EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Past changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation at intermediate water depths from micropaleontological and geochemical proxies since the last glacial maximum

Solène Pourtout1, Sophie Sépulcre1, Laetitia Licari2, Christophe Colin1, Elisabeth Michel3, and Giuseppe Siani1
Solène Pourtout et al.
  • 1GEOPS, UMR 8148, Géosciences Paris Saclay/CNRS, Université Paris Saclay, Orsay, France
  • 2CEREGE, Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, IRD, Coll de France, Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • 3LSCE, UMR8212, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ and Université Paris Saclay, Saint-Aubin, France

Ocean circulation plays a central role on climate regulation. The paleoceanographic studies of the last decades have allowed to better document the variations in the production of the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). However, the role of intermediate water (IW) masses through time remains to be documented and is highly controversial. Indeed, some studies have highlighted the increased contribution of the Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) in all ocean basins during the cold events recorded in the North Atlantic [1] while others suggest their absence [2]. Moreover, during the last deglaciation, the Southern Ocean played a fundamental role in the Carbon transfer from the deep ocean to the atmosphere via the increased upwelling associated to the AAIW production. In order to reconstruct the dynamics of IW masses, to better understand the relationships between variations in ocean circulation in the Atlantic and in the Southern Ocean, and the impact of these changes on the global carbon cycle during Termination I, we use two marine sediment cores from the Porcupine basin MD01-2461 (1153m) and the Iberian margin SU92-28 (997m). We combine the study of benthic foraminifera assemblages sensitive to variations in their environment (nutrient content, oxygen), and different geochemical proxies such as elemental ratios (Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Cd/Ca, Ba/Ca, B/Ca, Li/Ca and U/Ca), stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C) and Neodymium isotopes records (eNd). On core SU92-28, past changes in the benthic foraminiferal content exhibit strong differences in the paleo-environments, with different ecological conditions from the LGM to the Holocene, as well as during the YD and H1 events. These differences are also observed in the δ13C, oxygen concentrations and elemental ratios records obtained from Uvigerina peregrina (or U.mediterranea), Cibicidoides mundulus and Melonis affinis. Changes in the Nd record allow to distinguish changes in the IW mass sources, reflecting the balance between Northern and Southern contributions. Future analysis (e.g., 14C reservoir ages) and the comparison with core MD01-2461 records will help to better constrain the North-South connections in the Atlantic Ocean at IW depths, and their impact on global climate changes.

[1] Ma et al. (2019) Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20(3), 1592-1608

[2] Gu, S., et al. (2017). Paleoceanography, 32, 1036-1053.

How to cite: Pourtout, S., Sépulcre, S., Licari, L., Colin, C., Michel, E., and Siani, G.: Past changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation at intermediate water depths from micropaleontological and geochemical proxies since the last glacial maximum, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11399,, 2022.