Deep and bottom water export from the Southern Ocean to the Pacific over the past 38 million years

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Mar 10
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The application of radiogenic isotopes to the study of Cenozoic circulation patterns in the South Pacific Ocean has been hampered by the fact that records from only equatorial Pacific deep water have been available. We present new Pb and Nd isotope time series for two ferromanganese crusts that grew from equatorial Pacific bottom water (D137-01, "Nova," 7219 m water depth) and southwest Pacific deep water (63KD, "Tasman," 1700 m water depth). The crusts were dated using Be-10/(9) Be ratios combined with constant Co-flux dating and yield time series for the past 38 and 23 Myr, respectively. The surface Nd and Pb isotope distributions are consistent with the present-day circulation pattern, and therefore the new records are considered suitable to reconstruct Eocene through Miocene paleoceanography for the South Pacific. The isotope time series of crusts Nova and Tasman suggest that equatorial Pacific deep water and waters from the Southern Ocean supplied the dissolved trace metals to both sites over the past 38 Myr. Changes in the isotopic composition of crust Nova are interpreted to reflect development of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and changes in Pacific deep water circulation caused by the build up of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Nd isotopic composition of the shallower water site in the southwest Pacific appears to have been more sensitive to circulation changes resulting from closure of the Indonesian seaway.


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Doi 10.1029/2003pa000923