The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Holocene Series/Epoch (Quaternary System/Period) in the NGRIP ice core
M. Walker, S. Johnsen, S.O. Rasmussen, J.P. Steffensen, T. Popp, P. Gibbard, W. Hoek, J. Lowe, J. Andrews, S. Björck, Cwynar, K. Hughen, P. Kershaw, B. Kromer, T. Litt, D.J. Lowe, T. Nakagawa, R. Newnham and J. Schwander
Episodes, Vol. 31, no. 2, June 2008
The Greenland ice core from NorthGRIP (NGRIP) contains a proxy climate record across the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary of unprecedented clarity and resolution. Analysis of an array of physical and chemical parameters within the ice enables the base of the Holocene, as reflected in the first signs of climatic warming at the end of the Younger Dryas/Greenland Stadial 1 cold phase, to be located with a high degree of precision. This climatic event is most clearly reflected in an abrupt shift in deuterium excess values, accompanied by more gradual changes in δ18O, dust concentration, a range of chemical species, and annual layer thickness. A timescale based on multi-parameter annual layer counting provides an age of 11,700 yr b2k (before AD2000) for the base of the Holocene, with an estimated 2" uncertainty of 99 yr. It is proposed that an archived core from this unique sequence should constitute the Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Holocene Series/Epoch (Quaternary System/ Period).