Holocene hydrography evolution in the Alboran Sea: a multi-record and multi-proxy comparison

Català, Albert; Cacho, Isabel; Frigola, Jaime; Pena, Leopoldo D.; Lirer, Fabrizio

A new high-resolution deglacial and Holocene sea surface temperature (SST) reconstruction is presented for the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean), based on Mg∕Ca ratios measured in the planktonic foraminifera Globigerina bulloides. This new record is evaluated by comparison with other Mg∕Ca SST records and previously published alkenone SST reconstructions from the same region for both the Holocene and glacial periods. In all cases there is a high degree of coherence between the different Mg∕Ca SST records but strong discrepancies when compared to the alkenone SST records. We argue that these discrepancies are due to differences in the proxy response during deglaciation which we hypothesize to reflect a resilience strategy of G. bulloides, changing its main growth season, and consequently Mg∕Ca records a shorter deglacial warming than alkenones. In contrast, short-term Holocene SST variability is larger in the Mg∕Ca SST than in the alkenone SST records. We propose that the larger Mg∕Ca SST variability is a result of spring temperatures variability, while the smoothed alkenone SST variability represents averaged annual temperatures. The Mg∕Ca SST record differentiates the Holocene into three periods: (1) the warmest SST values occurred during the Early Holocene (11.7–9 cal. kyr BP), (2) a continuous cooling trend occurred during the Middle Holocene that culminated in the coldest Holocene SST having a double cold peak structure centred at around 4.2 cal. kyr BP, and (3) the Late Holocene (4.2 cal. kyr BP to present) did not follow any clear cooling/warming trend although millennial-scale oscillations were enhanced. This SST evolution is discussed in the context of the changing properties in the Atlantic inflow water associated with North Atlantic circulation conditions and also with local hydrographical and atmospheric changes. We propose that a tight link between North Atlantic circulation patterns and the inflow of surface waters into the Mediterranean played a major role in controlling Holocene climatic variability of this region.

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Català, Albert / Cacho, Isabel / Frigola, Jaime / et al: Holocene hydrography evolution in the Alboran Sea: a multi-record and multi-proxy comparison. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Albert Català et al.

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