Glacial to Interglacial Fluctuations in Productivity in the Equatorial Pacific as Indicated by Marine Barite

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Science  22 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5291, pp. 1355-1357
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5291.1355


An empirical correlation between marine barite (BaSO4) accumulation rate in core-top sediment samples from two equatorial Pacific transects (at 140°W and 110°W) and the estimated primary productivity of the overlying water column were used to evaluate glacial to interglacial changes in productivity. Fluctuations in barite accumulation rates down-core indicate that during glacial periods of the past 450,000 years, the productivity in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific was about two times that during intervening interglacial periods. This result is consistent with other evidence that productivity was high in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific during the last glacial.