Orbital and suborbital variability in North Atlantic bottom water temperature obtained from deep-sea ostracod Mg/Ca ratios


Journal Article

Magnesium/calcium (Mg/Ca) ratios were measured in the deep-sea ostracod (Crustacea) genus Krithe from Chain core 82-24-4PC from the western mid-Atlantic Ridge (3427 m) in order to estimate ocean circulation and bottom water temperature (BWT) variability over the past 200,000 years. Mg/Ca ratios have been used as a paleothermometer because the ratios are controlled primarily by ambient water temperatures at the time the organism secretes its adult carapace. Over the past two glacial-interglacial cycles, Mg/Ca values oscillated between about 7 mmol/mol and 12 mmol/mol, equivalent to a BWT range of 0 to > 3.5°C. The lowest values were obtained on specimens from glacial marine isotope stages (MISs) 2, 4 and 6; the highest values were obtained from specimens from the early part of the Holocene interglacial (MIS 1), and also from MISs 5 and 7. These trends suggest that BWTs in the North Atlantic Ocean fluctuate over orbital time scales. Suborbital variability in Mg/Ca ratios and BWT was also observed for the past 100,000 years. Ratios rose from ~8 mmol/mol to ~10 mmol/mol (implying a BWT increase of ~1 to 3°C) during 14 Mg/Ca excursions. The highest ratios were found in Krithe dated at approximately 32, 36-38, 43, 48, 73, 85 and 93 ka. Although the age model for the Chain 82-24-4PC and temporal resolution do not allow precise correlation, some of these deep-sea bottom temperature excursions appear to correspond to Heinrich events recorded in other regions of the North Atlantic and perhaps Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadial events recorded in Greenland ice cores. If confirmed, this would support the hypothesis that millennial-scale oscillations of climate in the North Atlantic are capable of affecting global climate via thermohaline circulation changes. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cronin, TM; Dwyer, GS; Baker, PA; Rodriguez-Lazaro, J; DeMartino, DM

Published Date

  • September 15, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 162 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 45 - 57

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-0182

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S0031-0182(00)00104-8

Citation Source

  • Scopus