Restrictions in Mg/Ca-Paleotemperature Estimations in High-Latitude Bottom Waters: Evidence from the Fram Strait and the Nordic Seas
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Mg to Ca ratios of the benthic foraminifer species Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi provide a great potential for reconstructing bottom water temperatures, especially from the lower end of the temperature range between 0 and 6°C (Tisserand et al., 2013). A set of core top samples from the Fram Strait and the Norwegian margin have been studied for Mg/Ca ratios in C. wuellerstorfi in order to establish a calibration relationship to the environmental conditions. In this part of the northern North Atlantic the bottom water temperature range between -0.5 and -1°C. For the calibration to modern water mass conditions, modern oceanographic data from both existing conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) casts and the World Ocean Data Base 2013 (Boyer et al., 2013) have been used. Benthic Mg/Ca ratios are relatively high suggesting a preference of C. wuellerstorfi to incorporate Mg below 0°C. Although no correlation has been found to existing temperature calibrations, the data are in line with earlier Mg/Ca data from C. wuellerstorfi in the area (Martin et al., 2002; Elderfield et al., 2006). The carbonate ion effect is most likely a main cause for the relatively high Mg/Ca ratios found in core top samples from the Fram Strait and the Nordic Seas, however, other factors may influence the values as well. Holocene records of benthic trace metal/Ca ratios from the eastern Fram Strait display trends similar to those found in other proxy indicators, despite the difficulties to constrain a temperature calibration for this low temperature range. In particular, the benthic B/Ca and Li/Ca records resemble trends in Holocene planktic foraminifer assemblages, suggesting to be influenced by environmental factors such as the carbonate ion effect consistent for the entire water column.