A boundary exchange influence on deglacial neodymium isotope records from the deep western Indian Ocean

Wilson, D. J. and Piotrowski, A. M. and Galy, A. and McCave, I. N. (2012) A boundary exchange influence on deglacial neodymium isotope records from the deep western Indian Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 341-34. pp. 35-47. ISSN 0012-821X DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.009

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.009


The use of neodymium (Nd) isotopes to reconstruct past water mass mixing relies upon the quasi-conservative behaviour of this tracer, whereas recent studies in the modern oceans have suggested that boundary exchange, involving the addition of Nd from ocean margin sediments, may be an important process in the Nd cycle. Here we suggest that the relative importance of water mass advection versus boundary exchange can be assessed where the deep western boundary current in the Indian Ocean flows past the Madagascan continental margin; a potential source of highly unradiogenic Nd. Foraminiferal coatings and bulk sediment reductive leachates are used to reconstruct bottom water Nd isotopic composition (εNd) in 8 Holocene age coretops, with excellent agreement between the two methods. These data record spatial variability of ∼4 εNd units along the flow path of Circumpolar Deep Water; εNd≈−8.8 in the deep southern inflow upstream of Madagascar, which evolves towards εNd≈−11.5 offshore northern Madagascar, whereas εNd≈−7.3 where deep water re-circulates in the eastern Mascarene Basin. This variability is attributed to boundary exchange and, together with measurements of detrital sediment εNd, an isotope mass balance suggests a deep water residence time for Nd of ≤400 yr along the Madagascan margin. Considering deglacial changes, a core in the deep inflow upstream of Madagascar records εNd changes that agree with previous reconstructions of the Circumpolar Deep Water composition in the Southern Ocean, consistent with a control by water mass advection and perhaps indicating a longer residence time for Nd in the open ocean away from local sediment inputs. In contrast, sites along the Madagascan margin record offset εNd values and reduced glacial–interglacial variability, underlining the importance of detecting boundary exchange before inferring water mass source changes from Nd isotope records. The extent of Madagascan boundary exchange appears to be unchanged between the Holocene and Late Glacial periods, while a consistent shift towards more radiogenic εNd values at all sites in the Late Glacial compared to the Holocene may represent a muted signal of a change in water mass source or composition.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2012AREP; IA64;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume: 341-34
Page Range: pp. 35-47
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2012.06.009
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2012 10:47
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:04
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2562

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