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The Salinity, Temperature, and O of the Glacial Deep Ocean

Summary: The Salinity, Temperature, and
O of the Glacial Deep Ocean
Jess F. Adkins,1
* Katherine McIntyre,1
Daniel P. Schrag2
We use pore fluid measurements of the chloride concentration and the oxygen
isotopic composition from Ocean Drilling Program cores to reconstruct salinity
and temperature of the deep ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Our
data show that the temperatures of the deep Pacific, Southern, and Atlantic
oceans during the LGM were relatively homogeneous and within error of the
freezing point of seawater at the ocean's surface. Our chloride data show that
the glacial stratification was dominated by salinity variations, in contrast with
the modern ocean, for which temperature plays a primary role. During the LGM
the Southern Ocean contained the saltiest water in the deep ocean. This reversal
of the modern salinity contrast between the North and South Atlantic implies
that the freshwater budget at the poles must have been quite different. A strict
conversion of mean salinity at the LGM to equivalent sea-level change yields
a value in excess of 140 meters. However, the storage of fresh water in ice
shelves and/or groundwater reserves implies that glacial salinity is a poor


Source: Adkins, Jess F. - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology
Schrag, Daniel - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences