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Variations in Atlantic surface ocean paleoceanography, 50°-80°N: A time-slice record of the last 30,000 years

Sarnthein, M; Jansen, E; Weinelt, M; Arnold, M; Duplessy, JC; Erlenkeuser, H; Flatoy, A; ... Schulz, H; + view all (1995) Variations in Atlantic surface ocean paleoceanography, 50°-80°N: A time-slice record of the last 30,000 years. Paleoceanography , 10 (6) 1063 - 1094. 10.1029/95PA01453. Green open access

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Abstract

Eight time slices of surface-water paleoceanography were reconstructed from stable isotope and paleotemperature data to evaluate late Quaternary changes in density, current directions, and sea-ice cover in the Nordic Seas and NE Atlantic. We used isotopic records from 110 deep-sea cores, 20 of which are accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)-C-14 dated and 30 of which have high (>8 cm/kyr) sedimentation rates, enabling a resolution of about 120 years. Paleotemperature estimates are based on species counts of planktonic foraminifera in 18 cores. The delta(18)O and delta(13)C distributions depict three main modes of surface circulation: (1) The Holocene-style interglacial mode which largely persisted over the last 12.8 C-14 ka, and probably during large parts of stage 3. (2) The peak glacial mode showing a cyclonic gyre in the, at least, seasonally ice-free Nordic Seas and a meltwater lens west of Ireland. Based on geostrophic forcing, it possibly turned clockwise, blocked the S-N flow across the eastern Iceland-Shetland ridge, and enhanced the Irminger current around west Iceland. It remains unclear whether surface-water density was sufficient for deepwater formation west of Norway. (3) A meltwater regime culminating during early glacial Termination I, when a great meltwater lens off northern Norway probably induced a clockwise circulation reaching south up to Faeroe, the northward inflow of Irminger Current water dominated the Icelandic Sea, and deepwater convection was stopped. In contrast to circulation modes two and three, the Holocene-style circulation mode appears most stable, even unaffected by major meltwater pools originating from the Scandinavian ice sheet, such as during delta(18)O event 3.1 and the Bolling. Meltwater phases markedly influenced the European continental climate by suppressing the ''heat pump'' of the Atlantic salinity conveyor belt. During the peak glacial, melting icebergs blocked the eastward advection of warm surface water toward Great Britain, thus accelerating buildup of the great European ice sheets; in the early deglacial, meltwater probably induced a southward flow of cold water along Norway, which led to the Oldest Dryas cold spell.

Type: Article
Title: Variations in Atlantic surface ocean paleoceanography, 50°-80°N: A time-slice record of the last 30,000 years
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/95PA01453
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/95PA01453
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 1995 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords: North Atlantic, Western Norway, Younger Dryas, Norwegian Sea, Deep-water, Ice-sheet, Northeastern Atlantic, C-14 calibration, Floral migration, Glacial maximum
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/101339
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