Development of the Western Boundary Undercurrent at Eirik Drift related to changing climate since the early Miocene


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Antje.Mueller-Michaelis [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Eirik Drift lies on the slope south of Greenland, where it has been formed under the influence of the Western Boundary Undercurrent (WBUC) closely downstream of its origin in the deep-water formation centres of the Nordic Seas. Therefore, the sediment record at Eirik Drift documents modifications in pathways and intensity of the WBUC. These modifications reflect alterations in deep-water formation in the Nordic Seas and are therefore coupled with climate changes. Based on the seismostratigraphic analysis of sedimentary architecture identified in a set of high-resolution seismic reflection data, we have reconstructed the palaeocirculation of the WBUC at Eirik Drift since the early Miocene. We revealed a strong WBUC during warm climate conditions, and in phases of climate cooling with enhanced sea-ice extent we interpreted weak WBUC influence. We suggest a southward shift of the deep-water formation regions along with a shift of the deep current system during the cool phases. This shift implies that the main North Atlantic deep-water route affected Eirik Drift only during warm phases and that during cool phases weak branches of the circulation system flowed over Eirik Drift.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Eprint ID
36116
DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2014.07.010

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Müller-Michaelis, A. and Uenzelmann-Neben, G. (2014): Development of the Western Boundary Undercurrent at Eirik Drift related to changing climate since the early Miocene , Deep Sea Research I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 93 , pp. 21-34 . doi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2014.07.010


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