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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 3
Clim. Past, 4, 191–203, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Clim. Past, 4, 191–203, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  04 Sep 2008

04 Sep 2008

A modeling sensitivity study of the influence of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation on neodymium isotopic composition at the Last Glacial Maximum

T. Arsouze1,2, J.-C. Dutay1, M. Kageyama1, F. Lacan2, R. Alkama1, O. Marti1, and C. Jeandel2 T. Arsouze et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), CEA/CNRS/UVSQ/IPSL, Orme des Merisiers, Gif-Sur-Yvette, Bat 712, 91191 Gif sur Yvette cedex, France
  • 2Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiale (LEGOS), CNES/CNRS/UPS/IRD, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 av. E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France

Abstract. Using a simple parameterisation that resolves the first order global Nd isotopic composition (hereafter expressed as εNd in an Ocean Global Circulation Model, we have tested the impact of different circulation scenarios on the εNd in the Atlantic for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), relative to a modern control run. Three different LGM freshwater forcing experiments are performed to test for variability in the εNd oceanic distribution as a function of ocean circulation. Highly distinct representations of the ocean circulation are generated in the three simulations, which drive significant differences in εNd, particularly in deep waters of the western part of the basin. However, at the LGM, the Atlantic is more radiogenic than in the modern control run, particularly in the Labrador basin and in the Southern Ocean. A fourth experiment shows that changes in Nd sources and bathymetry drive a shift in the εNd signature of the basin that is sufficient to explain the changes in the εNd signature of the northern end-member (NADW or GNAIW glacial equivalent) in our LGM simulations. All three of our LGM circulation scenarios show good agreement with the existing intermediate depth εNd paleo-data. This study cannot indicate the likelihood of a given LGM oceanic circulation scenario, even if simulations with a prominent water mass of southern origin provide the most conclusive results. Instead, our modeling results highlight the need for more data from deep and bottom waters from western Atlantic, where the εNd change in the three LGM scenarios is the most important (up to 3 εNd. This would also aid more precise conclusions concerning the evolution of the northern end-member εNd signature, and thus the potential use of εNd as a tracer of past oceanic circulation.

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