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Late slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during the Last Glacial Inception: New constraints from sedimentary ((231)Pa/(230)Th)

Abel Guihou 1, 2, * Sylvain Pichat 1 Silvia Nave 3 Aline Govin 2, 4 Laurent Labeyrie 2, 5 Elisabeth Michel 2, 5 Claire Waelbroeck 2, 5
* Corresponding author
4 CLIMAG - Climat et Magnétisme
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
5 PALEOCEAN - Paléocéanographie
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
Abstract : Our study gives new constraints on the response of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) export to various forcings during the Last Glacial Inception. The decay corrected excess sedimentary ((231)Pa/(230)Th) activity ratio (hereafter referred to as (Pa/Th)) has been measured over that period in two deep cores from the Western (SU90-11, 44 degrees 04'N, 40 degrees 01'W, 3645 m) and Eastern (MD01-2446, 39 degrees 03'N, 12 degrees 37'W, 3547 m) basins of the North Atlantic. Both records display significant changes despite the relatively short half-life of (231)Pa (similar to 32 kyr) compared to the period we investigate. The (Pa/Th) variability does not correlate to changes in local opal flux normalized to (230)Th. Moreover, the (Pa/Th) profiles display a high degree of coherency with indirect proxies of AMOC activity such as the benthic foraminifera delta(13)C and the mid-latitude summer Sea Surface Temperature in nearby reference cores. These additional pieces of evidence support our interpretation of the (Pa/Th) as reflecting AMOC export. The (Pa/Th) repeatedly underwent rapid changes during the Last Glacial Inception associated with the extension of ice rafted detritus in the North Atlantic, highlighting the control of ice-sheet dynamics through freshwater forcing on AMOC export. AMOC export remains large during periods of ice-sheet growth and its decreases lag the Northern Hemisphere summer insolation forcing. AMOC modulation appears driven by ice-sheet dynamics, itself driven by the seasonal insolation gradient between low and high Northern Hemisphere latitudes and the associated intensity of the meridional oceanic and atmospheric circulation. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 11:31:39 AM
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Abel Guihou, Sylvain Pichat, Silvia Nave, Aline Govin, Laurent Labeyrie, et al.. Late slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during the Last Glacial Inception: New constraints from sedimentary ((231)Pa/(230)Th). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2010, 289 (3-4), pp.520-529. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2009.11.045⟩. ⟨insu-00681734⟩

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