Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
Clim. Past, 8, 1997–2017, 2012
Clim. Past, 8, 1997–2017, 2012

Research article 07 Dec 2012

Research article | 07 Dec 2012

An ocean–ice coupled response during the last glacial: a view from a marine isotopic stage 3 record south of the Faeroe Shetland Gateway

J. Zumaque1,*, F. Eynaud1, S. Zaragosi1, F. Marret2, K. M. Matsuzaki1,**, C. Kissel3, D. M. Roche3,4, B. Malaizé1, E. Michel3, I. Billy1, T. Richter5, and E. Palis1 J. Zumaque et al.
  • 1EPOC – Environnements et Paléoenvironnements Océaniques, UMR5805, Université Bordeaux I, Talence, France
  • 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZT, UK
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), CEA/CNRS-INSU/UVSQ – UMR8212, 91191 Gif s/s Yvette, France
  • 4Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, de Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 5NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg (Texel), The Netherlands
  • *present address: GEOTOP, Montréal, Canada
  • **present address: Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aramaki 6-3, Sendai, 980-8578, Japan

Abstract. The rapid climatic variability characterising the Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 3 (~60–30 cal ka BP) provides key issues to understand the atmosphere–ocean–cryosphere dynamics. Here we investigate the response of sea-surface paleoenvironments to the MIS3 climatic variability through the study of a high resolution oceanic sedimentological archive (core MD99-2281, 60°21' N; 09°27' W; 1197 m water depth), retrieved during the MD114-IMAGES (International Marine Global Change Study) cruise from the southern part of the Faeroe Bank. This sector was under the proximal influence of European ice sheets (Fennoscandian Ice Sheet to the East, British Irish Ice Sheet to the South) during the last glacial and thus probably responded to the MIS3 pulsed climatic changes.

We conducted a multi-proxy analysis of core MD99-2281, including magnetic properties, x-ray fluorescence measurements, characterisation of the coarse (>150 μm) lithic fraction (grain concentration) and the analysis of selected biogenic proxies (assemblages and stable isotope ratio of calcareous planktonic foraminifera, dinoflagellate cyst – e.g. dinocyst – assemblages). Results presented here are focussed on the dinocyst response, this proxy providing the reconstruction of past sea-surface hydrological conditions, qualitatively as well as quantitatively (e.g. transfer function sensu lato). Our study documents a very coherent and sensitive oceanic response to the MIS3 rapid climatic variability: strong fluctuations, matching those of stadial/interstadial climatic oscillations as depicted by Greenland ice cores, are recorded in the MD99-2281 archive. Proxies of terrigeneous and detritical material suggest increases in continental advection during Greenland Stadials (including Heinrich events), the latter corresponding also to southward migrations of polar waters. At the opposite, milder sea-surface conditions seem to develop during Greenland Interstadials. After 30 ka, reconstructed paleohydrological conditions evidence strong shifts in SST: this increasing variability seems consistent with the hypothesised coalescence of the British and Fennoscandian ice sheets at that time, which could have directly influenced sea-surface environments in the vicinity of core MD99-2281.