Mid Pleistocene productivity events in the Gulf of Alaska (NE Pacific)

Juliane.Mueller [ at ] awi.de


IODP site U1417 in the Gulf of Alaska provides a continuous sedimentary record of environmental changes (e.g., in sea surface temperature (SST), marine productivity, ice-rafting) in the subpolar NE Pacific through the Plio-Pleistocene time interval. Here, we present a multi-proxy data set, which allows us to discriminate between different fertilization mechanisms that promoted primary productivity events in the study area between 1.5 Ma and 0.5 Ma. Based on biomarker, micropaleontological, XRF, and sedimentological data, we find that diatom growth benefited from iron-fertilization from aeolian dust, iceberg, and volcanic ash input. Glacial-interglacial SST fluctuations were superimposed by a slight cooling trend with a first pronounced temperature drop during MIS 38 and significantly lowered SSTs persisting through MIS 30 and MIS 28. While the diatom productivity pulses were mainly independent from SST changes, they coincide with terrigenous organic matter input and their occurrence during both glacial and interglacial periods suggest that iron supply from glacigenic dust was mainly controlled by local ice-sheet dynamics. This data set highlights the complexity of fertilization mechanisms in areas affected by evolving ice-sheets and their potential control on the biological carbon pump in subpolar ocean environments.

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Conference (Poster)
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PAGES 5th Open Science Meeting, 09 May 2017 - 13 May 2017, Zaragoza.
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Müller, J. , Romero, O. E. , Cowan, E. A. , McClymont, E. L. , Forwick, M. , Asahi, H. , März, C. , Suto, I. , Mix, A. C. and Stoner, J. S. (2017): Mid Pleistocene productivity events in the Gulf of Alaska (NE Pacific) , PAGES 5th Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, 9 May 2017 - 13 May 2017 .

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