Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Research article
27 Feb 2014
Research article |  | 27 Feb 2014

Persistent millennial-scale link between Greenland climate and northern Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone under interglacial conditions

O. Cartapanis, K. Tachikawa, O. E. Romero, and E. Bard

Abstract. The intensity and/or extent of the northeastern Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) varied in-phase with the Northern Hemisphere high latitude climate on millennial timescales during the last glacial period, indicating the occurrence of atmospheric and oceanic connections under glacial conditions. While millennial variability was reported for both the Greenland and the northern Atlantic Ocean during the last interglacial period, the climatic connections with the northeastern Pacific OMZ has not yet been observed under warm interglacial conditions. Here we present a new geochemical dataset, spanning the past 120 ka, for major components (terrigenous fraction, marine organic matter, biogenic opal, and carbonates) generated by X-ray fluorescence scanning alongside with biological productivity and redox sensitive trace element content (Mo, Ni, Cd) of sediment core MD02-2508 at 23° N, retrieved from the northern limit of the modern OMZ. Based on elemental ratios Si / Ti (proxy for opal), Cd / Al and Ni / Al, we suggest that biological productivity was high during the last interglacial (MIS5). Highly resolved opal reconstruction presents millennial variability corresponding to all the Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadial events over the last interglacial, while the Mo / Al ratio indicates reduced oxygenation during these events. Extremely high opal content during warm interstadials suggests high diatom productivity. Despite the different climatic and oceanic background between glacial and interglacial periods, rapid variability in the northeastern Pacific OMZ seems to be tightly related to Northern Hemisphere high latitude climate via atmospheric and possibly oceanic processes.