Paleocirculation of the Deep North Atlantic: 150,000-Year Record of Benthic Foraminifera and Oxygen-18

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Science  12 Jan 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4376, pp. 168-171
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4376.168


Benthic foraminiferal faunas in a piston core from 3331 meters at 44°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge show striking variations in the relative abundance of species. Uvigerina peregrina, which is broadly distributed today in the South Atlantic and in the Pacific in water that has been long isolated from the surface, is absent in the North and Equatorial Atlantic at depths occupied by highly oxygenated North Atlantic deep water. This species dominated the fauna at this site for much of the past 150,000 years. It is suggested that North Atlantic deepwater production was much reduced or eliminated at times of Uvigerina peregrina abundance, as a result of cooling and stratification of the Norwegian Sea surface, coincident with the times of the southward migration of the polar front in the North Atlantic.