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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-11-27
    Description: The neodymium isotope proxy has become a valuable tool for the reconstruction of past ocean water mass provenance and mixing. For its accurate application, knowledge about the origin and preservation of Nd in sedimentary archives is crucial. Recently, concerns have emerged regarding the applicability of neodymium isotopes as a conservative palaeo water mass tracer, given potential Nd fluxes from sediments into bottom waters (Abbott et al., 2015a) and inferred relabelling of ocean waters by settling detrital material (Roberts and Piotrowski, 2015). Consequently, a decoupling of water mass provenance and proxy variations may arise. We investigate the mobility of Nd around extreme detrital sedimentation events such as glacial ice rafting pulses and turbidite deposition in the Northeast Atlantic. The constructed records from sediment leachates span extreme Nd isotope variations including volcanic (εNd ∼ 0) and Laurentian (εNd ∼ −27) sources. We find that Nd was released into pore waters from reactive detritus inside some detrital layers during early diagenesis, thereby overprinting any archived bottom water Nd signature and precluding the reconstruction of past water mass provenance during the affected time intervals. However, we do not observe any definite indication of diffusive vertical migration of Nd into adjacent layers. Furthermore, bottom water Nd isotope signatures were not modified to a measurable degree by any potential benthic flux of Nd during the deposition of these detrital sediment layers. Consequently, the Nd isotope composition of the pelagic glacial Northeast Atlantic water masses were resilient to such episodic large detrital fluxes. Apart from extreme local sedimentation events, we confirm the presence of detritally overprinted deep waters north of 47°N during the peak glacial from comparison of Northeast Atlantic depth transects. We furthermore suggest that the sensitivity of deep waters to this overprinting effect increased during periods of reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and elevated ice rafting. Overall, our study demonstrates that a thorough evaluation of the proportion of Nd originating from physical water mass advection versus in situ chemical inputs is crucial for the reliable application of Nd isotopes as a water mass tracer.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-04
    Description: Oceans and climate are a tightly coupled system interacting with each other in various ways such as storage of carbon dioxide in the deep ocean. Within the global conveyor belt the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) holds a key function, transporting warm salty surface waters from the tropical to the northern Atlantic where deep water formation takes place. Following the continental rise of North America this newly formed deep water propagates southward as Western Boundary Undercurrent (WBUC) ventilating the deep Atlantic. In the past (e.g. the last glacial cycle) strength and geometry of the AMOC have changed significantly. This study aims to provide a better understanding of the temporal and spatial (also depth depended) evolution of the AMOC in the western Atlantic sector since the last glacial (∼30 ka). We have investigated four sediment cores of the Blake Outer Ridge (30°N, 74°W; ODP 1059 to 1062) in a depth transect from 3000 to 4700 m water depth in the main flow path of the WBUC. We measured four down-core profiles of neodymium (εNd) and 231Pa/230Th isotopes for the reconstruction of water mass provenance and circulation strength of the last ∼30 ka. In contrast to published Nd isotope and 231Pa/230Th records from the Blake Ridge area our records are of unprecedented resolution, resolving climate key features of the North Atlantic region: Heinrich Stadials (HS) 1 and 2, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Bølling-Allerød and Younger Dryas (YD). Radiogenic Nd isotope signatures during the LGM reveal AABW to be the prevalent water mass in the deep western North Atlantic. The trend to more unradiogenic signatures during the deglaciation point to an increased formation of NADW which was again replaced by AABW during YD. The Holocene shows the most unradiogenic signatures and therefore established NADW. The circulation strength-proxy 231Pa/230Th indicates reduced LGM deep circulation, a pronounced slowdown during HS1 and a strong and deep circulation during the Holocene. Compared to isotopic records from the Bermuda Rise (ODP 1063) we found depth depended geometry changes of the WBUC which have occurred through the last glacial. Here, we focus on how deep northern sourced water has reached during phases of reduced circulation (indicated by increased 231Pa/230Th ratios) and the timing of this southward progradation of lower NADW.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-05-16
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
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    AGU
    In:  Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 33 (5). pp. 530-543.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The notion of a shallow northern sourced intermediate water mass is a well evidenced feature of the Atlantic circulation scheme of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, recent observations from stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) at the Corner Rise in the deep northwest Atlantic suggested a significant contribution of a Northern Component Water mass to the abyssal northwest Atlantic basin that has not been described before. Here we test the hypothesis of this northern sourced water mass underlying the southern sourced glacial Antarctic Bottom Water by measuring the authigenic neodymium (Nd) isotopic composition from the same sediments from 5,010-m water depth. Neodymium isotopes act as a semiconservative water mass tracer capable of distinguishing between Northern and Southern Component Waters at the northwest Atlantic. Our new Nd isotopic record resolves various water mass changes from the LGM to the early Holocene in agreement with existing Nd-based reconstructions from across the west Atlantic Ocean. Especially pronounced are the Younger Dryas and Bølling-Allerød with unprecedented changes in the Nd isotopic composition. For the LGM we found Nd isotopic evidence for a northern sourced water mass contributing to abyssal depths, thus being in agreement with previous δ13C data from Corner Rise. Overall, however, the deep northwest Atlantic was still dominated by southern sourced water, since we found signatures that are intermediate between northern and southern end member compositions. Furthermore, this new record indicates that C and Nd isotopes were partly decoupled, pointing to nonconservative behavior of one or more likely of both water mass proxies during the LGM.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-05-19
    Description: As part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) transports newly formed NADW southward along the North American continental rise representing the most important lower limb of modern AMOC. Resolving its evolution since the last glacial will drastically improve our understanding about the evolution of AMOC and its connection to (paleo)climate. For our investigations we sampled ODP sites 1059 - 1062 located on the Blake Bahama Outer Ridge (BBOR). The BBOR is ideally located within the modern flow path of the DWBC and is therefore well suited to record past changes in geometry and intensity of the DWBC. We applied the 231Pa/230Th kinematic circulation proxy on sediments from the BBOR that form a depth transect from 3000 to 4700 m water depth. In addition to sortable-silt data from the BBOR, which provide information mainly about changes in the very bottom current strength, the 231Pa/230Th kinematic circulation proxy provides a record of an integrated signal from the overlying water column. In combination with new εNd records from the very same samples, used for identifying the provenance of the prevailing water masses, our 231Pa/230Th records provide insight into past circulation states and the strength of the DWBC over the last 30 ka. Climatic key features such as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), deglaciation and Holocene in high-resolution are clearly resolvable. Both 231Pa/230Th and εNd indicate reduced circulation during the Younger Dryas and Heinrich Stadial 1 and 2 in agreement with records from the Bermuda Rise, including ODP site 1063. During the LGM circulation strength was slightly weaker compared to the deep and strong Holocene circulation but still active. With this new depth transect of combined proxy data we are able to reconstruct the intensity of the DWBC more robustly.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-05-01
    Print ISSN: 2572-4517
    Electronic ISSN: 2572-4525
    Topics: Geosciences
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