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Title: Dynamics of the Pacific Antarctic Circumpolar Current
The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the world’s strongest zonal current system, connects all three major ocean basins of the global ocean and therefore integrates and responds to global climate variability. Its flow is largely driven by strong westerly winds and is constricted to its narrowest extent in the Drake Passage. Fresh and cold Pacific surface and intermediate water flowing through the Drake Passage (cold-water route) and warm Indian Ocean water masses flowing through the Agulhas region (warm-water route) are critical for the South Atlantic contribution to Meridional Overturning Circulation changes. Furthermore, physical and biological processes associated with the ACC affect the strength of the ocean carbon pump and therefore are critical to feedbacks linking atmospheric CO2 concentrations, ocean circulation, and climate/cryosphere on a global scale. In contrast to the Atlantic and Indian sectors of the ACC, and with the exception of drill cores from the Antarctic continental margin and off New Zealand, there are no deep-sea drilling paleoceanographic records from the Pacific sector of the ACC. To advance our understanding of Miocene to Holocene atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere dynamics in the Pacific and their implications for regional and global climate and atmospheric CO2, International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 383 recovered sedimentary sequences at (1) three sites in the central South Pacific (CSP) (U1539, U1540, and U1541), (2) two sites at the Chilean margin (U1542 and U1544), and (3) one site from the pelagic eastern South Pacific (U1543) close to the entrance to the Drake Passage. Because of persistently stormy conditions and the resulting bad weather avoidance, we were not successful in recovering the originally planned Proposed Site CSP-3A in the Polar Frontal Zone of the CSP. The drilled sediments at Sites U1541 and U1543 reach back to the late Miocene, and those at Site U1540 reach back to the early Pliocene. High sedimentation rate sequences reaching back to the early Pleistocene (Site U1539) and the late Pleistocene (Sites U1542 and U1544) were recovered in both the CSP and at the Chilean margin. Taken together, the sites represent a depth transect from ~1100 m at Chilean margin Site U1542 to ~4070 m at CSP Site U1539 and allow investigation of changes in the vertical structure of the ACC, a key issue for understanding the role of the Southern Ocean in the global carbon cycle. The sites are located at latitudes and water depths where sediments will allow the application of a wide range of siliciclastic-, carbonate-, and opal-based proxies to address our objectives of reconstructing, with unprecedented stratigraphic detail, surface to deep-ocean variations and their relation to atmosphere and cryosphere changes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1326927
NSF-PAR ID:
10281760
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the International Ocean Discovery Program
Volume:
383
ISSN:
2377-3189
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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