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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 4 | Copyright

Special issue: Marine Isotope Stage 11

Clim. Past, 4, 333-344, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-4-333-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  06 Dec 2008

06 Dec 2008

Mid-depth South Atlantic Ocean circulation and chemical stratification during MIS-10 to 12: implications for atmospheric CO2

A. J. Dickson1, M. J. Leng2,3, and M. A. Maslin1 A. J. Dickson et al.
  • 1Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, Pearson Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
  • 2NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
  • 3School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Abstract. A detailed record of benthic foraminifera carbon isotopes from the intermediate-depth South East Atlantic margin shows little glacial-interglacial variability between MIS-12 to MIS-10, suggesting that Northern Atlantic deepwaters consistently penetrated to at least 30° S. Millennial-scale increases in either the mass or flux of northern-sourced deepwaters over the core site occurred alongside reductions in Lower North Atlantic Deep Water recorded in North Atlantic sediment cores and show that the lower and intermediate limb of the Atlantic deepwater convective cell oscillated in anti-phase during previous glacial periods. In addition, a 500 yr resolution record of the Cape Basin intermediate-deep δ13C gradient shows that a reduction in deep Southern Ocean ventilation at the end of MIS-11 was consistent with a modelled CO2 drawdown of ~21–30 ppm. Further increases in the Southern Ocean chemical divide during the transition into MIS-10 were completed before minimum CO2 levels were reached, suggesting that other mechanisms such as alkalinity changes were responsible for the remaining ~45 ppm drawdown.

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