Get access
Paleoceanography

Agulhas salt-leakage oscillations during abrupt climate changes of the Late Pleistocene

Authors

  • Gianluca Marino,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
    • Corresponding author: G. Marino, Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain. (Gianluca.Marino@uab.cat)

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rainer Zahn,

    1. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
    2. Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona, Spain
    3. Departament de Física, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Martin Ziegler,

    1. School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Conor Purcell,

    1. School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
    2. Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gregor Knorr,

    1. School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
    2. Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ian R. Hall,

    1. School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Patrizia Ziveri,

    1. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
    2. Earth & Climate Cluster Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Henry Elderfield

    1. Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

An ensemble of new, high-resolution records of surface ocean hydrography from the Indian-Atlantic oceanic gateway, south of Africa, demonstrates recurrent and high-amplitude salinity oscillations in the Agulhas Leakage area during the penultimate glacial-interglacial cycle. A series of millennial-scale salinification events, indicating strengthened salt leakage into the South Atlantic, appear to correlate with abrupt changes in the North Atlantic climate and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). This interhemispheric coupling, which plausibly involved changes in the Hadley Cell and midlatitude westerlies that impacted the interocean transport at the tip of Africa, suggests that the Agulhas Leakage acted as a source of negative buoyancy for the perturbed AMOC, possibly aiding its return to full strength. Our finding points to the Indian-to-Atlantic salt transport as a potentially important modulator of the AMOC during the abrupt climate changes of the Late Pleistocene.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary