Radionuclide and biomarker proxies of past ocean circulation and productivity in the Arabian Sea

A. Pourmand, F. Marcantonio, T. S. Bianchi, E. A. Canuel, E. J. Waterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present new excess 231Pa/230Th activity ratios and lipid biomarker results from northeastern Arabian Sea sediments (core 93KL) spanning the past 50 ka in an effort to constrain further the relationship between climate at low and high latitudes. 231Pa/230Th activity ratios are maintained at values significantly higher than the water-column production ratio of 0.093. Average 231Pa/230Th activity ratios are lower during the last glacial period than during the Holocene. The lowest 231Pa/230Th activity ratios coincide with the timing of Heinrich Events 1-5. Profiles of lipid biomarker fluxes and 231Pa/230Th activity ratios from 32 to 12 ka show similar patterns, suggesting that 231Pa is more efficiently scavenged relative to 230Th at times when diatoms make up a proportionally larger part of the primary biomass signal. In the Holocene, high 231Pa/230Th activity ratios may indicate enhanced 231Pa export from the southern to the northern Indian Ocean via intensified thermohaline circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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