Keigwin Lloyd D.

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Lloyd D.

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  • Article
    A synthesis of deglacial deep‐sea radiocarbon records and their (in)consistency with modern ocean ventilation
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-01-08) Zhao, Ning ; Marchal, Olivier ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Amrhein, Daniel E. ; Gebbie, Geoffrey A.
    We present a synthesis of 1,361 deep‐sea radiocarbon data spanning the past 40 kyr and computed (for 14C‐dated records) from the same calibration to atmospheric 14C. The most notable feature in our compilation is a long‐term Δ14C decline in deep oceanic basins over the past 25 kyr. The Δ14C decline mirrors the drop in reconstructed atmospheric Δ14C, suggesting that it may reflect a decrease in global 14C inventory rather than a redistribution of 14C among different reservoirs. Motivated by this observation, we explore the extent to which the deep water Δ14C data jointly require changes in basin‐scale ventilation during the last deglaciation, based on the fit of a 16‐box model of modern ocean ventilation to the deep water Δ14C records. We find that the fit residuals can largely be explained by data uncertainties and that the surface water Δ14C values producing the fit are within the bounds provided by contemporaneous values of atmospheric and deep water Δ14C. On the other hand, some of the surface Δ14C values in the northern North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean deviate from the values expected from atmospheric 14CO2 and CO2 concentrations during the Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Bølling‐Allerød. The possibility that deep water Δ14C records reflect some combination of changes in deep circulation and surface water reservoir ages cannot be ruled out and will need to be investigated with a more complete model.
  • Article
    Evidence from diatom-bound nitrogen isotopes for subarctic Pacific stratification during the last ice age and a link to North Pacific denitrification changes
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-03-02) Brunelle, Brigitte G. ; Sigman, Daniel M. ; Cook, Mea S. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Haug, Gerald H. ; Plessen, Birgit ; Schettler, Georg ; Jaccard, Samuel L.
    In a piston core from the central Bering Sea, diatom microfossil-bound N isotopes and the concentrations of opal, biogenic barium, calcium carbonate, and organic N are measured over the last glacial/interglacial cycle. Compared to the interglacial sections of the core, the sediments of the last ice age are characterized by 3‰ higher diatom-bound δ 15N, 70 wt % lower opal content and 1200 ppm lower biogenic barium. Taken together and with constraints on sediment accumulation rate, these results suggest a reduced supply of nitrate to the surface due to stronger stratification of the upper water column of the Bering Sea during glacial times, with more complete nitrate consumption resulting from continued iron supply through atmospheric deposition. This finding extends the body of evidence for a pervasive link between cold climates and polar ocean stratification. In addition, we hypothesize that more complete nutrient consumption in the glacial age subarctic Pacific contributed to the previously observed ice age reduction in suboxia and denitrification in the eastern tropical North Pacific by lowering the nutrient content of the intermediate-depth water formed in the subpolar North Pacific. In the deglacial interval of the Bering Sea record, two apparent peaks in export productivity are associated with maxima in diatom-bound and bulk sediment δ 15N. The high δ 15N in these intervals may have resulted from greater surface nutrient consumption during this period. However, the synchroneity of the deglacial peaks in the Bering Sea with similar bulk sediment δ 15N changes in the eastern Pacific margin and the presence of sediment lamination within the Bering Sea during the deposition of the productivity peaks raise the possibility that both regional and local denitrification worked to raise the δ 15N of the nitrate feeding Bering Sea surface waters at these times.
  • Article
    Radiocarbon and stable isotope constraints on Last Glacial Maximum and Younger Dryas ventilation in the western North Atlantic
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-11-03) Keigwin, Lloyd D.
