Assessing oxygen depletion in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean during the last deglaciation using I/Ca ratios from multiple benthic foraminiferal species

Published by Ecoss on

Paleo-redox proxies are crucial for reconstructing past bottom water oxygen concentration changes brought about by ocean circulation and marine productivity shifts in response to climate forcing. Carbonate I/Ca ratios of multiple benthic foraminifera species from Ocean Drilling Program Hole 1017E—a core drilled within the Californian oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), on the continental slope—are employed to reexamine the transition from the well-oxygenated last glacial into poorly oxygenated modern conditions. The redox and export productivity history of this site is constrained by numerous proxies used to assess sensitivity of I/Ca ratios of benthic foraminifera to changes in bottom and pore water O2 concentrations. Reconstructed iodate (IO3−) availability is from the I/Ca ratio of epifaunal (Cibicidoides sp.), shallow infaunal (Uvigerina peregrina), and deep infaunal (Bolivina spissa) foraminifera. The reconstructed IO3− availability profile is used to determine the contribution of bottom water O2 relative to oxidant demand on pore water O2 concentrations. These results suggest that high export productivity on the California Margin drove low pore water O2 concentrations during the Bølling. In contrast, low bottom water O2 concentrations at 950 m water depth only contributed to reduced sediments during the Allerød. Increased contribution of modified North Pacific Intermediate Water to the California Current System ventilated the California OMZ during the late glacial and the Younger Dryas such that water overlying the site was oxygenated. These results highlight the promising potential of this new proxy for understanding the relative influence of bottom water O2concentration and pore water oxidant demand on OMZs.