231Pa/230Th records of Arctic/Atlantic interchange in Fram Strait

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Sharon Susanna Hoffmann1, Kyle J McDermott1, Jerry F McManus2 and Samuel B Mukasa3, (1)University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, United States, (2)Columbia U. / LDEO, Palisades, NY, United States, (3)Univ of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, United States
Fram Strait, the Arctic Ocean's only deep passage for exchange with lower latitude oceans, today serves as a conduit for waters flowing north into the Arctic Ocean and south into the Atlantic. Reconstruction of circulation patterns and strength at depth in the strait can help to clarify the history of Arctic/Atlantic deep water exchange and Arctic contributions to global meridional overturning circulation. We will present new sedimentary measurements of radioisotopes 231Pa and 230Th to provide information on this exchange in the past and its relationship to sedimentation and climatic events. Coretop and downcore 231Pa/230Th ratios from Arctic sediments indicate that 231Pa has been exported from the central Arctic basin throughout the Holocene and deglaciation. Fram Strait represents a possible sink for this “missing” 231Pa. Preliminary results from ODP Holes 908A and 909A, at 1274 m and 2519 m water depths respectively in the central strait, suggest that ratios in this region during the Holocene have varied between ~0.106 (above the 231Pa/230Th production ratio of 0.093 in seawater, indicating net import of 231Pa)and ~0.055 (well below the production ratio, indicating net export of 231Pa). Further measurements in cores from the Greenland and Svalbard continental slopes will give a fuller regional picture of 231Pa deposition and transport across the strait.