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Late Pliocene upwelling in the Southern Benguela region.

Petrick, B. and McClymont, E.L. and Felder, S. and Rueda, G. and Leng, M.J. and Rosell-Melé, A. (2015) 'Late Pliocene upwelling in the Southern Benguela region.', Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology., 429 . pp. 62-71.


The Late Pliocene has been proposed as a possible analogue for understanding future climate change and for testing climate models. Previous work has shown that during the Pliocene the major upwelling systems were relatively warm, and that this meant they were either inactive, contracted, or were upwelling warmer waters than present. Here, we examine evidence from a site located on the margins of the modern Benguela Upwelling system to test whether the upwelling cells had migrated or contracted relative to present during the Pliocene. We applied several organic geochemistry proxies and foraminiferal analyses to reconstruct the Pliocene history of ODP Site 1087 (31°28′S, 15°19′E, 1374 m water depth), including the UK37′ and TEX86 indices (for reconstructing sea surface temperatures), phytoplankton biomarker concentrations and stable isotope ratios (for estimating export primary productivity, and for oxygen isotope statigraphy), and planktonic foraminifera assemblage abundances (for inferring water mass changes). These proxies show that, between 3.5 and 3.0 Ma, the southern Benguela region was cooler than the northern Benguela region by 5 °C, the latter being where the main upwelling cells are found today. From the multiproxy data obtained, we also infer that more extensive upwelling was present in the southern Benguela region during the Pliocene than at present, and that the Benguela Upwelling cells shifted northwards after the Pliocene epoch as a result of changes in the local wind field. We also find evidence that the Benguela Upwelling was sensitive to the pronounced cooling during the M2 and KM2 glacial stages, potentially associated with the expansion of sea ice and cooling in Antarctica in the Late Pliocene.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Pliocene, Benguela Upwelling, Agulhas Leakage, M2, Antarctica, Southern hemisphere.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 429, 1 July 2015, 10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.03.042.
Date accepted:30 March 2015
Date deposited:08 April 2015
Date of first online publication:July 2015
Date first made open access:08 April 2016

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