South African Climates: Highlights From International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 361

Jens.Gruetzner [ at ]


IODP Expedition 361 drilled six sites on the southeast African margin and in the Indian-Atlantic ocean gateway, southwest Indian Ocean, from 30 January to 31 March 2016. The sites, situated in the Mozambique Channel, at locations directly influenced by discharge from the Zambezi and Limpopo River catchments, the Natal Valley, the Agulhas Plateau, and the Cape Basin were targeted to reconstruct the history of the Greater Agulhas Current System over the past ~ 5 Ma. The main objectives of the expedition were to establish the sensitivity of the Agulhas Current to climatic changes during the Plio-Pleistocene, to determine the dynamics of the Indian-Atlantic gateway circulation during this time, to examine the connection of the Agulhas leakage and AMOC, to address the influence of the Agulhas Current on African terrestrial climates and potential links to human evolution. Additionally, the Expedition set out to fulfill the needs of the APL, consisting of high-resolution interstitial water samples that will constrain the temperature and salinity profiles of the ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum. Here we highlight some of the expedition successes and show how it has made major strides toward fulfilling each of these objectives. The recovered sequences allowed complete spliced stratigraphic sections to be generated spanning the interval of 0 to between ~0.13 and 7 Ma. These sediments provide an exceptional opportunity to generate decadal to millennial-scale climatic records that will resolve key paleoceanographic questions from a region poorly represented in the database of scientific drills sites.

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Conference (Poster)
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12th International Conference on Paleoceanography (ICP12), 29 Aug 2016 - 02 Sep 2016, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
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Hall, I. , Hemming, S. , LeVay, L. and Expedition 361 Scientists (incl. Jens Gruetzner), J. (2016): South African Climates: Highlights From International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 361 , 12th International Conference on Paleoceanography (ICP12), Utrecht, The Netherlands, 29 August 2016 - 2 September 2016 .

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