We investigate whether the oxygen isotope ratio in the test of Globorotalia truncatulinoides can serve as a proxy for intermediate depth (200-500 m) density. Since intermediate depth horizontal density gradients are associated with the vertical shear of upper ocean flows, this proxy could provide a tool for reconstructing past ocean circulation. The spatial pattern of core top Gr. truncatulinoides delta(18)O in the Atlantic Ocean mimics the upper ocean density gradients associated with the major ocean currents. To better constrain the controls on the calcification depth(s) of Gr. truncatulinoides, we attempt to simulate the surface sediment data set using water column temperature and salinity conditions above the core sites. We predicted foraminiferal delta(18)O for each core site assuming (1) the calcification occurs at a single depth and (2) the initial calcification is at the surface and the subsequent calcification is at 800 m water depth. The predicted delta(18)O best resembles measured delta(18)O of Gr. truncatulinoides when using (1) a single depth calcification at 350 m or (2) a two-depth approximation with 30% surface and 70% 800-m calcification. This result gives us confidence in the ability of delta(18)O in Gr. truncatulinoides to proxy lateral density gradients at the intermediate depths associated with upper ocean flow.
881QYTimes Cited:6Cited References Count:16