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150407 - Antiphased dust deposition and productivity in the Antarctic Zone.pdf (6.54 MB)

Antiphased dust deposition and productivity in the Antarctic Zone over 1.5 million years

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posted on 2023-05-21, 08:23 authored by Weber, ME, Bailey, I, Hemming, SR, Martos, YM, Reilly, BT, Ronge, TA, Brachfeld, S, Williams, T, Raymo, M, Belt, ST, Smik, L, Vogel, H, Peck, VL, Linda ArmbrechtLinda Armbrecht, Cage, A, Cardillo, FG, Du, Z, Fauth, G, Fogwill, CJ, Garcia, M, Garnsworthy, M, Gluder, A, Guitard, M, Gutjahr, M, Hernandez-Almeida, I, Hoem, FS, Hwang, JH, Iizuka, M, Kato, Y, Kenlee, B, OConnell, S, Perez, LF, Seki, O, Stevens, L, Tauxe, L, Tripathi, S, Warnock, J, Zheng, X

The Southern Ocean paleoceanography provides key insights into how iron fertilization and oceanic productivity developed through Pleistocene ice-ages and their role in influencing the carbon cycle. We report a high-resolution record of dust deposition and ocean productivity for the Antarctic Zone, close to the main dust source, Patagonia. Our deep-ocean records cover the last 1.5 Ma, thus doubling that from Antarctic ice-cores. We find a 5 to 15-fold increase in dust deposition during glacials and a 2 to 5-fold increase in biogenic silica deposition, reflecting higher ocean productivity during interglacials. This antiphasing persisted throughout the last 25 glacial cycles. Dust deposition became more pronounced across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) in the Southern Hemisphere, with an abrupt shift suggesting more severe glaciations since ~0.9 Ma. Productivity was intermediate pre-MPT, lowest during the MPT and highest since 0.4 Ma. Generally, glacials experienced extended sea-ice cover, reduced bottom-water export and Weddell Gyre dynamics, which helped lower atmospheric CO2 levels.


Publication title

Nature Communications



Article number









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Nature Publishing Group

Place of publication

United Kingdom

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© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Antarctic and Southern Ocean ice dynamics; Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes; Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)

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