Late Miocene Origin of the Benguela Upswelling System off Northern Namibia

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Science  18 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4441, pp. 283-285
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4441.283


Deep Sea Drilling Project cores collected at site 362/362A suggest the time of initiation of the Benguela upwelling system off northern Namibia. Studies of sediment accumulation rates, diatom abundances, microfossil temperature preferences (for planktic foraminifers, calcareous nannoplankton, and silicoflagellates), productivity (expressed as the organic carbon content), and phosphorus incorporation in calcareous skeletons all suggest that major, sustained upwelling began in the early late Miocene. Upwelling brought cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface, and the modern Benguela system dates from this time (about 10 million years before the present).