Bottom-water deoxygenation at the Peruvian margin during the last deglaciation recorded by benthic foraminifera

Bottom-water deoxygenation at the Peruvian margin during the last deglaciation recorded by benthic foraminifera

UPCH

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ARTÍCULO

Deciphering the dynamics of dissolved oxygen in the mid-depth ocean during the last deglaciation is essential to understand the influence of climate change on modern oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Many paleo-proxy records from the eastern Pacific Ocean indicate an extension of oxygen-depleted conditions during the deglaciation, but the degree of deoxygenation has not been quantified to date. The Peruvian OMZ, one of the largest OMZs in the world, is a key area to monitor such changes in near-bottom-water oxygenation in relation to changing climatic conditions. Here, we analysed the potential to use the composition of foraminiferal assemblages from the Peruvian OMZ as a quantitative redox proxy. A multiple regression analysis was applied to a joint dataset of living (rose-bengal-stained, fossilizable calcareous species) benthic foraminiferal distributions from the Peruvian continental margin. Bottom-water oxygen concentrations ([O2]BW) during sampling were used as the dependant variable. The correlation was significant (R2=0.82; p<0.05), indicating that the foraminiferal assemblages are rather governed by oxygen availability than by the deposition of particulate organic matter (R2=0.53; p=0.31). We applied the regression formula to three sediment cores from the northern part of the Peruvian OMZ between 3 and 8 S and 997 and 1250 m water depth, thereby recording oxygenation changes at the lower boundary of the Peruvian OMZ. Each core displayed a similar trend of decreasing oxygen levels since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The overall [O2]BW change from the LGM and the Holocene was constrained to 30 µmol kg−1 at the lower boundary of the OMZ.

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