Deglacial pattern of circulation and marine productivity in the upwelling region off central-south Chile


A high-resolution sea surface temperature and paleoproductivity reconstruction on a sedimentary record collected at 36°S off central-south Chile (GeoB 7165-1, 36°33′S, 73°40′W, 797 m water depth, core length 750 cm) indicates that paleoceanographic conditions changed abruptly between 18 and 17 ka. Comparative analysis of several cores along the Chilean continental margin (30°–41°S) suggests that the onset and the pattern of deglacial warming was not uniform off central-south Chile due to the progressive southward migration of the Southern Westerlies and local variations in upwelling. Marine productivity augmented rather abruptly at 13–14 ka, well after the oceanographic changes. We suggest that the late deglacial increase in paleoproductivity off central-south Chile reflects the onset of an active upwelling system bringing nutrient-rich, oxygen-poor Equatorial Subsurface Water to the euphotic zone, and a relatively higher nutrient load of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. During the Last Glacial Maximum, when the Southern Westerlies were located further north, productivity off central-south Chile, in contrast to off northern Chile, was reduced due to direct onshore-blowing winds that prevented coastal upwelling and export production.
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