    Foraminiferal abundance, 14C ventilation ages, and stable isotope ratios in cores from high deposition rate locations in the western subtropical North Atlantic are used to infer changes in ocean and climate during the Younger Dryas (YD) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The δ18O of the surface dwelling planktonic foram Globigerinoides ruber records the present-day decrease in surface temperature (SST) of ∼4°C from Gulf Stream waters to the northeastern Bermuda Rise. If during the LGM the modern δ18O/salinity relationship was maintained, this SST contrast was reduced to 2°C. With LGM to interglacial δ18O changes of at least 2.2‰, SSTs in the western subtropical gyre may have been as much as 5°C colder. Above ∼2.3 km, glacial δ13C was higher than today, consistent with nutrient-depleted (younger) bottom waters, as identified previously. Below that, δ13C decreased continually to −0.5‰, about equal to the lowest LGM δ13C in the North Pacific Ocean. Seven pairs of benthic and planktonic foraminiferal 14C dates from cores >2.5 km deep differ by 1100 ± 340 years, with a maximum apparent ventilation age of ∼1500 years at 4250 m and at ∼4700 m. Apparent ventilation ages are presently unavailable for the LGM < 2.5 km because of problems with reworking on the continental slope when sea level was low. Because LGM δ13C is about the same in the deep North Atlantic and the deep North Pacific, and because the oldest apparent ventilation ages in the LGM North Atlantic are the same as the North Pacific today, it is possible that the same water mass, probably of southern origin, flowed deep within each basin during the LGM. Very early in the YD, dated here at 11.25 ± 0.25 (n = 10) conventional 14C kyr BP (equal to 12.9 calendar kyr BP), apparent ventilation ages <2.3 km water depth were about the same as North Atlantic Deep Water today. Below ∼2.3 km, four YD pairs average 1030 ± 400 years. The oldest apparent ventilation age for the YD is 1600 years at 4250 m. This strong contrast in ventilation, which indicates a front between water masses of very different origin, is similar to glacial profiles of nutrient-like proxies. This suggests that the LGM and YD modes of ocean circulation were the same.
  • Article
    Eastern tropical Pacific hydrologic changes during the past 27,000 years from D/H ratios in alkenones
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-12-18) Pahnke, Katharina ; Sachs, Julian P. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Timmermann, Axel ; Xie, Shang-Ping
    The tropical Pacific plays a central role in the climate system by providing large diabatic heating that drives the global atmospheric circulation. Quantifying the role of the tropics in late Pleistocene climate change has been hampered by the paucity of paleoclimate records from this region and the lack of realistic transient climate model simulations covering this period. Here we present records of hydrogen isotope ratios (δD) of alkenones from the Panama Basin off the Colombian coast that document hydrologic changes in equatorial South America and the eastern tropical Pacific over the past 27,000 years (a) and the past 3 centuries in detail. Comparison of alkenone δD values with instrumental records of precipitation over the past ∼100 a suggests that δD can be used as a hydrologic proxy. On long timescales our records indicate reduced rainfall during the last glacial period that can be explained by a southward shift of the mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and an associated reduction of Pacific moisture transport into Colombia. Precipitation increases at ∼17 ka in concert with sea surface temperature (SST) cooling in the North Atlantic and the eastern tropical Pacific. A regional coupled model, forced by negative SST anomalies in the Caribbean, simulates an intensification of northeasterly trade winds across Central America, increased evaporative cooling, and a band of increased rainfall in the northeastern tropical Pacific. These results are consistent with the alkenone SST and δD reconstructions that suggest increasing precipitation and SST cooling at the time of Heinrich event 1.
  • Article
    Origin of abyssal NW Atlantic water masses since the Last Glacial Maximum
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-05-31) Pöppelmeier, Frerk ; Gutjahr, Marcus ; Blaser, Patrick ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Lippold, Jörg
    The notion of a shallow northern sourced intermediate water mass is a well evidenced feature of the Atlantic circulation scheme of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, recent observations from stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) at the Corner Rise in the deep northwest Atlantic suggested a significant contribution of a Northern Component Water mass to the abyssal northwest Atlantic basin that has not been described before. Here we test the hypothesis of this northern sourced water mass underlying the southern sourced glacial Antarctic Bottom Water by measuring the authigenic neodymium (Nd) isotopic composition from the same sediments from 5,010‐m water depth. Neodymium isotopes act as a semiconservative water mass tracer capable of distinguishing between Northern and Southern Component Waters at the northwest Atlantic. Our new Nd isotopic record resolves various water mass changes from the LGM to the early Holocene in agreement with existing Nd‐based reconstructions from across the west Atlantic Ocean. Especially pronounced are the Younger Dryas and Bølling‐Allerød with unprecedented changes in the Nd isotopic composition. For the LGM we found Nd isotopic evidence for a northern sourced water mass contributing to abyssal depths, thus being in agreement with previous δ13C data from Corner Rise. Overall, however, the deep northwest Atlantic was still dominated by southern sourced water, since we found signatures that are intermediate between northern and southern end member compositions. Furthermore, this new record indicates that C and Nd isotopes were partly decoupled, pointing to nonconservative behavior of one or more likely of both water mass proxies during the LGM.
