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A new concept for the paleoceanographic evolution of Heinrich event 1 in the North Atlantic

Stanford, J.D., Rohling, E.J., Bacon, S., Roberts, A.P., Grousset, F.E. and Bolshaw, M. (2011) A new concept for the paleoceanographic evolution of Heinrich event 1 in the North Atlantic Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, (9-10), pp. 1047-1066. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.02.003).

Record type: Article


New records of planktonic foraminiferal ?18O and lithic and foraminiferal counts from Eirik Drift are combined with published data from the Nordic Seas and the “Ice Rafted Debris (IRD) belt”, to portray a sequence of events through Heinrich event 1 (H1). These events progressed from an onset of meltwater release at not, vert, similar19 ka BP, through the ‘conventional’ H1 IRD deposition phase in the IRD belt starting from not, vert, similar17.5 ka BP, to a final phase between 16.5 and not, vert, similar15 ka BP that was characterised by a pooling of freshwater in the Nordic Seas, which we suggest was hyperpycnally injected into that basin. After not, vert, similar15 ka BP, this freshwater was purged from the Nordic Seas into the North Atlantic, which preconditioned the Nordic Seas for convective deep-water formation. This allowed an abrupt re-start of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation in the Nordic Seas at the Bølling warming (14.6 ka BP). In contrast to previous estimates for the duration of H1 (i.e., 1000 years to only a century or two), the total, combined composite H1 signal presented here had a duration of over 4000 yrs (not, vert, similar19–14.6 ka BP), which spanned the entire period of NADW collapse. It appears that deep-water formation and climate are not simply controlled by the magnitude or rate of meltwater addition. Instead the location of meltwater injections may be more important, with NADW formation being particularly sensitive to surface freshening in the Arctic/Nordic Seas.

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Published date: May 2011
Keywords: Heinrich event 1, North Atlantic deep water formation, Nordic seas
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre,Southampton, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate


Local EPrints ID: 188311
ISSN: 0277-3791
PURE UUID: 9dc332f2-952c-43dc-a052-90e5f4b1be1f
ORCID for E.J. Rohling: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 23 May 2011 16:22
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:42

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Author: J.D. Stanford
Author: E.J. Rohling ORCID iD
Author: S. Bacon
Author: A.P. Roberts
Author: F.E. Grousset
Author: M. Bolshaw

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