Comparison of independent proxies in the reconstruction of deep-water circulation in the south-east Atlantic off Namibia

  • FX Gingele
  • G Schmiedl


Independent proxies were assessed in two Late Quaternary sediment cores from the eastern South Atlantic to compare deep-water changes during the last 400 kyr. Two cores were recovered from beneath North Atlantic
Deep Water (NADW) at approximately 3 000 m depth. Late Quaternary presence of NADW is indicated by the Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi assemblage on the Walvis Ridge (Core GeoB 1214) and the Bulimina alazanensis
assemblage on the Namibian continental slope (Core GeoB 1710). The propagation of NADW is exclusively observed during interglacials, with maximum factor loadings in Stages 1, 5, 7, 9 and 11. These maxima are consistent with peaks in kaolinite/chlorite ratios and maxima of poorly crystalline smectite in the clay-mineral record. Kaolinite and poorly crystalline smectite are products of intense chemical weathering. They are injected into the NADW at low latitudes, north of the study area, and advected south. Chlorite, which is stable under cold weathering
regimes, is a characteristic mineral of water masses of southern origin. During glacial stages, it is advected north with Southern Component Water (SCW). Above the NADW/SCW depths, kaolinite/chlorite ratios vary
only slightly without a significant glacial-interglacial pattern, as measured in a core (GeoB 1712) from 1 000 m deep on the same profile of the Namibian continental slope off Walvis Bay.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X