Leonid Polyak

Senior Research Scientist
Principal Investigator


Arctic Ocean history and climate change

Current Research:

My research involves a range of paleoceanographic/marine geological problems focused on the Arctic Ocean history in recent geological times (last several million years) and its relation to the global climate change. The major current topics are: Quaternary stratigraphy and paleoceanography of the central Arctic Ocean and marginal Arctic seas, with a focus on sea-ice and circulation history, as well Pleistocene glaciations in the Arctic. These topics are important for understanding the long-term context of the ongoing climate change, which has an especially dramatic expression in the Arctic, and thus for improving the prediction of its future course.

Featured Publications:

  • 1995: Polyak, L., Lehman, S.J., Gataullin, V. & Jull, A.J.T. Two-step deglaciation of the southeastern Barents Sea. Geology 23, 567-571.
  • 2001: Polyak, L., Edwards, M.H., Coakley, B.J. & Jakobsson, M. Ice shelves in the Pleistocene Arctic Ocean inferred from glaciogenic deep-sea bedforms. Nature 410, 453-457.
  • 2007: Polyak, L., Darby, D.A., Bischof, J., Jakobsson, M. Stratigraphic constraints on late Pleistocene glacial erosion and deglaciation of the Chukchi margin, Arctic Ocean. Quaternary Res. 67, 234-245, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2006.08.001.
  • 2009: Polyak, L., Bischof, J., Ortiz, J.D., and 9 others. Late Quaternary stratigraphy and sedimentation patterns in the western Arctic Ocean. Global and Planet. Change 68, 5-17, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.03.014.
  • 2010: Polyak, L., Alley, R.B., Andrews, J.T., and 15 others. History of sea ice in the Arctic. Quatern. Sci. Rev. 29, 1757-1778, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.02.010.
  • 2013: Polyak, L., Best, K.M., Crawford, K.A., Council, E.A., St-Onge, G. Quaternary history of sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean based on foraminifera. Quatern. Sci. Rev. 79, 145-156, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.12.018.
  • 2016: Polyak, L., Belt, S., Cabedo-Sanz, P., Yamamoto, M., Park, Y-H. Holocene sea-ice conditions at the Chukchi-Alaskan margin, Arctic Ocean. The Holocene 26, 1810–1821, doi: 10.1177/0959683616645939.
  • 2016: Lazar, K.M., Polyak, L. Middle to late Pleistocene benthic foraminifers in the Arctic Ocean: implications for sea-ice and circulation history. Marine Micropaleont. 126, 19-30, doi:10.1016/j.marmicro.2016.04.004.
Areas of Expertise
  • Paleoceanography
  • Marine Geology
  • Climate Change

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