Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-48
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-48

  24 Aug 2021

24 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Sedimentary microplankton distributions are shaped by oceanographically connected areas

Peter Nooteboom1,2, Peter Bijl3, Christian Kehl1, Erik van Sebille1,2, Martin Ziegler3, Anna von der Heydt1,2, and Henk Dijkstra1,2 Peter Nooteboom et al.
  • 1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Department of Physics, Utrecht University
  • 2Centre for Complex Systems Studies, Utrecht University
  • 3Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography, Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University

Abstract. Having descended through the water column, microplankton in ocean sediments are representative for the ocean surface environment, where they originated from. Sedimentary microplankton is therefore used as an archive of past and present surface oceanographic conditions. However, these particles are advected by turbulent ocean currents during their sinking journey. So far, it is unknown to what extent this particle advection shapes the microplankton composition in sediments. Here we use global simulations of sinking particles in a strongly eddying global ocean model, and define ocean bottom provinces based on the particle surface origin locations. We find that these provinces can be detected in global datasets of sedimentary microplankton assemblages, demonstrating the effect provincialism has on the composition of sedimentary remains of surface plankton. These provinces explain the microplankton composition, together with e.g. ocean surface environment. Connected provinces have implications on the optimal spatial extent of microplankton sediment sample datasets that are used for palaeoceanographic reconstructions, and on the optimal spatial averaging of sediment samples over global datasets.

Peter Nooteboom et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2021-48', Gerald M. Ganssen, 23 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2021-48', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Nov 2021

Peter Nooteboom et al.

Peter Nooteboom et al.

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Short summary
Having descended through the water column, microplankton in ocean sediments represent the ocean surface environment and used as an archive of past surface ocean conditions. Here we define ocean bottom provinces based on the surface origin locations of these microplankton in an eddying ocean model. We find that these provinces can be detected in global datasets of sedimentary microplankton assemblages, which has implications for palaeoclimate reconstructions that use these microplankton.
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