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Recent Constraints on MIS 3 Sea Level Support Role of Continental Shelf Exposure as a Control on Indo-Pacific Hydroclimate

Pico, T. and McGee, D. and Russell, J. and Mitrovica, J. X. (2020) Recent Constraints on MIS 3 Sea Level Support Role of Continental Shelf Exposure as a Control on Indo-Pacific Hydroclimate. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35 (8). Art. No. e2020PA003998. ISSN 2572-4517.

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The mechanisms controlling changes in atmospheric circulation and rainfall over the Indo‐Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) on glacial‐interglacial timescales remain a subject of considerable debate. Continental shelf exposure, through sea‐level drawdown during glacial periods, has been proposed as an important and possibly dominant control on rainfall intensity over the IPWP and Indian Ocean. However, longer records of hydroclimate change undermine this shelf exposure hypothesis. In particular, trends in some proxy records of rainfall do not track the extent of continental shelf exposure inferred from global benthic oxygen isotope records during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3). We revisit the hypothesis that continental shelf exposure controls IPWP precipitation using the latest constraints on ice‐age sea level. Recent studies on the timing and magnitude of global mean sea level during mid‐MIS 3 (~45) suggest significantly higher peak sea level relative to previous work. Our gravitationally self‐consistent glacial isostatic adjustment sea‐level reconstructions, which adopt recent constraints on MIS 3 sea level, predict a transition from widely inundated to exposed shelves in the Indo‐Pacific region from mid‐MIS 3 to the beginning of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~19–26 ka). Over this same time period, proxy records of vegetation and hydrology from central Indonesia suggest a transition from wetter conditions during mid‐MIS 3 to drier conditions during the LGM. Our new calculations thus negate prior criticisms related to the timing and extent of shelf exposure, indicating that shelf exposure may remain an important driver for hydroclimate variability in the IPWP region on glacial‐interglacial timescales.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Pico, T.0000-0002-3629-0922
McGee, D.0000-0002-7329-3428
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 14 August 2020; Version of Record online: 14 August 2020; Accepted manuscript online: 04 August 2020; Manuscript accepted: 29 July 2020; Manuscript revised: 24 July 2020; Manuscript received: 05 February 2020. T. P. acknowledges funding from NSF‐GRFP, NSF‐EAR Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Harvard University. Research by J. R. on tropical climate variability is partially supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Conversations with J. Adkins improved the content of this manuscript. We appreciate thoughtful reviews by S. Carolin and an anonymous reviewer. Data Availability Statement: Data sets for this research (δ¹³C_(wax) records and continental shelf exposure area reconstructions) are included in this paper (and its supporting information) and are publicly available on Zenodo (citable using the DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3959364).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSF Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Harvard UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:sea level; Marine Isotope Stage 3; rainfall variability; continental shelf exposure
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200819-092015145
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Pico, T., McGee, D., Russell, J. and Mitrovica, J.X. (2020), Recent Constraints on MIS 3 Sea Level Support Role of Continental Shelf Exposure as a Control on Indo‐Pacific Hydroclimate. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35: e2020PA003998. doi:10.1029/2020PA003998
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105022
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Aug 2020 17:14
Last Modified:19 Aug 2020 17:14

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