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Diatom δ18O evidence for the development of the modern halocline system in the subarctic northwest Pacific at the onset of major Northern Hemisphere glaciation

Swann, George E. A.; Maslin, Mark A.; Leng, Melanie J.; Sloane, Hilary J.; Haug, Gerald H.. 2006 Diatom δ18O evidence for the development of the modern halocline system in the subarctic northwest Pacific at the onset of major Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Paleoceanography, 21. PA1009. 10.1029/2005PA001147

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Abstract/Summary

Establishing a time frame for the development of the modern halocline and stratified water column in the subarctic North Pacific has significant paleoclimatic implications. Here we present a δ18O(diatom) record consisting of only two species that represents autumn/winter conditions in the region across the onset of major Northern Hemisphere glaciation boundary. At circa 2.73 Ma a decrease in δ18O(diatom) of 4.6‰ occurs, whereas previously published δ18O(foram) results show a 2.6‰ increase. The δ18O(diatom) and U37 k sea surface reconstructions indicate both a significant freshening of 2–4 practical salinity units and an increase in surface temperatures in the summer to early winter period from circa 2.73 Ma onward. In contrast, the concomitant increase in δ18O(foram) is likely to be reflective of conditions beneath the mesothermal structure and/or spring conditions when warmer sea surface temperatures are not present in the region. These results are consistent with the development of the modern halocline system at 2.73 Ma with year-round stratification of the water column and a strengthened seasonal thermocline during the summer to early winter period, resulting in one of the largest summer to winter temperature gradients in the open ocean. The onset of stratification would also have led to a warm pool of surface water from circa 2.73 Ma, which may have provided a potential source of extra moisture needed to supply the growing North American ice sheets at this time.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2005PA001147
Programmes: BGS Programmes > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0883-8305
Additional Keywords: BGSPAP, DRNIGL, Glaciation, Pacific Ocean -- Northwest, Palaeoclimatology, diatom, oxygen isotopes, biogenic opal, North Pacific, salinity; stratification.
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 17 Aug 2007 13:13
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/228

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