Abrupt wind regime changes in the North Atlantic Ocean during the past 30,000-60,000 years

Constancia López-Martínez*, Joan O. Grimalt, Babette Hoogakker, Jens Gruetzner, Maryline J. Vautravers, I. Nicholas McCave

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The inputs of higher plants in Blake Outer Ridge (subtropical western North Atlantic) during marine isotope stage 3 (MIS3) have been recorded at high resolution by quantification of C23-C33 odd carbon numbered n-alkanes and C20-C30 even carbon numbered n-alkan-1-ols in sediment sections of Ocean Drilling Program Site 1060. The changes of these proxies at this open marine site are mainly related to eolian inputs. Their concentrations and fluxes exhibit major abrupt variations that are correlated with Dansgaard/ Oeschger (D/O) patterns in Greenland ice cores. The ratios between interstadials and stadials range between 2 and 9 times. The intense flux increases in the D/O stadials are linked to strong enhancements of the westerly wind regime at these subtropical latitudes during stadials. The observed variation was paralleled by changes in wind-blown dust and the polar circulation index in Greenland ice, which is in agreement with previously hypothesized atmospheric teleconnections between northern and middle-low latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The close correspondence between sedimentary and ice core proxies is evidence that crossings of the glacial climate thresholds involved major reorganizations of the troposphere. The observed large rise in higher plant biomarkers indicates that climate stabilization in the D/O stadial conditions led to main increases in wind intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberPA4215
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology


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