Al/Ti and K/Al ratios in bulk sediment are used to interpret wind-blown and hemipelagic sources of deposition to a 578 kyr record in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela (Ocean Drilling Program site 1002). Graphical and cross-spectral analyses indicate that these ratios vary extremely closely with planktonic foraminiferal δ18O, with both ratios being significantly higher during interglacials and lower during glacials. K/Al indicates that during glacials the lower sea level that results in relative basin isolation increases the relative proportion of kaolinite derived from local rivers draining the relatively humid Venezuelan margin. Al/Ti decreases during glacials, suggesting greater proportions of eolian rutile sourced from the northern Sahara (due to increased wind strength and/or aridity). This interpretation is consistent with previous studies of the chemistry and mineralogy of Saharan-derived eolian matter in the Caribbean and with a mass balance determining the effect of changes in eolian rutile accumulation on the bulk sedimentary Al/Ti ratio.
ASJC Scopus subject areas