Oscillating glacial northern and southern deep water formation from combined neodymium and carbon isotopes

Piotrowski, A. M. and Goldstein, S. L. and Hemming, S. R. and Fairbanks, R. G. and Zylberberg, D. R. (2008) Oscillating glacial northern and southern deep water formation from combined neodymium and carbon isotopes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 272 (1-2). pp. 394-405. ISSN 0012-821X DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.05.011

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Abstract

While ocean circulation is driven by the formation of deep water in the North Atlantic and the Circum- Antarctic, the role of southern-sourced deep water formation in climate change is poorly understood. Here we address the balance of northern- and southern-sourced waters in the South Atlantic through the last glacial period using neodymium isotope ratios of authigenic ferromanganese oxides in thirteen deep sea cores from throughout the South Atlantic. The data indicate that northern-sourced water did not reach the Southern Ocean during the late glacial, and was replaced by southern-derived intermediate and deep waters. The high-resolution neodymium isotope record (~300 yr sample spacing) from two spliced deep Cape Basin sites indicates that over the last glacial period northern-sourced water mass export to the Southern Ocean was stronger during the major Greenland millennial warming intervals (and Southern Hemisphere cool periods), and particularly during the major interstadials 8, 12, and 14. Northern-sourced water mass export was weaker during Greenland stadials and reached minima during Heinrich Events. The benthic foraminiferal carbon isotopes in the same Cape Basin core reflect a partial control by Southern Hemisphere climate changes and indicate that deep water formation and ventilation occurred in the Southern Ocean during major Greenland cooling intervals (stadials). Together, neodymium isotopes and benthic carbon isotopes provide new information about water mass sourcing and circulation in deep Southern Ocean waters during rapid glacial climate changes. Combining carbon and neodymium isotopes can be used to monitor the relative proportion of northern- and southern-sourced waters in the Cape Basin to gain insight into the processes which control the carbon isotopic composition of deep waters. In this study we show that deep water formation and circulation was more important than biological productivity and nutrient regeneration changes for controlling the carbon isotope chemistry of Antarctic Bottom Water during millennial-scale glacial climate cycles. This observation also lends support to the hypothesis that ocean circulation is linked to interhemispheric climate changes on short timescales, and that ventilation in the glacial ocean rapidly switched between the northern and Southern Hemisphere on millennial timescales.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 08AREP IA56 2008 P
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: 272
Page Range: pp. 394-405
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.05.011
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:03
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:08
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/597

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