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Insights into North Atlantic deep water formation during the peak interglacial interval of Marine Isotope Stage 9 (MIS 9)

Mokeddem, Zohra, McManus, Jerry F.
Climate dynamics 2017 v.49 no.9-10 pp. 3193-3208
Retaria, climate, glaciation, heat, paleoclimatology, stable isotopes
Foraminifera abundance and stable isotope records from ODP Site 984 (61.25°N, 24.04°W, 1648 m) in the North Atlantic are used to reconstruct surface circulation variations and the relative strength of the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation over the period spanning the peak warmth of Marine Interglacial Stage (MIS) 9e (~324–336 ka). This interval includes the preceding deglaciation, Termination 4 (T4), and the subsequent glacial inception of MIS 9d. The records indicate a greatly reduced contribution of NADW during T4, as observed in more recent deglaciations. In contrast with the most recent deglaciation, the lack of a significant NADW signal extended from T4 well into the peak interglacial MIS 9e and persisted nearly until the transition to the subsequent glacial stage MIS 9d. Although NADW formation resumed during MIS 9e, only depths greater than 2000 m appear to have been ventilated. The poorly ventilated intermediate depth of Site 984 (<2000 m) may have resulted on one hand from a general reduction of deep water ventilation by NADW during the study interval or, on the other hand, from different pathways of the spread of newly formed NADW that bypassed the study location. The intermediate depths may have also been invaded by southern-sourced waters as the formation of intermediate depth NADW weakened. The absence of any significant NADW signal at the water depth of Site 984 during the climatic optimum contrasts sharply with subsequent interglacial peaks (MIS 5e and the Holocene). Despite the perturbed intermediate depth circulation, oceanic heat transport northeastward was not interrupted and may have contributed to the relatively mild interglacial conditions of MIS 9e.