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Roberts N.L.,Godwin Laboratory for Paleoclimate Research | Piotrowski A.M.,Godwin Laboratory for Paleoclimate Research
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2015

Paleoceanographic reconstructions rely on chemical proxies which are controlled by physical, chemical, and biological marine parameters. The accurate interpretation of proxy records relies on the integrity of proxy-environmental relationships through time, and under changing conditions. In this study we closely examine paleo controls on authigenic Nd isotope records from five cores in the northern NE Atlantic, approximating a depth-transect, allowing spatial and temporal relationships to be reconstructed. We compare our Nd isotope records with other paleocirculation proxies, and consider the sedimentalogical controls on Nd isotope signals, by comparing ice-rafted detritus lithology and counts, detrital sediment chemistry and redox sensitive element concentrations measured on foraminifera authigenic coatings. With this suite of geochemical and sedimentalogical data we show that Nd isotope records in the northern NE Atlantic were labeled by radiogenic sediments, however this modification did not occur in the pore-waters of each core, but instead likely reflects changes in the Nd isotopic composition of deep-waters caused by the input of ice-rafted sediment during Heinrich events and the last glacial maximum. This study has implications for understanding how localized changes in the Nd isotope signal can set a watermass end-member composition, decoupling chemical proxy-circulation relationships locally, but providing a signal which can be potentially traced along the deep-water flowpath. Such scenarios must be considered in future interpretations of glacial Nd isotope records taken from within the ice-rafted detritus belt and downstream along watermass flowpaths. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Roberts N.L.,Godwin Laboratory for Paleoclimate Research | McManus J.F.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Piotrowski A.M.,Godwin Laboratory for Paleoclimate Research | McCave I.N.,Godwin Laboratory for Paleoclimate Research
Paleoceanography | Year: 2014

Over the last 2-decades, significant advances have been made in reconstructing past rates of ocean circulation using sedimentary proxies for the dynamics of abyssal waters. In this study we combine the use of two rate proxies, sortable silt grain size, and sedimentary 231Pa/ 230Th, measured on a depth transect of deep-sea sediment cores from the northern NE Atlantic, to investigate ocean circulation changes during the last deglacial. We find that at two deep sites, the core-top 231Pa/230Th ratios reflect Holocene circulation rates, while during Heinrich Stadial 1, the deglacial ratios peaked as the sortable silt grain size decreased, reflecting a general circulation slowdown. However, the peak 231Pa/230Th significantly exceeded the production ratio in both cores, indicating that 231Pa/230Th was only partially controlled by ocean circulation at these sites. This is supported by a record of 231Pa/230Th from an intermediate water depth site, where values also peaked during Heinrich Stadial 1, but were consistently above the production ratio over the last 24-ka, reflecting high scavenging below productive surface waters. At our study sites, we find that preserved sediment component fluxes cannot be used to distinguish between a scavenging or circulation control, although they are consistent with a circulation influence, since the core at intermediate depth with the highest 231Pa/ 230Th recorded the lowest particle fluxes. Reconstruction of advection rate using 231Pa/230Th in this region is complicated by high productivity, but the data nevertheless contain important information on past deep ocean circulation. ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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