Holocene climate variability in the western Mediterranean region from a deepwater sediment record

The detailed analysis of the International Marine Past Global Changes Study core MD99-2343 recovered from a sediment drift at 2391 m water depth north of the island of Minorca illustrates the effects of climate variability on thermohaline circulation in the western Mediterranean during the last 12 kyr. Geochemical ratios associated with terrigenous input resulted in the identification of four phases representing different climatic and deepwater overturning conditions in the Western Mediterranean Basin during the Holocene. Superimposed on the general trend, eight centennial- to millennial-scale abrupt events appear consistently in both grain size and geochemical records, which supports the occurrence of episodes of deepwater overturning reinforcement in the Western Mediterranean Basin. The observed periodicity for these abrupt events is in agreement with the previously defined Holocene cooling events of the North Atlantic region, thus supporting a strong Atlantic-Mediterranean climatic link at high-frequency time intervals during the last 12 kyr. The rapid response of the Mediterranean thermohaline circulation to climate change in the North Atlantic stresses the importance of atmospheric teleconnections in transferring climate variability from high latitudes to midlatitudes.


Holocene climate variability, thermohaline circulation, western Mediterranean Sea

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Frigola J., Moreno A., Cacho I., Canals M., Sierro F. J., Flores J. A., Grimalt J. O., Hodell D. A., Curtis J. H. (2007). Holocene climate variability in the western Mediterranean region from a deepwater sediment record. Paleoceanography. 22 (2/PA2209). 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1029/2006PA001307, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00233/34448/

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