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The Information Content of Pore Fluid δ^(18)O and [CI^-]

Miller, Madeline D. and Simons, Mark and Adkins, Jess F. and Minson, Sarah E. (2015) The Information Content of Pore Fluid δ^(18)O and [CI^-]. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45 (8). pp. 2070-2094. ISSN 0022-3670.

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Paleoceanographic proxies indicate that the ocean state during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) differed from the modern ocean state. Depth profiles of ocean sediment pore fluid δ^(18)O and [Cl^−] have been used to reconstruct the δ^(18)O and salinity at the LGM. Here, it is investigated whether pore fluid profiles can constrain ocean δ^(18)O and salinity at other times and, simultaneously, their ability to constrain the LGM δ^(18)O and salinity. An inverse framework is developed that relies on Bayesian parameter estimation, thus allowing formal separation of prior assumptions from the information in observations. Synthetic problems are used to explore the information about past ocean tracers that can be recovered from pore fluid profiles. It is concluded that prior knowledge of deep ocean mixing time scales is essential to an accurate inverse estimate of LGM ocean salinity and δ^(18)O from modern pore fluid profiles. The most recent 10 000 years of ocean salinity and δ^(18)O and the error in their estimates are better constrained by the pore fluid profiles than are the LGM values. The inverse estimate of salinity and δ^(18)O is strongly correlated with the estimate of diffusivity of oxygen isotopes and [Cl^−] in sediment pore fluids. Uncertainty on the diffusivity of oxygen isotopes and chloride in sediments is reduced through inversion of the pore fluid profiles, but simultaneous estimation of δ^(18)O or salinity and diffusivity increases the total uncertainty. The error reported in previous work may underestimate the true uncertainty of LGM deep ocean salinity and δ^(18)O.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Simons, Mark0000-0003-1412-6395
Adkins, Jess F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Minson, Sarah E.0000-0001-5869-3477
Additional Information:© 2015 American Meteorological Society. Manuscript received 25 September 2014, in final form 15 May 2015. M.D.M. thanks William Jenkins for introduction to the Lomb–Scargle periodogram and Eli Tziperman for many helpful discussions and constructive reviews of drafts of this manuscript.
Subject Keywords:Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena, Abyssal circulation, Bottom currents/bottom water, Thermohaline circulation, Water masses, Mathematical and statistical techniques, Bayesian methods, Inverse methods
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150904-105720688
Persistent URL:
Official Citation: Madeline D. Miller, Mark Simons, Jess F. Adkins, and Sarah E. Minson, 2015: The information content of pore fluid δ18o and [cl−]. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 45, 2070–2094. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60074
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:08 Sep 2015 01:36
Last Modified:13 Dec 2019 03:07

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