Western Arabian Sea SST during the penultimate interglacial: A comparison of U-37(K ') and Mg/Ca paleothermometry

M. H. Saher, F. Rostek, Simon Jung, E. Bard, R. R. Schneider, M. Greaves, G. M. Ganssen, H. Elderfield, Dirk Kroon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Millennial-scale records of planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca, bulk sediment U37 K′, and planktonic foraminiferal δ 18O are presented across the last two deglaciations in sediment core NIOP929 from the Arabian Sea. Mg/Ca-derived temperature variability during the penultimate and last deglacial periods falls within the range of modern day Arabian Sea temperatures, which are influenced by monsoon-driven upwelling. The U37 K′-derived temperatures in MIS 5e are similar to modern intermonsoon values and are on average 3.5°C higher than the Mg/Ca temperatures in the same period. MIS 5e U37 K′ and Mg/Ca temperatures are 1.5°C warmer than during the Holocene, while the U37 K′-Mg/Ca temperature difference was about twice as large during MIS 5e. This is surprising as, nowadays, both proxy carriers have a very similar seasonal and depth distribution. Partial explanations for the MIS 5e U37 K′-Mg/Ca temperature offset include carbonate dissolution, the change in dominant alkenone-producing species, and possibly lateral advection of alkenone-bearing material and a change in seasonal or depth distribution of proxy carriers. Our findings suggest that (1) Mg/Ca of G. ruber documents seawater temperature in the same way during both studied deglaciations as in the present, with respect to, e.g., season and depth, and (2) U37 K′-based temperatures from MIS 5 (or older) represent neither upwelling SST nor annual average SST (as it does in the present and the Holocene) but a higher temperature, despite alkenone production mainly occurring in the upwelling season. Further we report that at the onset of the deglacial warming, the Mg/Ca record leads the U37 K′ record by 4 ka, of which a maximum of 2 ka may be explained by postdepositional processes. Deglacial warming in both temperature records leads the deglacial decrease in the δ 18O profile, and Mg/Ca-based temperature returns to lower values before δ 18O has reached minimum interglacial values. This indicates a substantial lead in Arabian Sea warming relative to global ice melting.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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