  • Article
    Bioturbation artifacts in zero-age sediments
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-12-15) Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Guilderson, Thomas P.
    Most seafloor sediments are dated with radiocarbon, and the sediment is assumed to be zero-age (modern) when the signal of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons is present (Fraction modern (Fm) > 1). Using a simple mass balance, we show that even with Fm > 1, half of the planktonic foraminifera at the seafloor can be centuries old, because of bioturbation. This calculation, and data from four core sites in the western North Atlantic indicate that, first, during some part of the Little Ice Age (LIA) there may have been more Antarctic Bottom Water than today in the deep western North Atlantic. Alternatively, bioturbation may have introduced much older benthic foraminifera into surface sediments. Second, paleo-based warming of Sargasso Sea surface waters since the LIA must lag the actual warming because of bioturbation of older and colder foraminifera.
  • Article
    Deep-sea sediment records of the Laschamp geomagnetic field excursion (∼41,000 calendar years before present)
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-04-02) Lund, Steve P. ; Schwartz, Martha ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Johnson, Thomas
    We have recovered two new high-resolution paleomagnetic records of the Laschamp Excursion (∼41,000 calendar years B.P.) from deep-sea sediments of the western North Atlantic Ocean. The records document that the Laschamp Excursion was characterized locally by (1) declination changes of ±120°, (2) inclination changes of more than 140°, (3) ∼1200-year oscillations in both inclination and declination, (4) near 90° out-of-phase relationships between inclinations and declinations that produced two clockwise loops in directions and virtual geomagnetic poles (VGPs) followed by a counterclockwise loop, (5) excursional VGPs during both intervals of clockwise looping, (6) magnetic field intensities less than 10% of normal that persisted for almost 2000 years, (7) marked similarity in excursional directions over ∼5000 km spatial scale length, and (8) secular variation rates comparable to historic field behavior but persisting in sign for hundreds of years. All of these features, with the exception of anomalously large directional amplitude, are consistent with normal magnetic field secular variation. Comparison of our Laschamp Excursion paleomagnetic records with other late Quaternary excursion records suggests that there is a group of excursions, which we term class I, which have strikingly similar patterns of field behavior and likely share a common cause as part of the overall core dynamo process. Three general models of secular variation are described that can qualitatively produce class I excursions. On the basis of these observations we conclude that class I excursions, epitomized by the Laschamp Excursion, are more closely related to normal secular variation and are not necessarily a prelude to magnetic field reversal.
  • Article
    Comparison of large and ultra-small Δ14C measurements in core top benthic foraminifera from the Okhotsk Sea
    (University of Arizona Libraries, 2015) Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Gagnon, Alan R.
    The radiocarbon activity of benthic foraminifera was investigated in surface sediments from a high deposition rate location at a depth of 1000 m in the Okhotsk Sea. Sediments were preserved and stained with Rose Bengal to identify foraminifera that contain cytoplasm. The benthic fauna at this site is dominated by large specimens of Uvigerina peregrina, and bulk samples (~150 individuals) of stained and unstained specimens were dated. The stained sample was about 240 14C yr younger than the unstained, and the presence of bomb 14C is inferred by comparison to water column data in the nearby open North Pacific. Using new methods, multiple measurements were also made on samples of three stained and unstained individuals (as small as 7 µg C). Results are consistent with those from the bulk samples. This suggests that similar ultra-small measurements could be made at other locations to reveal the age distribution of individuals in a sediment sample in order to assess the extent of bioturbation and the presence of bomb 14C contamination.
  • Article
    An atmospheric chronology for the glacial-deglacial Eastern Equatorial Pacific
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-08-06) Zhao, Ning ; Keigwin, Lloyd D.
    Paleoclimate reconstructions are only as good as their chronology. In particular, different chronological assumptions for marine sediment cores can lead to different reconstructions of ocean ventilation age and atmosphere−ocean carbon exchange history. Here we build the first high-resolution chronology that is free of the dating uncertainties common in marine sediment records, based on radiocarbon dating twigs found with computed tomography scans in two cores from the Eastern Equatorial Pacific (EEP). With this accurate chronology, we show that the ventilation ages of the EEP thermocline and intermediate waters were similar to today during the Last Glacial Maximum and deglaciation, in contradiction with previous studies. Our results suggest that the glacial respired carbon pool in the EEP was not significantly older than today, and that the deglacial strengthening of the equatorial Pacific carbon source was probably driven by low-latitude processes rather than an increased subsurface supply of upwelled carbon from high-latitude oceans.
