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The Southwest Pacific during the Pliocene: a reply to Dickens and Backman, 2011

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  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science


Introduction In a comment on our recent paper (Karas et al., 2011a) Dickens and Backman argue that our interpretation of planktonic δ18O and Mg/Ca data from the southwestern Pacific DSDP Site 590B for the time period 5.0 to 4.3 Ma is difficult to reconcile with previous notions on early Pliocene upwelling phenomena and subsequent surface warming at the same site. Our study for the first time presented Pliocene Mg/Ca-derived temperatures and δ18Oivc-seawater values approximating changes in salinities at Site 590B for both surface and subsurface levels. It is hitherto the only study, which reconstructs absolute temperatures for the Pliocene with a substantially higher time resolution (~ 9 kyrs) than previous geochemical and faunal records from Site 590 (e.g., ~ 250 kyrs in Elmstrom and Kennett, 1986; [Grant and Dickens, 2002] and [Kennett and von der Borch, 1986]). Here, we attempt to address the issues raised by Dickens and Backman and synthesize the so far diverging interpretations in order to support the reliability of our study.

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