Using the natural spatial pattern of marine productivity in the Subarctic North Pacific to evaluate paleoproductivity proxies

Sascha Serno*, Gisela Winckler, Robert F. Anderson, Christopher T. Hayes, Haojia Ren, Rainer Gersonde, Gerald H. Haug

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sedimentary proxies used to reconstruct marine productivity suffer from variable preservation and are sensitive to factors other than productivity. Therefore, proxy calibration is warranted. Here we map the spatial patterns of two paleoproductivity proxies, biogenic opal and barium fluxes, from a set of core-top sediments recovered in the Subarctic North Pacific. Comparisons of the proxy data with independent estimates of primary and export production, surface water macronutrient concentrations, and biological pCO(2) drawdown indicate that neither proxy shows a significant correlation with primary or export productivity for the entire region. Biogenic opal fluxes, when corrected for preservation using Th-230-normalized accumulation rates, show a good correlation with primary productivity along the volcanic arcs (tau = 0.71, p = 0.0024) and with export productivity throughout the western Subarctic North Pacific (tau = 0.71, p = 0.0107). Moderate and good correlations of biogenic barium flux with export production (tau = 0.57, p = 0.0022) and with surface water silicate concentrations (tau = 0.70, p = 0.0002) are observed for the central and eastern Subarctic North Pacific. For reasons unknown, however, no correlation is found in the western Subarctic North Pacific between biogenic barium flux and the reference data. Nonetheless, we show that barite saturation, uncertainty in the lithogenic barium corrections, and problems with the reference data sets are not responsible for the lack of a significant correlation between biogenic barium flux and the reference data. Further studies evaluating the factors controlling the variability of the biogenic constituents in the sediments are desirable in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-453
Number of pages16
JournalPaleoceanography
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • PARTICULATE BARIUM FLUXES
  • SEDIMENT-TRAP EXPERIMENTS
  • OCEAN PRIMARY PRODUCTION
  • ORGANIC-CARBON
  • DEEP-SEA
  • INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY
  • SETTLING PARTICLES
  • EXPORT PRODUCTION
  • MAJOR COMPONENTS
  • BIOGENIC SILICA

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