Late Quaternary deep and surface water mass evolution in the northeastern Indian Ocean inferred from carbon and oxygen isotopes of benthic and planktonic foraminifera

Dhanushka Devendra, Lan Lan Zhang, Xiang Su, Asanthi Hewa Bandulage, Vidusanka Thilakanayaka, Fu Chang Zhong, Yi Ping Yang, Rong Xiang

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3 Citations (Scopus)


New planktonic and benthic foraminiferal stable isotope records from core YDY05 (northeastern Indian Ocean) provide new insights into paleoceanographic changes in the northeastern Indian Ocean since the last glacial period. The distinct δ18O decrease was observed since the beginning of the deglaciation to the mid-Holocene (∼8–6 kyr BP), possibly reflecting a reduction in surface salinity in the central Bay of Bengal (BoB) water, which probably resulted from strengthened precipitation, concurrent enhanced river discharge and rising sea-level, related to the intensification of Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). Variations in benthic δ13C and δ13CPlanktonic-Benthic in our core site reflect significant variations in source water characteristics over the LGM-Holocene. The large δ13CPlanktonic-Benthic offset during the glacial period suggests a more sluggish deep water circulation, and lower δ13CPlanktonic-Benthic from the deglaciation to the Holocene suggests an enhanced deep water circulation in the central BoB. The drastic depletion in benthic δ13C during the glacial period suggests a significant reduction of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) intrusion and a progressive influx of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) and 12C-rich Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) into the central BoB. In contrast, since the deglaciation, the central BoB experienced a drastically increased intrusion of better ventilated and 13C-rich NADW. The differences in benthic δ18O between the LGM section and the Holocene exceeds the ice volume effect by ∼0.5‰, providing further evidence that the deep water mass of the central BoB was influenced by the less dense NADW, instead of the AABW, since the last deglaciation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-818
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Holocene
  • Last Glacial Maximum
  • Northeastern Indian Ocean
  • Stable isotopes
  • Water mass evolution

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