Rapid transient changes in northeast Atlantic deep water ventilation age across Termination I

A sequence of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) C-14 dates performed on benthic and planktonic foraminifera from a northeast Atlantic deep-sea core (MD99-2334K; 37degrees480N, 10degrees10'W; 3146 m) permit the reconstruction of deep water ,,C-14 ventilation ages'' across the last deglaciation. The records from MD99-2334K have been placed on the GISP2 timescale via the synchrony of temperature changes recorded in the Greenland ice cores and in North Atlantic planktonic delta(18)O(cc) (calcite delta(18)O). On the basis of a range of estimates for past source water Delta(14)C, this permits the estimation of C-14 projection ventilation ages for comparison with benthic-planktonic C-14 age differences. Although the accurate estimation of past ventilation ages is precluded by unknown deep water Delta(14)C source signatures, and by uncertainty regarding the extent of deep water mixing, it is clear that deep water ventilation in the northeast Atlantic was significantly reduced during the last glaciation, increased abruptly coincident with the Bolling-Allerod warming, and rapidly became reduced again during the Younger Dryas cold reversal. The character of these changes is consistent with a varying dominance of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) versus Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). Parallel benthic delta(13)C, deep water temperature (T-dw), and deep water delta(18)O (delta(18)O(dw)) estimates support this inference. The fact that deglacial changes in the deep water radiocarbon content of the northeast Atlantic run parallel to opposite changes in atmospheric radiocarbon content, and in parallel with Greenland temperature fluctuations, unequivocally implicates changes in ocean circulation in deglacial climate evolution and illustrates the capacity for the deep ocean to respond and contribute to abrupt climate change.


Termination I, ventilation age, thermohaline circulation

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Skinner LC, Shackleton NJ (2004). Rapid transient changes in northeast Atlantic deep water ventilation age across Termination I. Paleoceanography. 19 (PA2005). 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1029/2003PA000983, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00228/33971/

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