The Azores Front since the Last Glacial Maximum

TitleThe Azores Front since the Last Glacial Maximum
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsRogerson, M, Rohling, EJ, Weaver, PPE, Murray, JW
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
ISBN Number0012-821X
KeywordsAzores Front, foraminifera, Last Glacial Maximum, palaeoceanography, Stable isotopes

The spatial distribution of warm surface water in the Atlantic Ocean reflects the state of the thermohaline circulation. The Azores Current/Front, which is a recirculation of the Gulf Stream, marks the northeastern boundary of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Its position is therefore diagnostic of the width of the Atlantic warm water sphere. Here we report high resolution stable isotope and faunal abundance records of planktonic foraminifera in a sediment core from the Gulf of Cadiz (southwest Spain) which reflects shifting of the Azores Front since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Today, the Azores Front does not penetrate into the Gulf of Cadiz, even though the front resides at the same latitude as the Gulf of Cadiz in the Atlantic. Our results indicate that the Azores Front is a robust feature of the Atlantic surface circulation, and that is present both in interglacial times and during the LGM at roughly the same latitude. However, during the LGM prior to 16 ka BP and during the Younger Dryas, the Azores Front did penetrate eastward into the Gulf of Cadiz.