Barker Stephen

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  • Article
    Abrupt changes in deep Atlantic circulation during the transition to full glacial conditions
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-05-30) Thornalley, David J. R. ; Barker, Stephen ; Becker, Julia ; Hall, Ian R. ; Knorr, Gregor
    Six Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites, in the Northwest Atlantic have been used to investigate kinematic and chemical changes in the “Western Boundary Undercurrent” (WBUC) during the development of full glacial conditions across the Marine Isotope Stage 5a/4 boundary (~70,000 years ago). Sortable silt mean grain size inline image measurements are employed to examine changes in near bottom flow speeds, together with carbon isotopes measured in benthic foraminifera and % planktic foraminiferal fragmentation as proxies for changes in water-mass chemistry. A depth transect of cores, spanning 1.8–4.6 km depth, allows changes in both the strength and depth of the WBUC to be constrained across millennial scale events. inline image measurements reveal that the flow speed structure of the WBUC during warm intervals (“interstadials”) was comparable to modern (Holocene) conditions. However, significant differences are observed during cold intervals, with higher relative flow speeds inferred for the shallow component of the WBUC (~2 km depth) during all cold “stadial” intervals (including Heinrich Stadial 6), and a substantial weakening of the deep component (~3–4 km) during full glacial conditions. Our results therefore reveal that the onset of full glacial conditions was associated with a regime shift to a shallower mode of circulation (involving Glacial North Atlantic Intermediate Water) that was quantitatively distinct from preceding cold stadial events. Furthermore, our chemical proxy data show that the physical response of the WBUC during the last glacial inception was probably coupled to basin-wide changes in the water-mass composition of the deep Northwest Atlantic.
  • Article
    Evidence of silicic acid leakage to the tropical Atlantic via Antarctic Intermediate Water during Marine Isotope Stage 4
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-06-27) Griffiths, James D. ; Barker, Stephen ; Hendry, Katharine R. ; Thornalley, David J. R. ; van de Flierdt, Tina ; Hall, Ian R. ; Anderson, Robert F.
    Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) and Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) are the main conduits for the supply of dissolved silicon (silicic acid) from the deep Southern Ocean (SO) to the low-latitude surface ocean and therefore have an important control on low-latitude diatom productivity. Enhanced supply of silicic acid by AAIW (and SAMW) during glacial periods may have enabled tropical diatoms to outcompete carbonate-producing phytoplankton, decreasing the relative export of inorganic to organic carbon to the deep ocean and lowering atmospheric pCO2. This mechanism is known as the “silicic acid leakage hypothesis” (SALH). Here we present records of neodymium and silicon isotopes from the western tropical Atlantic that provide the first direct evidence of increased silicic acid leakage from the Southern Ocean to the tropical Atlantic within AAIW during glacial Marine Isotope Stage 4 (~60–70 ka). This leakage was approximately coeval with enhanced diatom export in the NW Atlantic and across the eastern equatorial Atlantic and provides support for the SALH as a contributor to CO2 drawdown during full glacial development.
  • Preprint
    A warm and poorly ventilated deep Arctic Mediterranean during the last glacial period
    ( 2015-07) Thornalley, David J. R. ; Bauch, H. A. ; Gebbie, Geoffrey A. ; Guo, Weifu ; Ziegler, Martin ; Bernasconi, Stefano M. ; Barker, Stephen ; Skinner, Luke C. ; Yu, Jimin
    Changes in the formation of dense water in the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas (the ‘Arctic Mediterranean’, AM) likely contributed to the altered climate of the last glacial period. We examine past changes in AM circulation by reconstructing 14C ventilation ages of the deep Nordic Seas over the last 30,000 years. Our results show that the deep glacial AM was extremely poorly ventilated (ventilation ages of up to 10,000 years). Subsequent episodic overflow of aged water into the mid-depth North Atlantic occurred during deglaciation. Proxy data also suggest the deep glacial AM was ~2-3°C warmer than modern; deglacial mixing of the deep AM with the upper ocean thus potentially contributed to melting sea-ice and icebergs, as well as proximal terminal ice-sheet margins.