Abstract

Cores containing representative sequences of postglacial sediments in northern and southern Hudson Bay were analyzed for their microfaunal (foraminifers and ostracods) and palynological (dinocysts, pollen, and spores) content in order to reconstruct the evolution of environments since the last glaciation.In southern Hudson Bay, the marine invasion of the Tyrrell Sea at ca. 8000 BP, following the Lake Ojibway episode, was accompanied by the development of an Arctic-type microflora and microfauna indicative of a dense seasonal sea-ice cover and stratified water masses. Shortly after 8000 BP, the establishment of subarctic conditions in surface waters was accompanied by more intense homogenization of water masses. Subarctic conditions have persisted throughout most of the postglacial interval despite a recent surface-water cooling.In northern Hudson Bay, micropaleontological and lithological data reveal a succession of proximal to distal glaciomarine environments characterized by low biogenic productivity, harsh Arctic conditions, and stratified water masses. An increase in dinocyst abundance and diversity, after 6000 BP, indicates the establishment of cool subarctic conditions in surface waters, while foraminifer assemblages suggest intensified mixing of water masses.The micropaleontological records of northern and southern Hudson Bay reveal a strong latitudinal gradient in biogenic productivity and water mass characteristics throughout the postglacial interval. "Interglacial" conditions, established in southern Hudson Bay very shortly after it was invaded by the sea, seem to have occurred much later in northern Hudson Bay.

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