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Abrupt climate change in the Atlantic Ocean during the last 20,000 years : insights from multi-element analysis of benthic and planktic foraminifera and coupled OA-GCM

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dc.contributor.advisor Delia W. Oppo. en_US
dc.contributor.author Came, Rosemarie Evangeline en_US
dc.contributor.other Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2007-11-15T19:47:47Z
dc.date.available 2007-11-15T19:47:47Z
dc.date.copyright c2005.
dc.date.issued 2005 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/33945 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/33945
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), 2005. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description.abstract Minor and trace element records of planktic and benthic foraminifera from Atlantic sediment cores, as well as output from a coupled OAGCM, were used to investigate the magnitude and distribution of the oceanic response to abrupt climate events of the past 20 kyr. The study addressed three major questions: 1) What is the magnitude of high-latitude sea surface temperature and salinity variability during abrupt climate events? 2) Does intermediate depth ventilation change in conjunction with high-latitude climate variability? 3) Are the paleoclimate data consistent with the response of a coupled OAGCM to a freshwater perturbation? To address these questions, analytical methods were implemented for the simultaneous measurement of Mg/Ca, Zn/Ca, Cd/Ca, Mn/Ca and Al/Ca in foraminiferal samples using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Paired records of planktic foraminiferal [delta]¹⁸O and Mg/Ca from the subpolar North Atlantic reveal trends of increasing temperatures ([approx.] 3⁰C) and salinities over the course of the Holocene, which were punctuated by abrupt events. The variability does not appear to be periodic, but tends to recur within a broad millennial band. The records provide the first evidence of open-ocean cooling (nearly 2⁰C) and freshening during the 8.2 kyr event, and suggest similar conditions at 9.3 ka. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) However, the two largest temperature oscillations ([approx.] 2⁰C) occurred during the last 4,000 years, suggesting a recent increase in temperature variability relative to the mid-Holocene. Benthic foraminiferal Cd/Ca from an intermediate depth, western South Atlantic core provides insights into changes in the southward penetration of North Atlantic Intermediate Water (NAIW). Cd seawater estimates (Cdw) for the last glacial are consistent with the production of NAIW and its export into the South Atlantic. At [approx.] 14.5 ka, the NAIW contribution to the South Atlantic began to decrease, marking a transition from a glacial subsurface geometry to a Younger Dryas geometry, which occurred concurrently with the onset of the Bolling-Allerod to Younger Dryas cooling. High Cdw in both the deep North Atlantic and the intermediate South Atlantic imply reduced export of deep and intermediate water during the Younger Dryas, and a major decrease in northward heat transport. Modern subsurface geometry was established at [approx.] 9 ka, concurrently with the establishment of Holocene warmth in the North Atlantic region, further supporting a close linkage between subsurface circulation and North Atlantic climate. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Paired benthic foraminiferal Mg/Ca and [delta]¹⁸O data from two intermediate depth low latitude western Atlantic sites - one from the Florida Current and one from the Little Bahama Bank- provide insights into the spatial distribution of intermediate depth temperature and salinity variability during the Younger Dryas. The Florida site lies within the deeper portion of the Florida Current; the Little Bahama Bank site lies within the deeper, unventilated portion of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. During the Younger Dryas, temperatures increased at the Florida Current site and temperatures decreased at the Little Bahama Bank site. The temperature increase within the Florida Current is consistent with the reduced northward heat transport associated with a reduction in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC); the temperature decrease at Little Bahama Bank is consistent with a cooling of high latitude surface waters. To test the possibility that a freshening of the surface North Atlantic caused the terrestrial and oceanographic changes during the Younger Dryas, the GFDL R30 coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model was forced using a North Atlantic freshwater perturbation of 0.1 Sv for a period of 100 years. The freshwater flux causes an overall reduction in the Atlantic overturning from 25 Sv to 13 Sv. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) However, at [approx.] 1,100 meters water depth, ventilation increases, causing decreases in both temperature and salinity throughout much of the intermediate depth North Atlantic. In the open North Atlantic, intermediate depth temperatures decrease by approximately 1⁰C; at the eastern side, intermediate depth temperatures decrease by less than 0.4⁰C. Intermediate depth temperatures at the western boundary, however, increase due to a reduction in northward heat transport, and also due to a shift in the location of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which causes a reduction in surface salinity and a decrease in the upwelling of colder, deeper waters. Benthic foraminiferal Cd/Ca from an intermediate depth Florida Current core documents the history of the northward penetration of southern source waters within the return flow of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC). Cd seawater estimates (Cdw) for the last glacial are consistent with the reduced influence of southern source waters at this location relative to the present. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) At [approx.] 18.5 ka, the southern source contribution to the Florida Current began to increase significantly, marking the onset of a transition from a glacial circulation pattern to a deglacial pattern, which lasted from [approx.] 17 ka to [approx.] 14 ka. At [approx.] 12.5 ka, following the onset of the Younger Dryas cooling in the North Atlantic and the reduction in North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) production, the influence of southern source waters within the Florida Current decreased abruptly. A renewed influence of southern source waters occurred at [approx.] 9 ka, concurrent with the establishment of Holocene warmth in the North Atlantic region. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Rosemarie Evangeline Came. en_US
dc.format.extent 152 leaves en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/33945 en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582
dc.subject /Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.subject Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. en_US
dc.subject Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.title Abrupt climate change in the Atlantic Ocean during the last 20,000 years : insights from multi-element analysis of benthic and planktic foraminifera and coupled OA-GCM en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. en_US
dc.contributor.department Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 67615835 en_US


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