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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 3
Clim. Past, 9, 1345–1373, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-9-1345-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Clim. Past, 9, 1345–1373, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-9-1345-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 26 Jun 2013

Research article | 26 Jun 2013

Millennial-scale variability of marine productivity and terrigenous matter supply in the western Bering Sea over the past 180 kyr

J.-R. Riethdorf1,5, D. Nürnberg1, L. Max2, R. Tiedemann2, S. A. Gorbarenko3, and M. I. Malakhov4 J.-R. Riethdorf et al.
  • 1Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), Wischhofstr. 1–3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
  • 2Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 3Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Baltiskaya St. 43, 690041 Vladivostok, Russia
  • 4North Eastern Interdisciplinary Science Research Institute (NEISRI), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Portovaya St. 16, 685000 Magadan, Russia
  • 5Department of Ocean Floor Geoscience, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8564, Japan

Abstract. We used piston cores recovered in the western Bering Sea to reconstruct millennial-scale changes in marine productivity and terrigenous matter supply over the past ~180 kyr. Based on a geochemical multi-proxy approach, our results indicate closely interacting processes controlling marine productivity and terrigenous matter supply comparable to the situation in the Okhotsk Sea. Overall, terrigenous inputs were high, whereas export production was low. Minor increases in marine productivity occurred during intervals of Marine Isotope Stage 5 and interstadials, but pronounced maxima were recorded during interglacials and Termination I. The terrigenous material is suggested to be derived from continental sources on the eastern Bering Sea shelf and to be subsequently transported via sea ice, which is likely to drive changes in surface productivity, terrigenous inputs, and upper-ocean stratification. From our results we propose glacial, deglacial, and interglacial scenarios for environmental change in the Bering Sea. These changes seem to be primarily controlled by insolation and sea-level forcing which affect the strength of atmospheric pressure systems and sea-ice growth. The opening history of the Bering Strait is considered to have had an additional impact. High-resolution core logging data (color b*, XRF scans) strongly correspond to the Dansgaard–Oeschger climate variability registered in the NGRIP ice core and support an atmospheric coupling mechanism of Northern Hemisphere climates.

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