During the last deglaciation, the opposing patterns of atmospheric CO2 and radiocarbon activities (D14C) suggest the release of 14C-depleted CO2 from old carbon reservoirs. Although evidences point to the deep Pacific as a major reservoir of this 14C-depleted carbon, its extent and evolution still need to be constrained. Here we use sediment cores retrieved along a South Pacific transect to reconstruct the spatio-temporal evolution of D14C over the last 30,000 years. In B2,500–3,600 m water depth, we find 14C-depleted deep waters with a maximum glacial offset to atmospheric 14C (DD14C = -1000 permil). Using a box model, we test the hypothesis that these low values might have been caused by an interaction of aging and hydrothermal CO2 influx. We observe a rejuvenation of circumpolar deep waters synchronous and potentially contributing to the initial deglacial rise in atmospheric CO2. These findings constrain parts of the glacial carbon pool to the deep South Pacific.
AWI Organizations > Geosciences > Marine Geology and Paleontology