McCave I. Nick

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McCave
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I. Nick
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Article

Calibration and application of B/Ca, Cd/Ca, and δ11B in Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral) to constrain CO2 uptake in the subpolar North Atlantic during the last deglaciation

2013-05-30 , Yu, Jimin , Thornalley, David J. R. , Rae, James W. B. , McCave, I. Nick

The North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea are prominent sinks of atmospheric CO2 today, but their roles in the past remain poorly constrained. In this study, we attempt to use B/Ca and δ11B ratios in the planktonic foraminifera Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral variety) to reconstruct subsurface water pH and pCO2 changes in the polar North Atlantic during the last deglaciation. Comparison of core-top results with nearby hydrographic data shows that B/Ca in N. pachyderma (s) is mainly controlled by seawater B(OH)4−/HCO3− with a roughly constant partition coefficient of 1.48 ± 0.15 × 10−3 (2σ), and δ11B in this species is offset below δ11B of the borate in seawater by 3.38 ± 0.71‰ (2σ). These values represent our best estimates with the sparse available hydrographic data close to our core-tops. More culturing and sediment trap work is needed to improve our understanding of boron incorporation into N. pachyderma (s). Application of a constant KD of 1.48 × 10−3 to high resolution N. pachyderma (s) B/Ca records from two adjacent cores off Iceland shows that subsurface pCO2 at the habitat depth of N. pachyderma (s) (~50 m) generally followed the atmospheric CO2 trend but with negative offsets of ~10–50 ppmv during 19–10 ka. These B/Ca-based reconstructions are supported by independent estimates from low-resolution δ11B measurements in the same cores. We also calibrate and apply Cd/Ca in N. pachyderma (s) to reconstruct nutrient levels for the same down cores. Like today's North Atlantic, past subsurface pCO2 variability off Iceland was significantly correlated with nutrient changes that might be linked to surface nutrient utilization and mixing within the upper water column. Because surface pCO2 (at 0 m water depth) is always lower than at deeper depths and if the application of a constant KD is valid, our results suggest that the polar North Atlantic has remained a CO2 sink during the calcification seasons of N. pachyderma (s) over the last deglaciation.

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Article

Long-term variations in Iceland–Scotland overflow strength during the Holocene

2013-09-03 , Thornalley, David J. R. , Blaschek, Michael , Davies, F. J. , Praetorius, Summer K. , Oppo, Delia W. , McManus, Jerry F. , Hall, Ian R. , Kleiven, Helga F. , Renssen, Hans , McCave, I. Nick

The overflow of deep water from the Nordic seas into the North Atlantic plays a critical role in global ocean circulation and climate. Approximately half of this overflow occurs via the Iceland–Scotland (I–S) overflow, yet the history of its strength throughout the Holocene (~ 0–11 700 yr ago, ka) is poorly constrained, with previous studies presenting apparently contradictory evidence regarding its long-term variability. Here, we provide a comprehensive reconstruction of I–S overflow strength throughout the Holocene using sediment grain size data from a depth transect of 13 cores from the Iceland Basin. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that the main axis of the I–S overflow on the Iceland slope was shallower during the early Holocene, deepening to its present depth by ~ 7 ka. Our results also reveal weaker I–S overflow during the early and late Holocene, with maximum overflow strength occurring at ~ 7 ka, the time of a regional climate thermal maximum. Climate model simulations suggest a shoaling of deep convection in the Nordic seas during the early and late Holocene, consistent with our evidence for weaker I–S overflow during these intervals. Whereas the reduction in I–S overflow strength during the early Holocene likely resulted from melting remnant glacial ice sheets, the decline throughout the last 7000 yr was caused by an orbitally induced increase in the amount of Arctic sea ice entering the Nordic seas. Although the flux of Arctic sea ice to the Nordic seas is expected to decrease throughout the next century, model simulations predict that under high emissions scenarios, competing effects, such as warmer sea surface temperatures in the Nordic seas, will result in reduced deep convection, likely driving a weaker I–S overflow.

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Article

Architecture of North Atlantic contourite drifts modified by transient circulation of the Icelandic mantle plume

2015-10-15 , Parnell-Turner, Ross , White, Nicholas J. , McCave, I. Nick , Henstock, Timothy J. , Murton, Bramley J. , Jones, Stephen M.

Overflow of Northern Component Water, the precursor of North Atlantic Deep Water, appears to have varied during Neogene times. It has been suggested that this variation is moderated by transient behavior of the Icelandic mantle plume, which has influenced North Atlantic bathymetry through time. Thus pathways and intensities of bottom currents that control deposition of contourite drifts could be affected by mantle processes. Here, we present regional seismic reflection profiles that cross sedimentary accumulations (Björn, Gardar, Eirik, and Hatton Drifts). Prominent reflections were mapped and calibrated using a combination of boreholes and legacy seismic profiles. Interpreted seismic profiles were used to reconstruct solid sedimentation rates. Björn Drift began to accumulate in late Miocene times. Its average sedimentation rate decreased at ∼2.5 Ma and increased again at ∼0.75 Ma. In contrast, Eirik Drift started to accumulate in early Miocene times. Its average sedimentation rate increased at ∼5.5 Ma and decreased at ∼2.2 Ma. In both cases, there is a good correlation between sedimentation rates, inferred Northern Component Water overflow, and the variation of Icelandic plume temperature independently obtained from the geometry of diachronous V-shaped ridges. Between 5.5 and 2.5 Ma, the plume cooled, which probably caused subsidence of the Greenland-Iceland-Scotland Ridge, allowing drift accumulation to increase. When the plume became hotter at 2.5 Ma, drift accumulation rate fell. We infer that deep-water current strength is modulated by fluctuating dynamic support of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. Our results highlight the potential link between mantle convective processes and ocean circulation.

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Technical Report

The Hebble report : being the proceedings of the Workshop on a High Energy Benthic Boundary Layer Experiment held at the Keystone Center for Continuing Education, Keystone, Colorado, March 13-17, 1978

1978-07 , McCave, I. Nick , Hollister, Charles D. , Pyle, Thomas E.

From the Foreward: Despite the currently fashionable use of the word "interdisciplinary" to describe research projects, few such efforts are known among oceanographers studying the benthic boundary layer (BBL). In order to encourage discussions among the diverse groups interested in deep-sea BBL problems and to begin the coordination of experiments, the Office of Naval Research (Code 480) has recently sponsored two workshops. In March 1977 a group of investigators with ONR-supported projects met at the Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity (NORDA) in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to define scientific and geographic areas of interest. A large group of investigators met for a more ambitious workshop at the Keystone Conference Center, Keystone, Colorado, from March 13 to 17, 1978. This report summarizes the deliberations of that second workshop.