Onset of Mediterranean outflow into the North Atlantic

F. Javier Hernández-Molina, Dorrik A V Stow, Carlos A. Alvarez-Zarikian, Gary Acton, André Bahr, Barbara Balestra, Emmanuelle Ducassou, Roger Flood, José-Abel Flores, Satoshi Furota, Patrick Grunert, David Hodell, Francisco Jimenez-Espejo, Jin Kyoung Kim, Lawrence Krissek, Junichiro Kuroda, Baohua Li, Estefania Llave, Johanna Lofi, Lucas LourensMadeline Miller, Futoshi Nanayama, Naohisa Nishida, Carl Richter, Cristina Roque, Hélder Pereira, Maria Fernanda Sanchez Goñi, Francisco J. Sierro, Arun Deo Singh, Craig Sloss, Yasuhiro Takashimizu, Alexandrina Tzanova, Antje Voelker, Trevor Williams, Chuang Xuan

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Sediments cored along the southwestern Iberian margin during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 339 provide constraints on Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) circulation patterns from the Pliocene epoch to the present day. After the Strait of Gibraltar opened (5.33 million years ago), a limited volume of MOW entered the Atlantic. Depositional hiatuses indicate erosion by bottom currents related to higher volumes of MOW circulating into the North Atlantic, beginning in the late Pliocene. The hiatuses coincide with regional tectonic events and changes in global thermohaline circulation (THC). This suggests that MOW influenced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), THC, and climatic shifts by contributing a component of warm, saline water to northern latitudes while in turn being influenced by plate tectonics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1250
Number of pages7
Issue number6189
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2014

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