Within the proposed project, variations of the taxonomic composition of diatom and chironomid assemblages of the pingo exposure and a short core of modern lake sediments will be examined. Using methods of multivariate statistic we will reconstruct Holocene palaeoclimatic and environmental dynamics on the basis of the taxonomic data of diatoms and chironomids. The obtained results will be compared with reconstructions from the northern part of eastern Beringia. In addition to the information on climatic variability, the project will provide information about the taxonomy, composition, distribution, abundance and ecology of diatoms and chironomids in the region, which is important for completing regional databases. The proposed work is part of a multi-proxy study.

» back to contents


11. Phytoplankton in the Laptev Sea: composition, distribution and environmental forcing (autumnal season 2013)
Ye. Polyakova, I. Kryukova

The ongoing climate change in the Arctic leads to the variability of the marine environment in the region. However, our knowledge about the effect of these changes on the ecosystem is limited by poor understanding of basic ecological processes and gaps in datasets. The focus of the proposed researches is the study of phytoplankton communities from the Laptev Sea. The data on phytoplankton in this area still remain sporadic compared to other regions of the Siberian shelf due to the harsh environment and general inaccessibility. The obtained results are expected to provide an understanding of the present state of the pelagic ecosystem in the Laptev Sea. The special intention of this study is to assess the influence of environmental and biological factors on the structure and function of phytoplankton communities in the context of current environmental changes. To make a comprehensive analysis, it is planned to examine species composition, temporal and spatial distribution of phytoplankton assemblages, and abiotic factors affecting algal communities. The project is a logical continuation of our previous projects. The study will be based on data collected during the TRANSDRIFT XXI expedition in September 2013.

» back to contents


12. Volcanic record in the Arctic sedimentary archives
V. Ponomareva, A. Plechova, N. Bubenshchikova

During explosive eruptions, tephra is transported over land and sea, and settles on the surface, covering areas of millions of square kilometers. The identification of an individual tephra in different sedimentary archives provides direct linkage between disparate stratigraphies allowing a synchronizing major environmental changes. The goals of our interdisciplinary project are to examine Arctic terrestrial and marine depositional successions (coastal outcrops and cores HLY0501 and PS51, in particular), extract tephra particles from the sediments, geochemically fingerprint the glass shards and correlate them to their source volcanoes and to other paleoclimate archives. Along with the studies of visible tephra layers, we will work on cryptotephra (scattered tephra particles), which will allow identifying certain tephras over still larger areas, thus enhancing their potential as correlation tools. Tephra samples will be characterized with the help of an electron microprobe and single-shard LA-ICP-MS analysis at GEOMAR and CAU. 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 volcanic impact on the Arctic environment.

» back to contents

 

13. Postglacial short-term environmental changes in the eastern Laptev Sea region inferred from pollen case study of the core sequences from the continental slope and Lena-Yana paleochannel
O. Rudenko, V. Yenina

The proposed research is a continuation of our 2013 OSL Fellowship project. It is focused on the study of pollen and aquatic palynomorphs from the longest high-resolution AMS14C-dated PS51/118-3 core section from the eastern Laptev Sea continental slope and further testing of biome/BMA methods of paleoreconstructions using marine data. The records obtained manifest the signals of river runoff fluctuations extending back to 10.8 cal. ka and reflect the feedback of coastal vegetation to climate changes. In 2014, we plan the same study in undisturbed surface sediments and in the 20-cm long multicore sections of PS80/296, PS80/299 and PS80/302, recovered from the outer shelf and continental slope in 2012 during the ARKXXVII-3 expedition and sampled continuously in 2-cm slices. This will allow extending the regional dataset on subfossil pollen spectra and verifying the accuracy of the biome reconstructions. Besides, we will perform the biomization procedure for already available pollen counts from the AMS14C-dated borehole Ki001 and core PM9462, both recovered from the Yana River paleovalley. A combination of high-resolution sampling, AMS14C stratigraphy, subfossil/fossil pollen assemblages and, if successful, biome scores and pollen-based climatic indices will allow a robust correlation of all studied marine pollen and biome records with the NorthGRIP2 ?18O profile with the aim to clarify the feedback of regional ecosystems to global climate changes since the early Holocene.

