Response of calcareous nannofossil assemblages to paleoenvironmental changes through the mid-Pleistocene revolution at Site 1090 (Southern Ocean)

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doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.06.019
Author(s): Marino, Maria; Maiorano, Patrizia; Lirer, Fabrizio; Pelosi, Nicola
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Bari University, Geology and Geophysics Department, Bari, Italy
Volume Title: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Source: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 280(3-4), p.333-349. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0031-0182 CODEN: PPPYAB
Note: In English. 111 refs.; illus., incl. sketch map
Summary: Quantitative study on calcareous nannofossil assemblages has been performed in high time resolution (2-3 kyr) at the Ocean Drilling Program Site 1090. The location of this site in the Southern Ocean is crucial for the comprehension of thermohaline circulation and frontal boundary dynamics, and for testing the employ of nannoflora as paleoceanographical tool. The chronologically well constrained investigated record spans between Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 35 and 15, through an interval of global paleoclimate and paleoceanographical modification also known as mid-Pleistocene revolution (MPR). Measures of ecological (Shannon-Weaver diversity and paleoproductivity) and dissolution indices together with spectral and wavelet analyses carried out on the acquired time series provide valuable information for interpretation of data in terms of paleoecology and paleoceanography. Assemblages are mainly represented by dominant small Gephyrocapsa, common Calcidiscus leptoporus s.l., Coccolithus pelagicus s.l., Gephyrocapsa (4-5.5 µm), the extinct Pseudoemiliania lacunosa and Reticulofenestra spp. (R. asanoi and Reticulofenestra sp.). Morphotypes discriminated within Calcidiscus leptoporus s.l. and Coccolithus pelagicus s.l., reveal that they may have had different ecological preferences during Pleistocene with respect to the present. The composition and fluctuation in nannofossil assemblage and their comparison with the available Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and C-org curves suggest a primary ecological response to paleoenvironmental changes; relationships to different surface water features and boundary dynamics, as well as to different efficiencies and motions of the intermediate and deep water masses have been inferred. A more northward position of Subantarctic Front (SAF) during most of the Early Pleistocene record has been highlighted based on assemblage composition characterised by common Calcidiscus leptoporus s.l., Coccolithus pelagicus s.l., medium Gephyrocapsa (4-5.5 µm), and by the rarity or absence of Umbilicosphaera spp., Rhabdosphaera spp., Pontosphaera spp., Oolithotus fragilis. Exceptions are the more intense interglacials MIS 31, 17, and probably MIS 15, when a southward displacement of frontal system occurred, coincident with peaks in abundance of Helicosphaera spp. and Syracosphaera spp. Higher nutrient content and more dynamic conditions occurred between MIS 32 and MIS 25, in relation to shallower location of nutrient-rich Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) core and to reduction of glacial-interglacial variability. A nannofossil barren interval is coincident with the known stagnation of South Atlantic deep water circulation during MIS 24, when North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) was reduced or suppressed and an enhanced northward deep penetration of the more corrosive Circumpolar Deep Water (CPDW) took place. An event of strong instability in nutricline dynamics characterised the transition MIS 23-22 as suggested by sharp fluctuations in paleoproductivity proxies, linked to major changes in oceanographic circulation and to the first distinct increase of larger ice volumes at this time. From MIS 21 upward the nannofossil variations seem to be primarily controlled by glacial-interglacial cyclicity and temperature fluctuations. The cyclic fluctuation recognised in nannofossil abundance seems to be linked to orbitally-forced climatic variation, primarily to the obliquity periodicity recorded in the patterns of C. leptoporus intermediate (5-8 µm) and C. pelagicus pelagicus (6-10 µm); however no obvious and linear relations may be always observed between nannoflora fluctuation and Milankovitch parameters, suggesting more complex and unclear relationships between nannofossils and environmental change. Abstract Copyright (2009) Elsevier, B.V.
Year of Publication: 2009
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 24 Surficial Geology, Quaternary Geology; Algae; Assemblages; Atlantic Ocean; Cenozoic; Isotopes; Leg 177; Microfossils; Middle Pleistocene; Nannofossils; ODP Site 1090; Ocean Drilling Program; Ocean circulation; Paleo-oceanography; Paleoclimatology; Paleoecology; Plantae; Pleistocene; Quaternary; South Atlantic; Southern Ocean; Statistical analysis; Time series analysis
Coordinates: S425449 S425449 E0085359 E0085359
Record ID: 2009097825
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands