Geosciences Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 117–123 | Cite as

Stable isotope record and depositional environments in the Antarctic Polar Front of Drake Passage, Western Antarctica

  • Sung Ho Bae
  • Ho Il Yoon
  • Byung -Kwon Park
  • Cheon Yun Kang


A high-resolution study including oxygen and carbon stable isotopes as well as planktonic foraminifera, carbonate, ice-rafted debris (IRD) contents, were performed on one core sediment (DP00-02) taken from the seamount top near Antarctic Polar Front (APF) in the Drake Passage, Western Antarctica. Based on the oxygen stable isotope records measured onNeoglo-boquadrina pachyderma (sin.), this sediment core is interpreted to represent a stratigraphic record back to the lower isotope stage 5 (−129 kyr). Isotope stages 5, 4 and 1 show a high abundance of carbonate and planktonic foraminifer with relatively low IRD content. In contrast, isotope stages 3 and 2 are characterized by low abundance of carbonate with remarkably high IRD content. This is probably attributed by a local/regional influence due to front structural changes, related to the fluctuation of APF, i.e., the south and northward migration of polar water mass. The glacial-interglacial shifts in δ18O values ofN. pachyderma (sin.) may reach up to 1 to 1.2‰ indicating that, global ice volume changes have affected the isotope records. However, the isotope stage 3, generally interpreted as the less warmer period in the global record than Holocene and stage 5, corresponds to much lighter values compared to the global climate curve. This may be resulted from change in the salinity rather than change in the global ice volume or the temperature.

Key words

stable oxygen isotope Antarctic Polar Front Drake Passage Antarctica 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bé, A.W.H. and Tolderlund, D.S., 1971, Distribution and ecology of living planktonic foraminifera in surface waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In: Funnel, B.M. and W.R. Rieldel, (eds.), The micropaleontology of the Oceans. Cambridge Univ. Press, London, p. 105–149.Google Scholar
  2. Burckle, L.H. and Cililli, J., 1987, Origin of diatom ooze belt in the Southern Ocean: implications for late quaternary paleoceanography. Micropaleontology, 33, 82–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cifelli, R., 1973, Observations on Globigerina pachyderma (Ehrenberg) and Globigerina incompta Cifelli from the North Atlantic. Journal of Forminiferal Research, 3, 157–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Forster, T.D. and Middleton, J.H., 1980, Bottom water formation in the eastern Weddell Sea. Deep-Sea Research, 27A, 367–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Grobe, H., 1987, A simple method for the determination of ice-rafted debris in sediment cores. Polarforschung, 57, 123–126.Google Scholar
  6. Howard, W.R. and Prell, W.L., 1992, Late Quaternary surface circulation of the Southern Indian Ocean and its relationship to orbital variations. Paleoceanography, 7, 79–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Howard, W.R. and Prell, W.L., 1994, Late Quaternary CaCO3 production and preservation in the Southern Ocean: Implications for oceanic and atmospheric carbon cycling. Paleoceanography, 9, 453–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Imbrie, J., Hays, J.D., Martinson, D.G., McIntyre, A., Mix, A.C., Morley, J.J., Pisias, N.G., Prell, W.L. and Shackleton, N.J., 1984, The orbital theory of Pleistocene climate: Support from a revised chronology of the marine δ18O record. In: Berger, A., Imbrie, J., Hays, I., Kukla, G. and Satzmann, B. (eds.), Milankovitch and Climate. Reidel, Dordrecht, p. 269–305.Google Scholar
  9. Labeyrie, L.D. and Duplessy, J.C., 1985, Changes in the oceanic13C/12C ratio during the last 140,000 years: high-latitude surface water records. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Paleoecology, 50, 217–240.Google Scholar
  10. Mackenson, A., Grobe, H., Hubberten, H.-W., Spiess, V. and Füterer, D.K., 1989, Stable isotope stratigraphy from the Antarctic continental margin during the last one million years. Marine Geology. 87, 315–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Martinson, D.G., Pisias, N.G., Hays, J.D., Imbrie, J., Moore, Jr., T.C. and Shackleton, N.J., 1987, Age dating and the orbital theory of the Ice Ages: Development of a high-resolution 0 to 300.000-year chronostratigraphy. Quaternary Research, 27, 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Morley, J.J., 1989, Variations in high-latitude oceanographic fronts in the Southern Indian Ocean: An estimation based on faunal changes. Paleoceanography, 4, 547–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Oglesby, R.J., 1990, Relationships between sea ice extent and oceanic and atmospheric circulations. EOS Transactions AGU, 71, 1368.Google Scholar
  14. Oppo, D.W., and Fairbanks, R.G., 1987, Variability in the deep and intermediate water circulation of the Atlantic Ocean during the past 25,000 years: Northern hemisphere modulation of the Southern Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 86, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pisias, N.G., Martinson, D.G., Moore Jr., T.C., Shackleton, N.J., Prell, W., Hays, J. and Boden, G., 1984, High resolution stratigraphic correlation of benthic oxygen isotopic records spanning the last 300,000 years. Marine Geology, 56, 119–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pudsey, C.J. and Howe, J.A., 1998, Quaternary history of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current: evidence from the Scotia Sea. Marine Geology, 83, 83–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shackleton, N.J., 1987, Oxygen isotopes, ice volume and sea level. Quaternary Science Reviews, 6, 183–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Williams, D.F., Thunell, R.C., Tappa, E., Rio, D. and Raffi, I., 1988, Chronology of the Pleistocene oxygen isotope record: 0–1.88 m.y. B.P.. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 64, 221–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Yoon, H.I., Park, B.-K., Han, M.W., Khim, B.-K., Kim, Y. and Kang, C.Y., 2001, Origin of laminated diatorn ooze in King George Basin sediments from Bransfield Strait, Antarctica. Geosciences Journal, 5, 225–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zwally, H.J., Corniso, J.C., Parkison, C.L., Campbell, W.J., Carsey, F.D. and Gloersen, P., 1983, Antarctic sea ice, 1973–1976: Satellite passive-microwave observations. Report Special 459, NASA, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Ho Bae
    • 1
  • Ho Il Yoon
    • 1
  • Byung -Kwon Park
    • 1
  • Cheon Yun Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.Polar Sciences LaboratoryKorea Ocean Research and Development InstituteSeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations