Sea-surface temperatures around the Australian margin and Indian Ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum

Timothy T. Barrows*, Steve Juggins

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present new last glacial maximum (LGM) sea-surface temperature (SST) maps for the oceans around Australia based on planktonic foraminifera assemblages. To provide the most reliable SST estimates we use the modern analog technique, the revised analog method, and artificial neural networks in conjunction with an expanded modern core top database. All three methods produce similar quality predictions and the root mean squared error of the consensus prediction (the average of the three) under cross-validation is only ±0.77°C. We determine LGM SST using data from 165 cores, most of which have good age control from oxygen isotope stratigraphy and radiocarbon dates. The coldest SST occurred at 20,500±1400 cal yr BP, predating the maximum in oxygen isotope records at 18,200±1500 cal yr BP. During the LGM interval we observe cooling within the tropics of up to 4°C in the eastern Indian Ocean, and mostly between 0 and 3°C elsewhere along the equator. The high latitudes cooled by the greatest degree, a maximum of 7-9°C in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Our maps improve substantially on previous attempts by making higher quality temperature estimates, using more cores, and improving age control.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1017-1047
    Number of pages31
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Issue number7-9 SPEC. ISS.
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005


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