North atlantic deepwater temperature change during late pliocene and late quaternary climatic cycles


Journal Article

Variations in the ratio of magnesium to calcium (Mg/Ca) in fossil ostracodes from Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 607 in the deep North Atlantic show that the change in bottom water temperature during late Pliocene 41,000-year obliquity cycles averaged 1.5°C between 3.2 and 2.8 million years ago (Ma) and increased to 2.3°C between 2.8 and 2.3 Ma, coincidentally with the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. During the last two 100,000-year glacial-to-interglacial climatic cycles of the Quaternary, bottom water temperatures changed by 4.5°C. These results show that glacial deepwater cooling has intensified since 3.2 Ma, most likely as the result of progressively diminished deep-water production in the North Atlantic and of the greater influence of Antarctic bottom water in the North Atlantic during glacial periods. The ostracode Mg/Ca data also allow the direct determination of the temperature component of the benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope record from Site 607, as well as derivation of a hypothetical sea-level curve for the late Pliocene and late Quaternary. The effects of dissolution on the Mg/Ca ratios of ostracode shells appear to have been minimal.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dwyer, GS; Cronin, TM; Baker, PA; Raymo, ME; Buzas, JS; Corrège, T

Published Date

  • January 1, 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 270 / 5240

Start / End Page

  • 1347 - 1351

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.270.5240.1347

Citation Source

  • Scopus