7. A Late Quaternary, High-Resolution Record of Planktonic Foraminiferal Species Distribution in the Southern Benguela Region: Site 10871

Jacques Giraudeau,2 Catherine Pierre,3 and Laurence Herve2


Planktonic foraminiferal assemblages from the upper Pleistocene part of Hole 1087A (0 to 12.1 meters below seafloor) are investigated to assess the role of global and local climate changes on surface circulation in the southern Benguela region. The benthic stable isotope record indicates that the studied interval is representative of the last four climatic cycles, that is, down to marine isotope Stage (MIS) 12. The species assemblages bear a clear transitional to subpolar character, with Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (d), Globorotalia inflata, and Globigerina bulloides, in order of decreasing abundance, as the dominant taxa. This species association presently characterizes the mixing domain of old upwelled and open ocean waters, seaward of the Benguela upwelling cells. Abundance variation of the dominant foraminiferal species roughly follows a glacial-interglacial pattern down to MIS 8, suggesting an alternation of upwelling strength and associated seaward extension of the belt of upwelled water as a response to global climate changes. This pattern is interrupted from ~250 ka down to MIS 12, where the phase relationship with global climate is ill defined and might be interpreted as a local response of the southern Benguela region to the mid-Brunhes event. Of particular interest is a single pulse of newly upwelled waters at the location of Site 1087 during early MIS 9 as indicated by a peak abundance of sinistral N. pachyderma (s). Variable input of warm, salty Indian Ocean thermocline waters into the southeast Atlantic, a key component of the Atlantic heat conveyor, is indicated by abundance changes of the tropical taxon Globorotalia menardii. From this tracer, we suggest that interocean exchange was hardly interrupted throughout the last 460 k.y., but was most effective at glacial terminations, particularly during Terminations I and II, as well as during the upper part of MIS 12. This maximum input of Indian Ocean waters around the southern tip of Africa is associated with the reseeding of G. menardii in the tropical Atlantic.

1Giraudeau, J., Pierre, C. and Herve, L., 2001. A late Quaternary, high-resolution record of planktonic foraminiferal species distribution in the southern Benguela region: Site 1087. In Wefer, G., Berger, W.H., and Richter, C. (Eds.), Proc. ODP, Sci. Results, 175 [Online]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/175_SR/chap_07/chap_07.htm>. [Cited YYYY-MM-DD]

2Département Géologie et Océanographie, UMR5805 CNRS, Université Bordeaux I, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence cedex, France. giraudeau@geocean.u-bordeaux.fr

3LODYC, UMR121 CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France.

Initial receipt: 18 February 2000
Acceptance: 14 September 2000
Web publication: 6 April 2001
Ms 175SR-225