Diatoms and Aquatic Palynomorphs in the White Sea Sediments as Indicators of Sedimentation Processes and Paleoceanography

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 82)


Comprehensive studies of diatoms and palynomorphs from the White Sea sediments revealed the following features of the composition of their assemblages. The species composition of the marine plankton diatoms and dinoflagellate cysts in the sediments reflects the features of the high-latitude position of the sea and the impact of the Arctic and North Atlantic water masses on hydrological regime of the White Sea. The spatial distribution of plankton species in the surface sediments (both diatoms and dinoflagellate cysts) matches the distribution of the main types of water masses in the White Sea. The characteristic property of the diatom and dinoflagellate cyst assemblages is the presence, in high concentrations, of relatively warmwater species typical for the Atlantic water masses. Diatom algae, aquatic palynomorphs, and the grain size of surface sediments from bays of the White Sea were investigated in a program dedicated to the study of marginal filters (MF) in the Northern Dvina, the Onega, and the Kem’ Rivers.

Three microalgae assemblages are established in surface sediments, which replace each other successively with the distance from river mouths, and are characterized by a gradual decrease in a share of freshwater species of diatoms and Chlorophyceae algae, significantly varying concentrations of marine diatoms and dinocysts due to changes in water salinity, grain-size composition of sediments, quantitative distribution of suspended particulate matter (SPM), and water productivity at different marginal filter’s zones.


Diatoms Dinoflagellate cyst Green algae Marginal filter sedimentation The White Sea 



We would like to thank the Russian Scientific Foundation (Project No 14-27-00114-P) for the financial support of this research over the period of preparation of this chapter. The micropaleontological investigations were made in the framework of the state assignment of FASO Russia (theme No. 0149-2018-0016), supported in part by basic research program of the RAS Presidium (project by Novichkova Ye.A.). The authors are grateful to Academician A.P. Lisitzin for general leadership; scientists from the Laboratory of Physical Geology Researches of the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS for different advices; the crew of the R/V “Ecolog,” R/V “Professor Stokman,” and R/V “Ivan Petrov”; and all participants of the voyages for cooperation.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geographical FacultyLomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS)MoscowRussia

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