Changes in Caribbean surface hydrography during the Pliocene shoaling of the Central American Seaway.

Steph, Silke, Tiedemann, Ralf, Prange, M., Groeneveld, Jeroen, Nürnberg, Dirk , Reuning, Lars, Schulz, M. and Haug, G.H. (2006) Changes in Caribbean surface hydrography during the Pliocene shoaling of the Central American Seaway. Open Access Paleoceanography, 21 (PA4221). DOI 10.1029/2004PA001092.

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Pliocene d18O records of shallow and deep dwelling planktonic foraminifers from the Caribbean (Ocean
Drilling Program sites 999 and 1000), the tropical east Pacific (sites 1241 and 851), and the Atlantic (site 925,
Ceara Rise, and site 1006, western Great Bahama Bank) were used to examine Atlantic-Caribbean-Pacific
atmospheric and oceanic linkages associated with the progressive closure of the Central American Seaway
(5.5–3 Ma). Comparisons indicate the development of an inner-Caribbean salinity gradient in the mixed layer
and salinity changes on precessional periodicities after 4.4 Ma (site 1000), when the Pacific-Caribbean
throughflow became significantly restricted. The high-amplitude variability in salinity is also observed at site
1006, monitoring the Caribbean outflow into the Atlantic. Comparisons of Caribbean and Atlantic planktonic
d18O records suggest the North Atlantic subtropical gyre as a major source for high-salinity surface waters.
Precession-induced variations in the volume transport of Pacific surface water masses through the Panamanian
Seaway are considered a main factor to explain the Caribbean salinity minima. Results from a coupled climate
model point to changes in the El Nin˜o–Southern Oscillation state as a potential trigger for changes in the
amount of Pacific inflow into the Caribbean.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Pliocene Caribbean oceanography; Central American Seaway; planktonic stable isotopes
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2004PA001092
ISSN: 0883-8305
Projects: ODP
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:52
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:44

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