A Late Pleistocene time-series of bottom-current speed in the Vema Channel

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Ledbetter, M. T. (1986). A Late Pleistocene time-series of bottom-current speed in the Vema Channel. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 53(1), 97-105.
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TitleA Late Pleistocene time-series of bottom-current speed in the Vema Channel
AuthorsM. Ledbetter
AbstractA coarsening of the mean particle size of the carbonate-free silt fraction from sea-floor samples below 4000 m in the Vema Channel has been used to separate high-velocity Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) from the overlying, slower North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). A time-series of fluctuations in bottom-current speed within the modern AABW/NADW transition zone was examined by determining the particle-size distribution of sediments from eight gravity cores with a high-resolution stratigraphy for the past 250 kyrs. The bottom-current paleospeed was inferred from a correlation of particle size in seafloor samples with mean current speed from nearby current-meters. The mean bottom-current speed at depths comparable to modern AABW was highest (7-10 cm/s) during interglacial to glacial transitions corresponding to the oxygen isotopic stage 6/7 and 4/5 boundaries and at present. The mean bottom-current speed at depths comparable to modern NADW was nearly uniform for most of the past 250 kyrs except during glacial oxygen isotopic stage 2 when the speed dropped to 2 cm/s, or one-half of the present speed. The application of the "calibrated" particle-size method to examine bottom-current paleospeed allows testing of paleoceanographic models which rely on assumptions or inferences of changes in bottom-water production rate during the late Pleistocene paleoclimatic fluctuations. © 1986.
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Date1986
Volume53
Issue1
Start page97
End page105
ISSN00310182
NoteCited By (since 1996):17, CODEN: PPPYA, Oceanography

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