Nd and Sm isotopic record from fossil fish teeth recovered from ODP Site 177-1090

2019-07-17T09:04:38Z (GMT) by Howie D Scher Ellen E Martin
Neodymium (Nd) isotopes were measured on 181 samples of fossil fish teeth recovered from Oligocene to Miocene sections at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1090 (3700 m water depth) on Agulhas Ridge in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. A long-term decreasing trend toward less radiogenic Nd isotope compositions dominates the record. This trend is interrupted by shifts toward more radiogenic compositions near the early/late Oligocene boundary and the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. Overall, epsilon-Nd values at Agulhas Ridge are more radiogenic than at other Atlantic locations, and are similar to those at Indian Ocean locations. The pattern of variability is remarkably similar to Nd isotope results from Walvis Ridge (South Atlantic) and Ninetyeast Ridge (Indian Ocean). In contrast, Agulhas Ridge and Maud Rise Nd isotope records do not show similar patterns over this interval. Results from this study indicate that deep water in the Atlantic flowed predominantly from north to south during the Oligocene and Miocene, and that export of Northern Component Water (NCW) to the Southern Ocean increased in the late Oligocene. There is also evidence for efficient exchange of deep waters between the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean, although the direction of deep water flow is not entirely clear from these data. The shifts to more radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions most likely represent increases in the flux of Pacific waters through Drake Passage, and the timing of these events reflect development of a mature Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The relative timing of increased NCW export and ACC maturation support hypotheses that link deep water formation in the North Atlantic to the opening of Drake Passage. DEPTH, sediment/rock [m] is given in mcd.

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CC BY 4.0