Supplement to: Eltgroth, Selene F; Adkins, Jess; Robinson, Laura F; Southon, John; Kashgarian, Michaele (2006): A deep-sea coral record of North Atlantic radiocarbon through the Younger Dryas: Evidence for intermediate water/deepwater reorganization. Paleoceanography, 21(4), PA4207, https://doi.org/10.1029/2005PA001192
Our record of Younger Dryas intermediate-depth seawater D14C from North Atlantic deep-sea corals supports a link between abrupt climate change and intermediate ocean variability. Our data show that northern source intermediate water (~1700 m) was partially replaced by 14C-depleted southern source water at the onset of the event, consistent with a reduction in the rate of North Atlantic Deep Water formation. This transition requires the existence of large, mobile gradients of D14C in the ocean during the Younger Dryas. The D14C water column profile from Keigwin (2004) provides direct evidence for the presence of one such gradient at the beginning of the Younger Dryas (~12.9 ka), with a 100 per mil offset between shallow (〈~2400 m) and deep water. Our early Younger Dryas data are consistent with this profile and also show a D14C inversion, with 35 per mil more enriched water at ~2400 m than at ~1700 m. This feature is probably the result of mixing between relatively well 14C ventilated northern source water and more poorly 14C ventilated southern source intermediate water, which is slightly shallower. Over the rest of the Younger Dryas our intermediate water/deepwater coral D14C data gradually increase, while the atmosphere D14C drops. For a very brief interval at ~12.0 ka and at the end of the Younger Dryas (11.5 ka), intermediate water D14C (~1200 m) approached atmospheric D14C. These enriched D14C results suggest an enhanced initial D14C content of the water and demonstrate the presence of large lateral D14C gradients in the intermediate/deep ocean in addition to the sharp vertical shift at ~2500 m. The transient D14C enrichment at ~12.0 ka occurred in the middle of the Younger Dryas and demonstrates that there is at least one time when the intermediate/deep ocean underwent dramatic change but with much smaller effects in other paleoclimatic records.
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