Onset of Mediterranean outflow into the North Atlantic

F. Javier Hernandez-Molina, Dorrik Stow, Carlos A. Alvarez-Zarikian, Gary Acton, Andre Bahr, Barbara Balestra, Emmanuelle Ducassou, Roger Flood, Jose-Abel Flores, Satoshi Furota, Patrick Grunert, David A. Hodell, Francisco Jimenez-Espejo, Jin Kyoung Kim, Lawrence Krissek, Junichiro Kuroda, Baohua Li, Estefanía Llave, Johanna Lofi, Lucas LourensMadeline Miller, Futoshi Nanayama, Naohisa Nishida, Carl Richter, Cristina Roque, Helder Pereira, Maria Fernanda Sanchez-Goni, Francisco J. Sierro, Arun Deo Singh, Craig Sloss, Yasuhiro Takashimizu, Alexandrina Tzanova, Antje Voelker, Trevor Williams, Chuang Xuan

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    Abstract

    Sediments cored along the southwestern Iberian margin during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 339 provide constraints on Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) circulation patterns from the Pliocene epoch to the present day. After the Strait of Gibraltar opened (5.33 million years ago), a limited volume of MOW entered the Atlantic. Depositional hiatuses indicate erosion by bottom currents related to higher volumes of MOW circulating into the North Atlantic, beginning in the late Pliocene. The hiatuses coincide with regional tectonic events and changes in global thermohaline circulation (THC). This suggests that MOW influenced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), THC, and climatic shifts by contributing a component of warm, saline water to northern latitudes while in turn being influenced by plate tectonics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1244-1250
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience
    Volume344
    Issue number6189
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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    Hernandez-Molina, F. J., Stow, D., Alvarez-Zarikian, C. A., Acton, G., Bahr, A., Balestra, B., ... Xuan, C. (2014). Onset of Mediterranean outflow into the North Atlantic. Science, 344(6189), 1244-1250. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1251306