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The transition on North America from the warm humid Pliocene to the glaciated Quaternary traced by eolian dust deposition at a benchmark North Atlantic Ocean drill site

The transition on North America from the warm humid Pliocene to the glaciated Quaternary traced by eolian dust deposition at a benchmark North Atlantic Ocean drill site
The transition on North America from the warm humid Pliocene to the glaciated Quaternary traced by eolian dust deposition at a benchmark North Atlantic Ocean drill site
We present Plio-Pleistocene records of sediment color, %CaCO3, foraminifer fragmentation, benthic carbon isotopes (?13C) and radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Nd, Pb) of the terrigenous component from IODP Site U1313, a reoccupation of benchmark subtropical North Atlantic Ocean DSDP Site 607. We show that (inter)glacial cycles in sediment color and %CaCO3 pre-date major northern hemisphere glaciation and are unambiguously and consistently correlated to benthic oxygen isotopes back to 3.3 million years ago (Ma) and intermittently so probably back to the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. We show these lithological cycles to be driven by enhanced glacial fluxes of terrigenous material (eolian dust), not carbonate dissolution (the classic interpretation). Our radiogenic isotope data indicate a North American source for this dust (?3.3–2.4 Ma) in keeping with the interpreted source of terrestrial plant wax-derived biomarkers deposited at Site U1313. Yet our data indicate a mid latitude provenance regardless of (inter)glacial state, a finding that is inconsistent with the biomarker-inferred importance of glaciogenic mechanisms of dust production and transport. Moreover, we find that the relation between the biomarker and lithogenic components of dust accumulation is distinctly non-linear. Both records show a jump in glacial rates of accumulation from Marine Isotope Stage, MIS, G6 (2.72 Ma) onwards but the amplitude of this signal is about 3–8 times greater for biomarkers than for dust and particularly extreme during MIS 100 (2.52 Ma). We conclude that North America shifted abruptly to a distinctly more arid glacial regime from MIS G6, but major shifts in glacial North American vegetation biomes and regional wind fields (exacerbated by the growth of a large Laurentide Ice Sheet during MIS 100) likely explain amplification of this signal in the biomarker records. Our findings are consistent with wetter-than-modern reconstructions of North American continental climate under the warm high CO2 conditions of the Early Pliocene but contrast with most model predictions for the response of the hydrological cycle to anthropogenic warming over the coming 50 years (poleward expansion of the subtropical dry zones).
0277-3791
125-141
Lang, David C.
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Bailey, Ian
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Wilson, Paul A.
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Beer, Christopher J.
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Bolton, Clara T.
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Friedrich, Oliver
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Newsam, Cherry
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Spencer, Megan R.
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Gutjahr, Marcus
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Foster, Gavin L.
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Cooper, Matthew J.
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Milton, J. Andrew
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Lang, David C.
a85402ce-148a-41b1-9522-915e8d33eb31
Bailey, Ian
e659068f-e591-4185-afd1-5e19a5794bda
Wilson, Paul A.
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Beer, Christopher J.
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Bolton, Clara T.
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Friedrich, Oliver
680f066c-a4b1-4647-beb3-281addc1ee17
Newsam, Cherry
306e3d91-87a1-44a0-afc5-71a9f7cf0e0d
Spencer, Megan R.
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Gutjahr, Marcus
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Foster, Gavin L.
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Cooper, Matthew J.
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Milton, J. Andrew
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Lang, David C., Bailey, Ian, Wilson, Paul A., Beer, Christopher J., Bolton, Clara T., Friedrich, Oliver, Newsam, Cherry, Spencer, Megan R., Gutjahr, Marcus, Foster, Gavin L., Cooper, Matthew J. and Milton, J. Andrew (2014) The transition on North America from the warm humid Pliocene to the glaciated Quaternary traced by eolian dust deposition at a benchmark North Atlantic Ocean drill site. Quaternary Science Reviews, 93, 125-141. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.04.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present Plio-Pleistocene records of sediment color, %CaCO3, foraminifer fragmentation, benthic carbon isotopes (?13C) and radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Nd, Pb) of the terrigenous component from IODP Site U1313, a reoccupation of benchmark subtropical North Atlantic Ocean DSDP Site 607. We show that (inter)glacial cycles in sediment color and %CaCO3 pre-date major northern hemisphere glaciation and are unambiguously and consistently correlated to benthic oxygen isotopes back to 3.3 million years ago (Ma) and intermittently so probably back to the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. We show these lithological cycles to be driven by enhanced glacial fluxes of terrigenous material (eolian dust), not carbonate dissolution (the classic interpretation). Our radiogenic isotope data indicate a North American source for this dust (?3.3–2.4 Ma) in keeping with the interpreted source of terrestrial plant wax-derived biomarkers deposited at Site U1313. Yet our data indicate a mid latitude provenance regardless of (inter)glacial state, a finding that is inconsistent with the biomarker-inferred importance of glaciogenic mechanisms of dust production and transport. Moreover, we find that the relation between the biomarker and lithogenic components of dust accumulation is distinctly non-linear. Both records show a jump in glacial rates of accumulation from Marine Isotope Stage, MIS, G6 (2.72 Ma) onwards but the amplitude of this signal is about 3–8 times greater for biomarkers than for dust and particularly extreme during MIS 100 (2.52 Ma). We conclude that North America shifted abruptly to a distinctly more arid glacial regime from MIS G6, but major shifts in glacial North American vegetation biomes and regional wind fields (exacerbated by the growth of a large Laurentide Ice Sheet during MIS 100) likely explain amplification of this signal in the biomarker records. Our findings are consistent with wetter-than-modern reconstructions of North American continental climate under the warm high CO2 conditions of the Early Pliocene but contrast with most model predictions for the response of the hydrological cycle to anthropogenic warming over the coming 50 years (poleward expansion of the subtropical dry zones).

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Published date: 1 June 2014
Organisations: Geochemistry, Paleooceanography & Palaeoclimate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364730
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364730
ISSN: 0277-3791
PURE UUID: 95ecb454-a9e9-4c6a-8919-4184f311e660
ORCID for Megan R. Spencer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0063-2238
ORCID for Matthew J. Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2130-2759

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Date deposited: 07 May 2014 13:20
Last modified: 18 Jul 2018 00:33

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Contributors

Author: David C. Lang
Author: Ian Bailey
Author: Paul A. Wilson
Author: Christopher J. Beer
Author: Clara T. Bolton
Author: Oliver Friedrich
Author: Cherry Newsam
Author: Marcus Gutjahr
Author: Gavin L. Foster

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