Ice-sheet driven weathering input and water mass mixing in the Nordic Seas during the last 25,000 years

Struve, T. and Roberts, N. L. and Frank, M. and Piotrowski, A. M. and Spielhagen, R. F. and Gutjahr, M. and Teschner, C. and Bauch, H. A. (2019) Ice-sheet driven weathering input and water mass mixing in the Nordic Seas during the last 25,000 years. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 514. pp. 108-118. ISSN 0012 821X DOI

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Neodymium (Nd) isotopes are a powerful proxy tool for reconstructing past changes in water mass mixing, but reliable application of this proxy requires constraints on past changes of source water compositions. A key region of the global deep water circulation system are the Nordic Seas, which provide dense waters fundamental for the formation of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). Yet, the Nd isotope evolution of past deep waters in the Nordic Seas is so far poorly constrained. Here we present the first reconstructions of seawater Nd isotope compositions extracted from marine sediments at two locations in the central and northern Nordic Seas covering the period from the last glacial to the present. Further insights into past changes in sediment provenance, weathering inputs and water mass mixing are provided by complementary seawater and detrital strontium (Sr) and lead (Pb) isotope compositions. Our new data reveal that changes in source and magnitude of weathering inputs from the Scandinavian and Svalbard–Barents Ice Sheets (SIS and SBIS, respectively) controlled the Nd and Pb isotope composition of the Nordic Seas’ deep waters during the last glacial period. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), deep waters showed distinctly unradiogenic Nd and radiogenic Pb isotope signatures most likely driven by weathering inputs of the SBIS. In contrast, the deglaciation was characterized by enhanced SBIS ice dynamics and/or meltwater release delivering sediments from the distal Eurasian shelves to the Norwegian Sea. Pulses of volcanogenic sediment supply changed the deep water Nd isotope composition during Heinrich Stadials 1, 2 and the Bølling period. As such, the glacial–deglacial Nd and Pb isotope evolution was markedly different in the Nordic Seas, the North Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans, respectively. During the Holocene, Pb isotopes indicate synchronized weathering fluxes around the North Atlantic, whereas the influence of local weathering input on the Nd isotope evolution of the deep Nordic Seas ceased. Instead, the Holocene Nd isotope signal has been driven by the strength of the advection/convection of water masses in the study area. These new constraints on changes in the Nordic Seas provide important endmember information for Nd isotope based reconstructions of NADW export downstream in the Atlantic Ocean.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA76
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: 514
Page Range: pp. 108-118
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 May 2020 02:07
Last Modified: 16 May 2020 02:07

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