Changes in Eastern Pacific ocean ventilation at intermediate depth over the last 150 kyr BP.

Leduc, G., Vidal, L., Tachikawa, K. and Bard, E. (2010) Changes in Eastern Pacific ocean ventilation at intermediate depth over the last 150 kyr BP. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 298 (1-2). pp. 217-228. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.08.002.

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The circulation patterns of the deep glacial Pacific Ocean are still debated. Difficulties arise due to the scarcity of reliable paleoceanographic records that can document the past movements and properties of Pacific Ocean water masses. Here, we jointly use delta(13)C and delta(18)O measured on the epibenthic foraminifer Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi, from the MD02-2529 sediment core collected at 1619 m water depth in the eastern equatorial Pacific, to monitor changes in water mass circulation spanning the past 150 kyr BP. After the extraction of short-term (centennial to millennial-scale) delta(13)C and delta(18)O changes, which were similar to 1.0 and 0.5 parts per thousand, respectively, we observed that these rapid delta(13)C and 8180 shifts were closely interrelated during the last 150 kyr BP. A comparison of MD02-2529 with other benthic delta(13)C records localized to the north and south of the core location revealed that MD02-2529 was alternately bathed by a northern nutrient-rich and a southern nutrient-poor water mass. The comparison provided a diagnostic for the latitudinal movements of a sharp water mass front that was particularly evident during marine isotope stages 4 and 3 on the millennial timescale. By considering that delta(13)C is an indicator of the northern vs. southern origin of the water that bathed the MD02-2529 coring site in the past, we found that a North Pacific water mass, that occasionally spreads to the eastern Pacific Ocean as deep as 1600 m and as far south as 8 degrees N, was responsible for shifts toward the positive delta(18)O we observed in the past. We then used the delta(13)C/delta(18)O relationship to reconstruct latitudinal temperature and/or salinity gradients of the water mass that were linked to changes in the northern and/or the southern water mass end-members. Evolution of the delta(13)C/delta(18)O relationship spanning the past 150 kyr BP has shed light on how hydrological processes occurring at northern and southern high latitudes are transmitted to the ocean's interior through water mass advection. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Thermohaline Circulation Pacific Ocean last glacial period benthic foraminifera stable isotopes deep-water formation santa-barbara basin north-pacific benthic foraminifera climate-change iberian margin isotope ratios circulation atlantic carbon
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.08.002
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2011 05:16
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:48

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