This project utilizes ostracodes (bivalved Crustacea) and benthic foraminifera whose shells are commonly preserved in Arctic and sub-Arctic sediments. These microfossils and their shell chemistry are proxy indicators of temperature, salinity, oxygen, productivity, and sea ice and serve as monitors for changing climatic conditions. Some proxy methods used in this study are listed below.
- Mg/Ca ratios in the ostracode genus Krithe are influenced by the water temperature in which their calcitic shells are secreted. Mg/Ca ratios are used in the Arctic Ocean for paleotemperature reconstruction (for more information, see Dwyer et al., 1995 )
- Acetabulastoma arcticum is an ostracode species that lives parasitically on sea ice-dwelling amphipods; its relative abundance in sediments is used for sea ice reconstruction (for more information, see Cronin et al., 2010)
- Stable isotopes in benthic foraminifera are influenced by various factors including water temperature and are used for paleotemperature reconstruction in some regions of the Arctic (for more information see Farmer et al., 2011)
- Arctic ostracode species have ecological requirements limiting their distribution to particular water masses. Ostracode faunal assemblages from sediment cores are used to reconstruct Arctic Ocean circulation during glacial and interglacial climate changes