Department or Program



In-depth paleoenvironmental studies in polar regions are critical to gain a better understanding of the changing environment in the 21st Century. Arctica Islandica is a warm loving thermophilous bivalve found in early postglacial raised marine sediments on the western coasts of Svalbard, Norway. Bivalves used in this study have been dated to the early Holocene 8992- 9392 cal yrs BP from the Erdmannflya Peninsula located on the Northern banks Isfjorden. During this time, it has been found that temperatures were significantly warmer than today. Sclerochronology is used to analyze δ18O variation within carbonate growth rings of Arctica islandica shells, this allows for sea surface temperature reconstructions of the waters in which the bivalves lived in. Reconstructed sea surface temperatures from 8992- 9392 cal yrs BP in Isfjorden were calculated ranging from -0.46 oC to 10.20oC with an overall average 4.55oC. This reconstruction is congruent with other established early Holocene marine records, indicating the presence of warm Atlantic water infiltrating high Arctic latitudes. Understanding of early Holocene oceanic and hydrographic dynamics, can be used as an analogue for future Arctic warming.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Open Access After Expiration]

First Advisor

Michael Retelle

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to all on Wednesday, April 14, 2027