  • Preprint
    Sediment flux and recent paleoclimate in Jordan Basin, Gulf of Maine
    ( 2014-10-09) Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Pilskaln, Cynthia H.
    We report planktonic foraminiferal fluxes (accumulation rates) and oxygen isotopes (δ18O) from a nine-month sediment trap deployment, and δ18O from three sediment cores in Jordan Basin, Gulf of Maine. The sediment trap was deployed at 150 m, about halfway to the basin floor, and samples were collected every three weeks between August 2010 and May 2011. The planktonic foraminiferal fauna in the trap is dominated by Neogloboquadrina incompta that reached a maximum flux in the second half of October. Oxygen isotope ratios on that species indicate that on average during the collecting period it lived in the surface mixed layer, when compared to predicted values based on data from a nearby hydrographic buoy from the same period. New large diameter piston cores from Jordan Basin are 25 and 28 m long. Marine hemipelagic sediments are 25 m thick, and the sharp contact with underlying red deglacial sediments is bracketed by two radiocarbon dates on bivalves that indicate ice-free conditions began 16,900 calibrated years ago. Radiocarbon dating of foraminifera indicates that the basin floor sediments (270-290 m) accumulated at >3 m/kyr during the Holocene, whereas rates were about one tenth that on the basin slope (230 m). In principle, Jordan Basin sediments have the potential to provide time series with interannual resolution. Our results indicate the Holocene is marked by ~2°C variability in SST, and the coldest events of the 20th century, during the mid 1960s and mid 1920s, appear to be recorded in the uppermost 50 cm of the seafloor.
  • Article
    Repeated pulses of vertical methane flux recorded in glacial sediments from the southeast Bering Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2011-05-11) Cook, Mea S. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Birgel, Daniel ; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe
    There is controversy over the role of marine methane hydrates in atmospheric methane concentrations and climate change during the last glacial period. In this study of two sediment cores from the southeast Bering Sea (700 m and 1467 m water depth), we identify multiple episodes during the last glacial period of intense methane flux reaching the seafloor. Within the uncertainty of the radiocarbon age model, the episodes are contemporaneous in the two cores and have similar timing and duration as Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The episodes are marked by horizons of sediment containing 13C-depleted authigenic carbonate minerals; 13C-depleted archaeal and bacterial lipids, which resemble those found in ANME-1 type anaerobic methane oxidizing microbial consortia; and changes in the abundance and species distribution of benthic foraminifera. The similar timing and isotopic composition of the authigenic carbonates in the two cores is consistent with a region-wide increase in the upward flux of methane bearing fluids. This study is the first observation outside Santa Barbara Basin of pervasive, repeated methane flux in glacial sediments. However, contrary to the “Clathrate Gun Hypothesis” (Kennett et al., 2003), these coring sites are too deep for methane hydrate destabilization to be the cause, implying that a much larger part of the ocean's sedimentary methane may participate in climate or carbon cycle feedback at millennial timescales. We speculate that pulses of methane in these opal-rich sediments could be caused by the sudden release of overpressure in pore fluids that builds up gradually with silica diagenesis. The release could be triggered by seismic shaking on the Aleutian subduction zone caused by hydrostatic pressure increase associated with sea level rise at the start of interstadials.
  • Preprint
    North Atlantic ocean circulation and abrupt climate change during the last glaciation
    ( 2016-05-21) Henry, L. Gene ; McManus, Jerry F. ; Curry, William B. ; Roberts, Natalie L. ; Piotrowski, Alexander M. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D.
    The most recent ice age was characterized by rapid and hemispherically asynchronous climate oscillations, whose origin remains unresolved. Variations in oceanic meridional heat transport may contribute to these repeated climate changes, which were most pronounced during the glacial interval twenty-five to sixty thousand years ago known as marine isotope stage 3 (MIS3). Here we examine a sequence of climate and ocean circulation proxies throughout MIS3 at high resolution in a deep North Atlantic sediment core, combining the kinematic tracer Pa/Th with the most widely applied deep water-mass tracer, δ13CBF. These indicators reveal that Atlantic overturning circulation was reduced during every cool northern stadial, with the greatest reductions during episodic iceberg discharges from the Hudson Strait, and that sharp northern warming followed reinvigorated overturning. These results provide direct evidence for the ocean's persistent, central role in abrupt glacial climate change.
