Palaeoceanography of the last glacial maximum in the eastern Indian Ocean: Planktonic foraminiferal evidence

J. Ignacio Martínez, Patrick De Deckker*, Timothy T. Barrows

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Palaeoceanographic conditions in the eastern Indian Ocean for the last ~30 kyr are documented by means of planktonic foraminiferal analyses of 10 gravity cores. Quantitative foraminiferal analysis (%), Q-mode factor analysis, the modern analog technique (MAT) and oxygen-isotope analyses are used. A conspicuous increase during the last glacial maximum (LGM) of foraminiferal fragmentation resulting from a more productive Java upwelling system and/or a more corrosive Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) was found at intermediate water depths (~1000 m). Contrasting Q-mode factors based on foraminifera between today and the LGM suggest changes in the thermocline depth, sea-surface temperature (SST), upwelling, and the strength of both the Australasian Mediterranean Water (AAMW) and the Indian Central Water (ICW). The decrease in the percentage abundance of shallow-dwelling and symbiont-bearing planktonic foraminifera, the increase in percentage of the upwelling-related species Globorotalia cultrata and Neogloboquadrina dutertrei, and factor 3 (dominated by Globorotalia tumida and Globigerinella siphonifera) suggest a stronger Java upwelling system during the LGM. A steeper, steric latitudinal gradient (in the presence of a weak Leeuwin Current), and a geostrophic flow similar to today's is postulated for the LGM, and this must have prevented upwelling offshore Western Australia. Today's AAMW-ICW sharp front was weaker during the LGM when the AAMW was saltier, cooler, and nutrient richer and more similar to the ICW. During the LGM, a more gentle SST latitudinal gradient over the ~16 to ~23°S region contrasts with today's steeper conditions at the AAMW-ICW Front. Also, for the LGM, a nutrient-rich ICW may explain previously documented increases in mass accumulation rates of CaCO3, organic carbon and benthonic foraminifera in a region where the nutricline was deep and within the lower euphotic zone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-99
    Number of pages27
    JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1999


    • Foraminifera
    • Indian Ocean
    • Last glacial maximum
    • Oxygen isotope
    • Sea-surface temperature
    • Western Pacific Warm Pool


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