Early mid-Holocene SST variability and surface-ocean water balance in the southwest Pacific

Abstract : [1] We present early mid-Holocene records of Sr/Ca,δ18O and δ18Osw from marine archives collected in Vanuatu: two Porites sp. corals (6.7–6.5 ka BP) and a Tridacna maxima giant clam (6.2–6.0 ka BP). Sr/Ca, δ18O, and δ18Osw were used as proxies for sea surface temperature (SST) and sea surface salinity (SSS). The fossil geochemical records were compared to modern Porites sp. and T. maxima records. Reconstructed mean SSTs from the two fossil Porites sp.and from the modern coral are similar, implying that the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP)' southern edge had reached its modern location by 6.7–6.5 ka BP. The post-glacial SST rise in the Southwest Pacific was thus completed by the early mid-Holocene. The two early mid-Holocene corals and the giant clam recorded saltier conditions than modern related to 1) a decoupling between the precipitation regime and the SPCZ due to a northerly position of this climatic feature and 2) an increase of the moisture transport to the extra-tropics, driven by a strengthened or extended Hadley cell. The longest δ18O coral profile displays an El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal reduced by 20–30% compared to the period 1928–1992, in concordance with the reduced ENSO variability observed in the Pacific area during the first half of the Holocene. However, the decoupling between the SPCZ and the precipitation regime may have also contributed to the weak ENSO signal recorded in the early mid-Holocene coral δ18O profile.
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Claire E. Lazareth, Nicolas Duprey, Thierry Corrège, Florence Le Cornec, Christophe Maes, et al.. Early mid-Holocene SST variability and surface-ocean water balance in the southwest Pacific. Paleoceanography, American Geophysical Union, 2012, 27 (4), ⟨10.1029/2012PA002350⟩. ⟨ird-01697747⟩

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