Orbital and suborbital variability in North Atlantic bottom water temperature obtained from deep-sea ostracod Mg/Ca ratios
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.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Orbital and suborbital variability in North Atlantic bottom water temperature obtained from deep-sea ostracod Mg/Ca ratios|
|Series title||Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|