  • Article
    Western Arctic Ocean temperature variability during the last 8000 years
    (American Geophysical Union, 2011-12-17) Farmer, Jesse R. ; Cronin, Thomas M. ; de Vernal, Anne ; Dwyer, Gary S. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Thunell, Robert C.
    We reconstructed subsurface (∼200–400 m) ocean temperature and sea-ice cover in the Canada Basin, western Arctic Ocean from foraminiferal δ18O, ostracode Mg/Ca ratios, and dinocyst assemblages from two sediment core records covering the last 8000 years. Results show mean temperature varied from −1 to 0.5°C and −0.5 to 1.5°C at 203 and 369 m water depths, respectively. Centennial-scale warm periods in subsurface temperature records correspond to reductions in summer sea-ice cover inferred from dinocyst assemblages around 6.5 ka, 3.5 ka, 1.8 ka and during the 15th century Common Era. These changes may reflect centennial changes in the temperature and/or strength of inflowing Atlantic Layer water originating in the eastern Arctic Ocean. By comparison, the 0.5 to 0.7°C warm temperature anomaly identified in oceanographic records from the Atlantic Layer of the Canada Basin exceeded reconstructed Atlantic Layer temperatures for the last 1200 years by about 0.5°C.
  • Article
    Radiocarbon profiles of the NW Pacific from the LGM and deglaciation : evaluating ventilation metrics and the effect of uncertain surface reservoir ages
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-03-12) Cook, Mea S. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D.
    During the last deglaciation, the ventilation of the subarctic Pacific is hypothesized to have changed dramatically, including the rejuvenation of a poorly ventilated abyssal water mass that filled the deep ocean, and fluctuations in the strength of North Pacific intermediate and deep water formation at millennial timescales. Foraminiferal radiocarbon reconstructions of past ventilation changes in the Pacific are valuable but are hampered by poor carbonate preservation, low sediment accumulation rates, bias from bioturbation, and poorly constrained past surface reservoir age. In this study, we present paired benthic-planktonic radiocarbon measurements from the Okhotsk Sea and Emperor Seamounts. We take advantage of large contemporaneous peaks in benthic abundances from the last glacial maximum, Bolling-Allerod (BA), and early Holocene to produce time slices of radiocarbon from 1 to 4 km water depth. We explore the impact of uncertain surface reservoir age and evaluate several approaches to quantifying past ocean radiocarbon distribution using our NW Pacific data and a compilation of published data from the North Pacific. Both the calendar age and the absolute value of an ocean radiocarbon estimate depend on the assumed surface reservoir age. But for a time slice from a small geographical area with radiocarbon-independent stratigraphic correlation between cores, the shape of a water column profile is independent of surface reservoir age. The NW Pacific profiles are similar in shape to the compilation profiles for the entire North Pacific, which suggests that deglacial surface reservoir age changes across the N Pacific did not diverge dramatically across the areas sampled. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) profile >2 km spans a wide range of values, ranging from values similar to today to lower than today. However, by the BA the profile has a similar shape to today. Ultimately, local surface reservoir ages, end-member water mass composition, and mixing ratios must each be constrained before a radiocarbon activity reconstruction can be used to confidently infer ventilation changes.
  • Article
    Deglacial diatom productivity and surface ocean properties over the Bermuda Rise, northeast Sargasso Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-12-12) Gil, Isabelle M. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Abrantes, Fatima G.
    Diatom assemblages document surface hydrographic changes over the Bermuda Rise. Between 19.2 and 14.5 ka, subtropical diatom species and Chaetoceros resting spores dominate the flora, as in North Atlantic productive regions today. From 16.9 to 14.6 ka, brackish and fresh water diatoms are common and their contribution is generally coupled with total diatom abundance. This same interval also contains rare grains of ice-rafted debris. Coupling between those proxies suggests that successive discharge of icebergs might have stimulated productivity during Heinrich event 1 (H1). Iceberg migration to the subtropics likely created an isolated environment involving turbulent mixing, upwelled water, and nutrient-rich meltwater, supporting diatom productivity in an otherwise oligotrophic setting. In addition, the occurrence of mode water eddies likely brought silica-rich waters of Southern Ocean origin to the euphotic zone. The persistence of lower-salinity surface water beyond the last ice rafting suggests continued injection of fresh water by cold-core rings and advection around the subtropical gyre. These results indicate that opal productivity may have biased estimates of meridional overturning based on 231Pa/230Th ratios in Bermuda Rise sediments during H1.
