A stable isotope record from the eastern Weddell Sea from 69°S is presented. For the first time, a 250, 000-yr record from the Southern Ocean can be correlated in detail to the global isotope stratigraphy. Together with magnetostratigraphic, sedimentological and micropalaeontological data, the stratigraphic control of this record can be extended back to 910,000 yrs B.P. A time scale is constructed by linear interpolation between confirmed stratigraphic data points.The benthic d18O record (Epistominella exigua) reflects global continental ice volume changes during the Brunhes and late Matuyama chrons, whereas the planktonic isotopic record (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma) may be influenced by a meltwater lid caused by the nearby Antarctic ice shelf and icebergs.The worldwide climatic improvement during deglaciations is documented in the eastern Weddell Sea by an increase in production of siliceous plankton followed, with a time lag of approximately 10,000 yrs, by planktonic foraminifera production. Peak values in the difference between planktonic and benthic d13C records, which are 0.5 per mil higher during warm climatic periods than during times with expanded continental ice sheets, also suggest increased surface productivity during interglacials in the Southern Ocean.
EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut