Recently developed XRF core-scanning methods permit paleoceanographic reconstructions on timescales similar to those of ice-core records. We have investigated the distribution of biogenic barium (Ba/Al), opal and carbonate (Ca/Al) in a sediment core retrieved from the abyssal subarctic Pacific (ODP 882, 50°N, 167°E, 3244 m) over an interval that spans the full length of the EPICA Dome C (EDC) ice-core record. Ba/Al and biogenic opal show a strong resemblance to the EDC δD and CO2, with generally high concentrations during interglacials and lower values during ice ages of the past 800 kyrs. The sedimentary Ba/Al and biogenic opal are most easily interpreted as indicating a reduced sinking flux of organic matter from the surface ocean during cold periods. The Ba/Al maxima during peak interglacials are accompanied by transient Ca/Al peaks in these otherwise carbonate-devoid sediments, which are best explained by a deepening of the calcite lysocline, presumably due to reduced storage of respired CO2 in the deep North Pacific. For most of the "luke-warm" interglacials noted between 420 and 750 ka in EDC, the Ba/Al peaks in ODP 882 are also lower, further strengthening the evidence for a simple physical link between global climate and the biogeochemistry of the subarctic Pacific.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics