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Underlying causes for long-term global ocean d13C fluctuations over the last 1.2 Ma

Hoogakker, B.A.A., Rohling, E.J., Palmer, M.R., Tyrrell, T. and Rothwell, R.G. (2006) Underlying causes for long-term global ocean d13C fluctuations over the last 1.2 Ma Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248, (1), pp. 15-29. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.05.007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Pleistocene stable carbon isotope (?13C) records from surface and deep dwelling foraminifera in all major ocean basins show two distinct long-term carbon isotope fluctuations since 1.00 Ma. The first started around 1.00 Ma and was characterised by a 0.35‰ decrease in ?13C values until 0.90 Ma, followed by an increase of 0.60‰ lasting until 0.50 Ma. The subsequent fluctuation started with a 0.40‰ decrease between 0.50 and 0.25 Ma, followed by an increase of 0.30‰ between 0.25 and 0.10 Ma. Here, we evaluate existing evidence and various hypotheses for these global Pleistocene ?13C fluctuations and present an interpretation, where the fluctuations most likely resulted from concomitant changes in the burial fluxes of organic and inorganic carbon due to ventilation changes and/or changes in the production and export ratio. Our model indicates that to satisfy the long-term ‘stability’ of the Pleistocene lysocline, the ratio between the amounts of change in the organic and inorganic carbon burial fluxes would have to be close to a 1:1 ratio, as deviations from this ratio would lead to sizable variations in the depth of the lysocline. It is then apparent that the mid-Pleistocene climate transition, which, apart from the glacial cycles, represents the most fundamental change in the Pleistocene climate, was likely not associated with a fundamental change in atmospheric pCO2. While recognising that high frequency glacial/interglacial cycles are associated with relatively large (100 ppmv) changes in pCO2, our model scenario (with burial changes close to a 1:1 ratio) produces a maximum long-term variability of only 20 ppmv over the fluctuation between 1.00 and 0.50 Ma.

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Published date: 2006

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 41405
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/41405
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: 25c489aa-610a-41c9-878e-d7ca1746da2c
ORCID for E.J. Rohling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5349-2158
ORCID for T. Tyrrell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1002-1716

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Sep 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:30

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