Last interglacial (MIS 5e) surface water conditions at the Vøring Plateau (Norwegian Sea), based on dinoflagellate cysts
AbstractSediments from the last interglacial, marine isotope stage 5e (MIS 5e), have been studied for their dinoflagellate cyst content in a core retrieved from the Vøring Plateau, Norwegian Sea. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data, and comparison with the surface sample and published Holocene data from the core, reveal distinct differences in hydrological surface conditions between the late Holocene and MIS 5e. A higher number of co-dominant, subordinate species in the last interglacial samples suggests there was a more pronounced seasonality of the surface water at this time. This is supported by the significant presence of Bitectatodinium tepikiense, a species that was virtually absent from the area for most of the Holocene. The seasonality signal is further substantiated by transfer-function reconstructions, which also indicates a stronger stratification of the upper water column during MIS 5e. Moreover, the assemblage data clearly show that optimal, fully marine interglacial conditions prevailed only late in MIS 5e (between ca. 117.5 and 116.5 Kya), which is in contrast with the climatic optimum early in the Holocene. Stable oxygen isotope values from planktic foraminifera for this MIS 5e optimum are comparable with the average Holocene values, but are generally ca. 0.3‰ higher than those of the earlier part of the last interglacial (sensu stricto). These higher d18O values are likely to be the result of the enhanced and prolonged influence of Saalian deglacial meltwater, thus corroborating the existence of a quite differently structured sea surface, as suggested by the dinocyst data.
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