  • Article
    Seasonality and stable isotopes in planktonic foraminifera off Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-07-18) Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Bice, Marley ; Copley, Nancy J.
    Monthly samples of stratified plankton tows taken from the slope waters off Cape Cod nearly 25 years ago are used to describe the seasonal succession of planktonic foraminifera and their oxygen isotope ratios. The 15°C seasonal cycle of sea surface temperature (SST) accounts for a diverse mixture of tropical to subpolar species. Summer samples include various Globigerinoides and Neogloboquadrina dutertrei, whereas winter and early spring species include Globigerina bulloides and Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (dextral). Globorotalia inflata lives all year but at varying water depths. Compared with the fauna in 1960–1961 (described by R. Cifelli), our samples seem warmer. Because sea surface salinity varies little during the year, δ18O is mostly a function of SST. Throughout the year, there are always species present with δ18O close to the calculated isotopic equilibrium of carbonate with surface seawater. This raises the possibility that seasonality can be estimated directly from the range of δ18O in a sediment sample provided that the δ18O-salinity relationship is the same as today.
  • Article
    Formation of the Isthmus of Panama
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2016-08-17) O’Dea, Aaron ; Lessios, Harilaos ; Coates, Anthony ; Eytan, Ron I. ; Restrepo-Moreno, Sergio A. ; Cione, Alberto L. ; Collins, Laurel S. ; de Queiroz, Alan ; Farris, David W. ; Norris, Richard D. ; Stallard, Robert ; Woodburne, Michael ; Aguilera, Orangel ; Aubry, Marie-Pierre ; Berggren, William A. ; Budd, Ann F. ; Cozzuol, Mario A. ; Coppard, Simon E. ; Duque-Caro, Hermann ; Finnegan, Seth ; Gasparini, Germán M. ; Grossman, Ethan L. ; Johnson, Kenneth G. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Knowlton, Nancy ; Leigh, Egbert G. ; Leonard-Pingel, Jill S. ; Marko, Peter B. ; Pyenson, Nicholas ; Rachello-Dolmen, Paola G. ; Soibelzon, Esteban ; Soibelzon, Leopoldo ; Todd, Jonathan A. ; Vermeij, Geerat J. ; Jackson, Jeremy B. C.
    The formation of the Isthmus of Panama stands as one of the greatest natural events of the Cenozoic, driving profound biotic transformations on land and in the oceans. Some recent studies suggest that the Isthmus formed many millions of years earlier than the widely recognized age of approximately 3 million years ago (Ma), a result that if true would revolutionize our understanding of environmental, ecological, and evolutionary change across the Americas. To bring clarity to the question of when the Isthmus of Panama formed, we provide an exhaustive review and reanalysis of geological, paleontological, and molecular records. These independent lines of evidence converge upon a cohesive narrative of gradually emerging land and constricting seaways, with formation of the Isthmus of Panama sensu stricto around 2.8 Ma. The evidence used to support an older isthmus is inconclusive, and we caution against the uncritical acceptance of an isthmus before the Pliocene.
  • Preprint
    The deglacial history of surface and intermediate water of the Bering Sea
    ( 2005-07-31) Cook, Mea S. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Sancetta, Constance A.
    The lithology of deglacial sediments from the Bering Sea includes intervals of laminated or dysaerobic sediments. These intervals are contemporaneous with the occurrence of laminated sediments from the California margin and Gulf of California, which suggests widespread low-oxygen conditions at intermediate depths in the North Pacific Ocean. The cause could be reduced intermediate water ventilation, increased organic carbon flux, or a combination of the two. We infer abrupt decreases of planktonic foraminifer δ18O at 14,400 y BP and 11,650 y BP, which may be a combination of both freshening and warming. On the Shirshov Ridge, the abundance of sea-ice diatoms of the genus Nitzschia reach local maxima twice during the deglaciation, the latter of which may be an expression of the Younger Dryas. These findings expand the extent of the expression of deglacial millennial-scale climate events to include the northernmost Pacific.
  • Preprint
    Retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet tracked by the isotopic composition of Pb in western North Atlantic seawater during termination 1
    ( 2009-07-16) Gutjahr, Marcus ; Frank, Martin ; Halliday, Alex N. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D.
