Anand, Pallavi; Kroon, Dick; Singh, Arun Deo; Ganeshram, Raja S.; Ganssen, Gerald and Elderfield, Henry
Coupled sea surface temperature–seawater δ18O reconstructions in the Arabian Sea at the millennial scale for the last 35 ka.
Two sediment cores from the western (905; 10.46°9′N, 51.56°4′E, water depth 1586 m) and eastern (SK17; 15°15′N, 72°58′E, water depth 840 m) Arabian Sea were used to study past sea surface temperatures (SST) and seawater δ 18O (δ 18Ow) variations for the past 35 ka. We used coupled Mg/Ca-δ 18O calcite variability in two planktonic foraminiferal species: Globigerinoides ruber, which thrives throughout the year, and Globigerina bulloides, which occurs mainly when surface waters contain high nutrients during upwelling or convective mixing. SSTs in both areas based on Mg/Ca in G. ruber were ∼3 to 4°C lower during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ∼21 ka) than today and the Holocene period. The SST records based on G. bulloides also indicate general cooling, down to 18°C in both areas. SSTs in the western Arabian Sea based on G. bulloides were always lower than those based on G. ruber, indicating the presence of strong seasonal temperature contrast during the Holocene and LGM. We interpret the consistent presence of this seasonal temperature contrast to reflect a combination of seasonal summer upwelling (SW monsoon) and winter convective mixing (NE monsoon) in the western Arabian Sea. In the eastern Arabian Sea, G. bulloides-based SSTs were slightly lower (about 1°C) than G. ruber-based SSTs during the Holocene, indicating the almost absence of a seasonal temperature gradient, similar to today. However, a large seasonal temperature contrast occurred during the LGM which favors the assumption that strong NE monsoon winds forced winter upwelling or convective mixing offshore Goa. SST and δ 18Ow reconstructions reveal evidence of millennial-scale cycles, particularly in the eastern Arabian Sea. Here, the stadial periods (Northern Hemisphere cold periods such as Younger Dryas and Heinrich events) are marked by increasing SSTs and salty sea surface conditions relative to those during the interstadial periods. Indeed, the δ 18Ow record shows evidence of low-saline surface waters during interstadial periods, indicating increased freshwater runoff from the Western Ghats as a consequence of enhanced SW monsoon intensity.
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