Subcentennial-Scale Climatic and Hydrologic Variability in the Gulf of Mexico During the Early Holocene

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An early Holocene record from the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) reveals climatic and hydrologic changes during the interval from 10.5 to 7 thousand calendar years before present from paired analyses of Mg/Ca and delta O-18 on foraminiferal calcite. The sea surface temperature record based on foraminiferal Mg/Ca contains six oscillations and an overall similar to 1.5 degrees C warming that appears to be similar to the September-March insolation difference. The delta O-18 of seawater in the GOM (delta O-18(GOM)) record contains six oscillations, including a -0.8% excursion that may be associated with the "8.2 ka climate event" or a broader climate anomaly. Faunal census records from three GOM cores exhibit similar changes, suggesting subcentennial-scale variability in the incursions of Caribbean waters into the GOM. Overall, our results provide evidence that the subtropics were characterized by decadal- to centennial-scale climatic and hydrologic variability during the early Holocene.

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Paleoceanography, v. 21, no. 3, article PA3015.