Evolution of Temperature and Carbon Storage Within the Deep Southeast Atlantic Ocean Across the Last Glacial/Interglacial Cycle Inferred from a Highly-Resolved Sedimentary Depth Transect
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Many models show that the relative intensity of stratification is a primary variable governing the sequestration and release of carbon from the ocean over ice ages. The wide-scale observations necessary to test these model-derived hypotheses are not yet sufficient, but sedimentary depth transects represent a promising approach for making progress. Here we present paired stable isotopic (d18O, d13C) and trace metal data (Mg/Ca, B/Ca) from benthic foraminifera collected from a highly vertically-resolved depth transect from the mid-depth and deep SE Atlantic. These observations, which cover Marine Isotope Stages 5e, 5d, 5a, 4, and the Last Glacial Maximum, document the evolution of glacial conditions from the previous interglacial, and provide detailed observations regarding the magnitude and timing of changes in temperature and salinity within the deep ocean at key time points over the last glacial/interglacial cycle. Furthermore, the comparison between purely ‘physical’ tracers (i.e. Mg/Ca, d18O) and tracers sensitive to the carbon cycle (i.e. d13C and B/Ca) provides critical insight into the relationship between deep/mid-depth stratification and global carbon dynamics. Notably among our observations, the paired stable isotope and trace metal results strongly suggest that much of the ice-age cooling of deep South Atlantic occurred at the MIS 5e/5d transition, while the onset of salinity stratification in the mid-depth South Atlantic occurred at the MIS 5/4 transition.