Intermediate water formation in the Bering Sea during glacial periods: Evidence from neodymium isotope ratios

Keiji Horikawa, Yoshihiro Asahara, Koshi Yamamoto, Yusuke Okazaki

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66 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the flux and location of overturning circulation may have large effects on marine ecosystems and CO2 exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. However, unlike the Atlantic, little is known about ocean circulation and ventilation under glacial boundary conditions in the North Pacific, especially in regard to intermediate water circulation. Here we present new records of neodymium (Nd) isotopes (εNd) in Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides of Bering Sea sediments (884 m water depth). We found a systematic variation between radiogenic values (up to +0.8 εNd) during cold periods and relatively less radiogenic values (<-1 εNd) during warm periods. There are no water masses with such radiogenic Nd isotope signatures in the intermediate or deep North Pacific. Potential sources of radiogenic values in the subarctic North Pacific are limited to surface waters adjacent to the Aleutian Arc and Kamchatka Peninsula. Therefore, the radiogenic εNd values of Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides observed at the intermediate depth during glacial periods are best explained by subduction of the surface water to the intermediate depth (at least ~800 m) due to brine rejection. Our data strongly indicate that the northwestern Bering Sea (off northeastern Kamchatka) was a possible source region of glacial intermediate water in the Bering Sea and the subarctic North Pacific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-438
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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