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Holocene climate variations from NE Arabian Sea using foraminifera

and their isotopic signatures

Syed Azharuddin* and Pawan Govil
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, 53-University Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226 007 INDIA

Introduction: Useful information for reconstructing ocean history is preserved in the marine sediments in the form of microfossils, isotopic composition of shells and other sediment
components. The marine sediments are composed of both biogenic and terrigenous materials which are of great interest for Paleoceanographers. The biogenic component includes the
remains of both surface dwelling planktonic and bottom dwelling benthic organisms, which provide a record of past climate and oceanic circulation in terms of surface water temperature
and salinity, dissolved oxygen in deep water, nutrient or trace element concentrations etc. Foraminifera are unicellular organisms that form calcium carbonate tests (shells) recording
physical and chemical properties of the ocean and capable of preserving the records of climate change. They are very sensitive to environmental variations and their distribution through
passive transport, as well as their high relative abundances and good preservation potential make them ideal proxies to interpret marine sediments and oceanic conditions. The surface
dwelling (planktonic foraminifera) preserve the record of surface ocean conditions while bottom dwelling (benthic foraminifera) preserves the record of ocean bottom conditions. The
present study deals with the planktonic and benthic foraminifera abundance, CaCO3 as well as the oxygen isotopes (18O) of G.ruber based southwest monsoon (SWM), productivity and
sea level reconstruction using a sedimentary core from offshore Saurashtra, NE Arabian Sea .

Study Area Present Scenario of Monsoon Indian Ocean Circulation System

The marine sedimentary core
SK-240/485 was recovered
from 88m water depth (Lat
2116N Long 6855.99E) off- SW
Saurashtra, NE Arabian Sea

It was 3.4 m long sub sampled

at 2 cm interval to achieve high
temporal resolution.

Despite widespread concern,

only limited attempts were
made earlier to study the off- NE
Saurashtra region of NE
Arabian Sea in the view of
marine micropaleontology and

Material and Methods

Process of Foraminiferal extraction Foraminifera picking Planktonic Foraminifera species Recovered Stable Isotope analysis facility at BSIP

1 2 3 4 5
Soaking in Treatment with
Wet & Oven Drying at
water (NaPO3)6 & H2O2
Dry 600C

6 7 8 9 10

1.Globigerinoides ruber 2. Neogloboquadrina pachyderma 3.Globigerina bulloides

4.Globorotalia menardii 5. Neogloboquadrina dutertrei 6.Globigerina falconensis
Stored in Dry Sieve with Oven drying at Wet Sieve with 63 7. Globorotalia ungulata 8.Globigerina rubescens 9. Globigerinoides sacculifer
separate 350,250,150 & 63 50-600C m 10. Orbulina universa
5ml storage m nylon sieve


Conclusions: The present multi-proxy study over offshore Saurashtra NE Arabian Sea sediment core reveals that the area underwent three major phases of climatic variations viz.
Younger Dryas and early Holocene (12-8 Ka), Middle Holocene (84 Ka) and Late Holocene (4 Ka to recent). The core location belongs to shallow water depth (88 m) i.e. Above Oxygen
minimum zone (OMZ) as well as possess negligible effect of SWM nutrient upwelling and NE monsoon mixed layer. This implies that the area strongly depends on Indus river discharge for
maintenance of productivity. Younger Dryas (YD) and early Holocene records comparatively low sea level and productivity signatures. The area was deprived of Indus river discharge
possibly due to weakened SWM which resulted in arid conditions. YD, abrupt event ~10Ka (AE) and 8.2 Ka cooling as well as pre-boreal (PB) warming events have also been identified
during YD and early Holocene. Early-middle Holocene transition reveals abrupt climatic variations between 8 and 7 Ka. The middle Holocene recorded comparatively raised sea level and
higher productivity signatures. Holocene sea level maxima (HSLM) has been recorded around 5.5 Ka. Improved SWM strength have been recorded which promoted Indus river discharge
around the core location. SWM strength further intensified which resulted in increased run-off from Indus River and thereafter increasing nutrient supply in the area. Moreover, 4 Ka cooling
event have also been observed due to weakened SWM.

Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful to Prof. Sunil Bajpai, Director, BSIP for providing necessary facilities. SA is indebted to SERB-DST fastract project no. SR/FTP/ES-
53/2013 for the junior research fellowship. This work is an outcome of SERB-DST fastract project no. SR/FTP/ES-53/2013. .