    During the Last Glacial Maximum much of North America was covered by the Laurentide ice sheet. Its melting during termination 1 led to systematic changes in proglacial lake formation, continental runoff, and possibly North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The accompanying change in chemical weathering rates in the interior of North America throughout the deglaciation resulted in a pronounced change in seawater Pb isotope composition in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Here we present the first high-resolution records of seawater Pb isotope variations of North Atlantic Deep Water extracted from authigenic Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides in three sediment cores (51GGC, 1790 m depth; 31GGC, 3410 m depth; 12JPC, 4250 m depth) from the Blake Ridge off Florida. These data reveal a striking excursion from relatively unradiogenic 206Pb/204Pb as low as 18.93 towards highly radiogenic Pb isotope compositions that was initiated during the Bølling-Allerød interstadial and was most pronounced in both intermediate and deep waters during and after the Younger Dryas (206Pb/204Pb as high as 19.38 at 8.8 ka in 4250 m). This pattern is interpreted to be a direct function of increased inflow of continent-derived radiogenic Pb into the western North Atlantic, supplied through chemical weathering of North American rocks that had been eroded and freshly exposed during the preceding glacial cycle. These sediment-derived data are complemented by new laser ablation Pb isotope data from a ferromanganese crust from the Blake Plateau at 850 m water depth, which show only small glacial-interglacial Pb isotope variations of the Florida Current (206Pb/204Pb between 19.07 and 19.16). The lack of change in the Blake Plateau record at the same time as the radiogenic excursion in the deeper sediments supports a northern origin of the pulse of radiogenic Pb. After the Younger Dryas, the deep western North Atlantic has experienced a persistent highly radiogenic Pb supply that was most pronounced during the first half of the Holocene and still lasts until today.
  • Preprint
    Tracing the Nd isotope evolution of North Atlantic Deep and Intermediate Waters in the western North Atlantic since the Last Glacial Maximum from Blake Ridge sediments
    ( 2007-10-23) Gutjahr, Marcus ; Frank, Martin ; Stirling, Claudine H. ; Keigwin, Lloyd D. ; Halliday, Alex N.
    A high-resolution authigenic Nd isotope record has been extracted from the Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide fraction of drift sediments along the Blake Ridge in the North Atlantic. These sediments facilitate reconstruction of the timing and extent of major hydrographic changes in the western North Atlantic since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This is one of the few locations where sediments were deposited in the major flow path of the Western Boundary Undercurrent (WBUC), which transports North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) southward at the present day. The hydrodynamic setting, however, also causes problems. Authigenic Nd isotope compositions similar to the typical present-day NADW εNd value of –13.5 ± 0.5 were only extracted from sediments located within the main water body of the WBUC coinciding with the highest along slope current velocity below 3200 m water depth. Above this depth the authigenic Nd isotopic composition is more radiogenic than measured in a nearby seawater profile and appears to be influenced by downslope and lateral sediment redistribution. Our data suggest that these radiogenic signals were formed at shallow depths in Florida current waters, compromising the recorded ambient deep water Nd isotope signal in the Blake Ridge Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide coatings from intermediate depths during the Holocene and the deglaciation. The unradiogenic Nd isotopic composition typical of present-day NADW is not detectable along the Blake Ridge for any water depth during the LGM. Unlike the deglacial and Holocene sections, the intermediate core from 1790 m water depth did not experience significant sediment focussing during the LGM, in accord with the higher current velocities at this depth, suggesting that at this site an ambient LGM bottom water Nd isotope signal was recorded. Assuming this to be correct, our results indicate that the εNd of the shallower glacial equivalent of NADW, the Glacial North Atlantic Intermediate Water (GNAIW) may have been as radiogenic as –9.7 ± 0.4. Since the authigenic Nd isotope compositions of the Holocene and the deglacial sections of the intermediate depth sediment core were biased towards a shallow water signal, this first determination of a GNAIW εNd for the LGM will have to be corroborated by results from other locations and archives. The LGM and deglacial sediments below 3400 m water depth bear no evidence of an ambient deep water εNd as unradiogenic as -13.5. Although the deep core sites also experienced enhanced degrees of sediment focusing before the Younger Dryas, the εNd values of between -11 and – 10 are more readily explained in terms of increased presence of Southern Source Waters. If this is the case, the change to Nd isotopic compositions that reflect a modern circulation pattern, including the presence of Lower NADW, only occurred after the Younger Dryas.