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  1. Abstract

    Reconstructing the strength and depth boundary of oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) in the glacial ocean advances our understanding of how OMZs respond to climate changes. While many efforts have inferred better oxygenation of the glacial Arabian Sea OMZ from qualitative indices, oxygenation and vertical extent of the glacial OMZ is not well quantified. Here we present glacial‐Holocene oxygen reconstructions in a depth transect of Arabian Sea cores ranging from 600 to 3,650 m water depths. We estimate glacial oxygen concentrations using benthic foraminiferal surface porosity and benthic carbon isotope gradient reconstructions. Compared to the modern Arabian Sea, glacial oxygen concentrations were approximately 10–15 μmol/kg higher in the shallow OMZ (<1,000 m), and 5–80 μmol/kg lower at greater depths (1,500–3,650 m). Our results suggest that the OMZ in the glacial Arabian Sea was slightly better oxygenated but remained in the upper 1,000 m. We propose that the small increase in oxygenation of the Arabian Sea OMZ during the last glacial period was due to weaker upper ocean stratification induced by stronger winter monsoon winds coupled with an increase in oxygen solubility due to lower temperatures, counteracting the effects of more oxygen consumption resulting from higher primary productivity. Large‐scale changes in ocean circulation may have also contributed to better ventilation of the glacial Arabian Sea OMZ.

     
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