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Accumulation of biogenic and lithogenic material in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean during the past 40,000 years

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 11:14 authored by Zanna ChaseZanna Chase, Anderson, RF, Fleisher, MQ, Kubik, PW
The 230Th-normalization technique was applied to surface sediments and down-core records from the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean between 120°W and 170°W in order to reconstruct vertical rain rates, corrected for lateral redistribution of sediment. Preserved rain rates of opal, organic carbon and biogenic Ba all indicate that biological productivity south of the Antarctic Polar Front (APF) was much lower than today during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), probably in response to increased ice cover. However, by analogy with modern opal fluxes south of the ACC, we show that year-round ice cover is not a prerequisite for very low rates of opal accumulation. Available records from north of the APF indicate little to no change in opal export, in contrast to records from the Indian and Atlantic sectors, which show enhanced opal export north of the APF during the LGM. Glacial records from north of 66°S in the Pacific all show lithogenic fluxes that were greater than today, but significantly lower than lithogenic fluxes in the glacial Atlantic and Indian sectors. Together, these new records from the Pacific sector show that during the LGM the three basins of the Southern Ocean were significantly more differentiated than today. The observed inter-basin distribution of lithogenic fluxes and opal burial, and the presumed geographical distribution of increased dust input to the Southern Ocean during the LGM, are consistent with an Atlantic–Indian–Pacific gradient in the degree of iron-stimulated diatom productivity within the zone lying between the APF and the Subantarctic Front. Previous studies, which focused primarily on the Atlantic sector, may have overestimated the glacial increase in the strength of the biological pump in the Southern Ocean.


Publication title

Deep-Sea Research Part 2: Topical Studies in Oceanography










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

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Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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