Latest Quaternary dinoflagellate cyst climatostratigraphy for three cores from the Falkland Trough, Scotia and Weddell seas, Southern Ocean

Dinoflagellate cyst analysis has been undertaken on three Kasten cores taken from the Falkland Trough, Scotia Sea and Weddell Sea in the area of the Antarctic Peninsula. Two of these cores are situated to the north of the maximum sea-ice limit and one, from the Weddell Sea, is sited within the maximum sea-ice limit. The recovered dinoflagellate cyst assemblages underscore the importance of the maximum sea-ice limit as a basic biogeographic boundary for dinoflagellate cyst distributions. Our results also demonstrate that in general the palaeoceanography of the Holocene and Late Pleistocene has remained reasonably constant and reflects present conditions to a large extent. The relatively constant environments, as evidenced within these latest Quaternary sequences, is in marked contrast to the situation within the North Atlantic Ocean where, during the same time span, marked climatic and oceanographic change has been documented from marine, terrestrial and ice-core records. The stability of the Southern Ocean circulation undoubtedly has important consequences on the maintenance of the global thermohaline circulation system over the period since the last deglaciation until the present time.


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Authors: Harland, Rex, E.J. FitzPatrick, Meriel, Pudsey, Carol J.

1 January, 1999
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology / 107
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