» back to contents


14. Impacts of climate change on hillslope erosion in permafrost landscapes and suspended sediment transport to the Arctic Ocean (by the Lena River basin as an example)
O. Semenova, L. Lebedeva, N. Volkova

The projected climate change in cold regions is expected to influence surface water processes and alter the fluxes of sediment, solutes and nutrients. The goal of the project is the assessment of climate-change impacts on soil erosion in different permafrost landscapes and integration of those findings into the projections of suspended sediment discharge into the Arctic Ocean (by the example of the Lena River basin).
The two main challenges of the project are 1) the inability of current soil erosion models to take the frozen state of the grounds and its intra-annual variability into account for the computations, and 2) the extreme data scarcity regarding observations of hillslope erosion processes in permafrost environments.
The process-based hydrological model Hydrograph explicitly describes the water and thermal dynamics of the soils coupled with runoff formation processes. It proved its ability to cope well with permafrost environments in different studies, including those conducted in the OSL (2009–2011, 2013). Within the project the Hydrograph model will be enhanced by soil erosion algorithms adapted for specific requirements of permafrost presence.
The other task of the project will be the analysis of existing databases containing sediment observations for different landscapes across the Arctic and their supplementation by data of special hydrological studies and expeditions from the archives of the State Hydrological Institute.
CMIP5 climate projections will become the basis for the assessment of soil erosion process and suspended-sediment transport in different permafrost landscapes in the future. Upscaling the results to the Lena River basin will allow projecting the changes of suspended-sediment flux into the Arctic Ocean.
The project will logically continue the research conducted during the OSL fellowships 2009–2011, 2013. It will be conducted by three young scientists, one postdoc and two PhD students. The research would require collaboration and data exchange with the German colleagues from AWI.

» back to contents

 

15. Limnology of thermokarst lakes and polygonal ponds in the Indigirka-Kolyma Lowland
V. Sitalo

Permafrost regions are affected more strongly by ongoing global warming than regions elsewhere on this planet. Permafrost degradation leads to changes in mass and energy fluxes, affects relief and hydrology, and has a tremendous ecological impact. One of the most important effects of permafrost degradation is the formation of numerous thermokarst lakes in the Siberian lowlands, which dominate these landscapes today. In addition, polygonal patterned ground, often occupied by small water bodies (polygonal ponds), is a second typical periglacial relief feature in tundra wetlands. Such polygons are sensitive indicators of environmental and climate changes.
Based on the available field data and sample collection and analytical data sets from the joint German-Russian DFG-RFBR project "Polygons in tundra wetlands: state and dynamics under climate variability in polar regions", the hydrological conditions and the dynamics of thermokarst lakes and polygonal ponds in the Indigirka-Kolyma Lowland will be studied at two representative sites using morphometrical, hydrochemical and sedimentological parameters. The results will also contribute to the new German-Russian project CarboPerm studying the formation, transformation and release of carbon stored in permafrost.

» back to contents

 

16. Deglacial to early Holocene environmental variability in the eastern Fram Strait
E. Taldenkova, N. Chistyakova, Ya. Ovsepyan

The project deals with the reconstruction of the deglacial to early 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. Core MSM5/5-723-2 (79°09.66 N, 5°20.27 E), selected for the study, is located at 1349 m water depth on the western continental margin of Spitsbergen directly beneath the pathway of Atlantic water and in close vicinity to the former ice sheets and modern winter sea-ice margin. The core section between 200 and 650 cm will be investigated. It corresponds in age with the time interval between 7 and approximately 21 ka (given the uncertainty of the age model in the lower part of the core). The proposed high-resolution multi-proxy investigation includes IRD counts, micropaleontological investigation of benthic foraminifers and ostracods and establishment of a benthic stable-isotope record, and will be part of the ongoing research on lithology, planktic foraminifers, and biomarkers carried out on this core by other research groups. The first results will be presented as time-slice reconstruction of deglacial to early Holocene environmental changes (Pre-Bølling, Bølling-Allerød, Younger Dryas, early Holocene and transition to middle Holocene) and correlated with the existing regional data. We would attempt to compare the Fram Strait reconstructions with the previously obtained evidence from the Laptev Sea continental margin in order to trace the manifestation of Atlantic water influence in the "upstream" region and the farther "downstream" Eurasian Arctic during times of deglaciation and early Holocene that are non-analogous to the modern.

» back to contents

 

17. Periodic elimination of foraminiferal assemblages at the mouths of the great Siberian rivers
A. Yudina

A single record from the Yenisei estuary suggests that the foraminiferal fauna is eliminated by the flood every year. The project is aimed to verify this explanation by providing additional foraminiferal records from the Yenisei and Lena River mouths and by finding sedimentation rates for the Yenisei estuary according to Pb-210 dates. These periodically eliminated assemblages may provide a modern analog for the difficult-to-interpret postglacial foraminiferal faunas that are  dominated by few species.

» back to contents