Centennial-Scale Sea Surface Temperature and Salinity Variability in the Florida Straits During the Early Holocene
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Previous studies showed that sea surface salinity (SSS) in the Florida Straits as well as Florida Current transport covaried with changes in North Atlantic climate over the past two millennia. However, little is known about earlier Holocene variability in the Florida Straits. Here, we combine Mg/Ca-paleothermometry and stable oxygen isotope measurements on the planktonic foraminifera Globigerinoides ruber (white variety) from Florida Straits sediment core KNR166-2 JPC 51 (24 degrees 24.70? N, 83 degrees 13.14?W, 198m deep) to reconstruct a high-resolution (~30 yr/sample) early to mid Holocene record of sea surface temperature and delta18OSW (a proxy for SSS) variability. We also measured Ba/Ca ratios in the same shell material as a proxy for riverine input into the Gulf of Mexico over the same time interval. After removing the influence of global delta18OSW change due to continental ice volume variability, we propose that early Holocene SSS enrichments were caused by increased evaporation/precipitation ratios in the Florida Straits associated with periods of reduced solar output, increased ice rafted debris in the North Atlantic and the development of more permanent El Nino-like conditions in the eastern equatorial Pacific. When considered with previous high-resolution reconstructions of early Holocene tropical atmospheric circulation changes, our results provide evidence that solar output variability over the Holocene had a significant impact on the global tropical hydrologic cycle over the last 10,000 years.
sea surface temperature
sea surface salinity
Gulf of Mexico
Weinlein, William (2011). Centennial-Scale Sea Surface Temperature and Salinity Variability in the Florida Straits During the Early Holocene. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from