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Glacial rapid variability in deep-water temperature and δO-18 from the Western Mediterranean Sea

AuthorsCacho, Isabel; Shackleton, Nick; Elderfield, Harry; Sierro, Francisco Javier; Grimalt, Joan O.
KeywordsGlacial variability
Deep-water temperature
Western Mediterranean Sea
Trace element measurements
Stable isotopes measurements
Potential interferences in the Mg/Ca record
Estimations of δO-18dw and deep-water salinity
Reconstruction of present deep-water properties
Past conditions
Issue Date28-Nov-2006
CitationQuaternary Science Reviews 25(23-24): 3294-3311 (2006)
AbstractDeep-water temperatures (DWTs) from the Western Mediterranean Sea are reconstructed for the last 50 ka based on the analysis of Mg/Ca ratios in benthic foraminifera from core MD95-2043 collected in the Alboran Sea. The exceptionally high sedimentation rates of this core and the robust chronology available allow discussion of the results in the context of the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) rapid climatic variability. The applicability of Mg/Ca thermometry in the Western Mediterranean Deep-Water mass (WMDW) is first tested by the analysis of different benthic species in a collection of Mediterranean core tops. The results indicate the need of a readjustment of the existing Cibicidoides spp. calibrations in order to reconstruct present Western Mediterranean DWT values (12.7°C). Different physiological effects in the Mg uptake between the C. pachydermus living in different regions could account for this offset in the Mediterranean samples. Consequently, the obtained DWT record still has many uncertainties in absolute terms but trends provide valuable information on past changes in WMDW conditions. The DWT record shows significant oscillations in relation to the D–O cycles, colder values occurred during the time of D–O stadials and warmer ones during D–O interstadials. Surprisingly, the coldest DWTs occurred during the time of Heinrich Event 4 (HE4) and not during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) when DWTs were mostly warm. These and other particular features of the DWT reconstruction mimic changes in the vegetation from the Eastern Mediterranean indicating the control of the Mediterranean climate on the DWT record. Paired analyses of Mg/Ca and δO-18cc (calcite δO-18) provide the opportunity to reconstruct deep-water δO-18 (δO-18dw) and past salinities and hence changes in past WMDW density. Due to the large error associated with these calculations, they can only be discussed in terms of relative changes between different intervals. The results suggest the dominance of a heavier water end member during glacial times and a lighter one during the early Holocene in relation to the δO-18dw conditions present today. Densest WMDW were formed during most of Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 2 and during the D–O Stadials not associated with HEs, while lightest WMDW dominated during D–O Interstadials. The δO-18dw record shows a D–O variability pattern likely controlled by changes in the composition and intensity of the local run-off and also to changes in the δO-18w signal of the Atlantic inflow. Changes in the residence time of the Mediterranean waters, governed by the global sea level, are also considered to exert an important role governing Mediterranean δO-18w and salinity, particularly during MIS 2. Overall, our results are consistent with the formation of dense WMDW during D–O stadials and even denser during most of MIS 2.
Description18 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables.-- Printed version published Dec 2006.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.10.004
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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