Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Lippold, J., J. Gru¨ tzner, D. Winter, Y. Lahaye, A. Mangini, and M. Christl (2009), Does sedimentary 231Pa/230Th from the Bermuda Rise monitor past Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L12601, doi:10.1029/2009GL038068.


Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union. Used by permission.


Ocean circulation may have undergone reductions and reinvigorations in the past closely tied to regional climate changes. Measurements of 231Pa/230Th ratios in a sediment core from the Bermuda Rise have been interpreted as evidence that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) was weakened or completely eliminated during a period of catastrophic iceberg discharges (Heinrich-Event 1, H1). Here we present new data from the Bermuda Rise that show further 231Pa/230Th peaks during Heinrich-2 (H2) and Heinrich-3 (H3). Additionally, a tight correlation between diatom abundances (biogenic silica) and 231Pa/230Th is discovered in this core. Our results redirect the interpretation of 231Pa/230Th from the Bermuda Rise as a proxy for ocean circulation towards a proxy that reacts highly sensitive to changes of particle composition and water mass properties.