Stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of Planulina wuellerstorfi from sediments of the Sierra Leone Rise


Causes of change in deep water delta13C can be either global or local in extent. Global causes include (1) climatically-induced changes in the amount of terrestrial biomass which alter the average carbon isotopic composition of the oceanic reservoir (Shackleton, 1977), and (2) erosion and deposition of organic-rich, continental shelf sediments during sea level fluctuations which change the mean oceanic carbon: phosphorus ratio (Broecker, 1982 doi:10.1016/0079-6611(82)90007-6). Regional gradients of delta13C are created by remineralization of organic detritus within the deep ocean itself thus reflecting the distribution of water masses and modern thermohaline flow. Changes in a single geological record of benthic foraminiferal delta13C can result from any combination of these global and abyssal circulation effects. By sampling a large number of cores collected over a wide bathymetric range yet confined to a small geographical region we have minimized the ambiguity. We can assume that each delta13C record was equally affected by global causes of delta13C variation. The differences seen between the delta13C records must, therefore, reflect changes in the distribution of delta13C in the deep ocean. We interpret these differences in distribution in terms of changes in the ocean's abyssal circulation. Benthic foraminiferal carbon isotopic evidence from a suite of Sierra Leone Rise cores indicates that the deeper parts of the eastern Atlantic basins underwent a reduction in [O2] during the maximum of the last glaciation. Reduced advection of O2-rich deep water through low-latitude fracture zones, associated with increased delivery of organic matter to the deep ocean, lowered the delta13C of deep water SumCO2 at all depths below the sill separating the eastern and western Atlantic basins (Metcalf et al., 1964 doi:10.1016/0011-7471(64)91078-2). This decreased advection into the eastern Atlantic Ocean coincides with the overall decrease in deep water production in the North Atlantic during the last glacial maximum (Curry and Lohmann, 1982 doi:10.1016/0033-5894(82)90071-0; Boyle and Keigwin, 1982 doi:10.1126/science.218.4574.784; Schnitker, 1979 doi:10.1016/0377-8398(79)90020-3; Streeter and Shackleton, 1979 doi:10.1126/science.203.4376.168).

Supplement to: Curry, William B; Lohmann, G P (1983): Reduced advection into Atlantic Ocean deep eastern basins during last glaciation maximum. Nature, 306, 577-580

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Curry, William B; Lohmann, G P
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 1983
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Publication Series of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 9 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-21.897W, 2.460S, -19.733E, 6.640N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 1981-05-26T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 1981-06-01T00:00:00Z