Glacial-interglacial Changes in Ocean Carbon Chemistry constrained by Boron Isotopes, Trace Elements, and Modelling

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
James William Buchanan Rae1, Jess F Adkins2, Alan Dean Foreman3 and Christopher D Charles3, (1)University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom, (2)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States
Deep ocean carbon storage and release is commonly invoked to explain glacial-interglacial CO2 cycles, but records of the carbonate chemistry of the glacial ocean have, until recently, been scarce. Here we present new boron isotope (δ11B) and trace metal data from benthic foraminifera from a suite of 15 cores from the South Atlantic from depths ranging from 1500 to 4000 m. These records show distinct changes in the water column depth structure of these tracers between the last glacial maximum (LGM) and late Holocene. Comparison of these paired trace element and isotope ratios reveals new insights to the shared and individual controls on tracers including Li/Ca, Sr/Ca, U/Ca, Mg/Li and δ11B. We further examine these data using a recently developed tracer fields modelling approach (Lund et al. 2011). This has previously been applied to δ18O data to investigate changes in circulation at the LGM. Here we extend this method to non-conservative isotopic and trace elemental tracers, allowing us to constrain the roles of circulation, the biological pump of organic carbon and CaCO3, and carbonate compensation, in setting deep ocean carbon storage at the LGM.

Lund, D. C., J. F. Adkins, and R. Ferrari (2011), Abyssal Atlantic circulation during the Last Glacial Maximum: Constraining the ratio between transport and vertical mixing, Paleoceanography, 26, PA1213, doi:10.1029/2010PA001938.