130 kyr of Dust Fluxes in the Equatorial Pacific: Implications for ITCZ movement and intensity

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Allison W Jacobel1, Kassandra Costa2, Jerry F McManus2, Gisela Winckler2 and Robert F Anderson2, (1)Columbia Univ-Earth & Environ, Palisades, NY, United States, (2)Columbia University & Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
The position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has been hypothesized to play a role in linking the climate of the poles to the tropics and in predicating important changes in ocean overturning, particularly on deglacial timescales. One method of tracking the paleo-position of the ITCZ is through the quantification of 230Thxs,0-normalized 232Th concentrations in marine sediments which act as proxy for aeolian dust flux. Because the ITCZ is an efficient scavenger of atmospheric particulates, changes in the latitude of maximum dust flux can yield insight into variations in ITCZ position. This technique has been successfully utilized to reconstruct the movement of the ITCZ during the last deglaciation in the eastern equatorial Pacific (McGee et al., 2007). In this study we apply a similar approach to produce a high-resolution reconstruction of ITCZ movement in the central equatorial Pacific over the last 130 kyr, including the last glacial inception, Marine Isotope Stage 4, the Last Glacial Maximum and Termination I (TI).

We present records of 232Th/230Thxs,0 as a proxy for continentally sourced dust at sub-millennial resolution along a latitudinal transect of three sites beneath the shifting ITCZ. We pair our new data with existing dust flux data from Antarctica, Greenland and the North Pacific to differentiate between changes in the ITCZ and variability in atmospheric dust abundance. Our data reconstruct a spatially different pattern of ITCZ movement during the last two deglaciations, which allows us to locate our records in the context of recent studies challenging our mechanistic understanding of deglacial terminations. Additionally, our data show evidence of precessional forcing in reconstructed dust fluxes, and we evaluate changes in ITCZ precipitation intensity (scavenging efficiency) and enhanced aeolian transport in tropical dust source regions as the driver of this variability.

D. McGee, F. Marcantonio, and J. Lynch-Stieglitz, “Deglacial Changes in Dust Flux in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters no. 257 (January 1, 2007): 215–230.