Deglacial dust provenance changes in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific and implications for ITCZ movement Academic Article uri icon


  • The provenance of eolian dust supplied to deep-sea sediments has the potential to offer insights into changes in past atmospheric circulation. Specifically, measuring temporal changes in dust provenance can shed light on changes in the mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a region acting as a barrier separating wind-blown material derived from northern versus southern hemisphere sources. Here we have analyzed Nd, Sr, and Pb isotope ratios in the operationally-defined detrital component extracted from deep-sea sediments in the eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP) along a meridional transect at 110W from 3S to 7N (ODP Leg 138, sites 848-853).Sr isotope results show that barite Sr has a significant influence on 87Sr/ 86Sr isotope ratios of samples in the upwelling zone of the EEP. However, sites located >3 or more away from the equator (sites 852 and 853) are believed to not be affected by barite Sr and provide useful detrital Sr signals. 208Pb/ 206Pb and 207Pb/ 206Pb ratios in all cores fall into the Pb-isotope space of five potential dust sources (Asia, North and Central/South America, Sahara, and Australia), with no distinct isotopic fingerprinting of the dominant source(s). Nd values were most valuable for discerning detrital source provenance, and their values at all sites, ranging from -5.46 to -3.25, were more unradiogenic for sediments deposited during the last glacial than for those deposited during the Holocene. There are distinct latitudinal trends in the Nd values, with more radiogenic values further south and less radiogenic values further north, excluding site 848. This distinction holds true for both Holocene and last glacial periods. For the most southerly site, 848, we invoke, for the first time, a distinct southern hemisphere Australian source as being responsible for the unradiogenic Nd isotope ratios. Both average last glacial and Holocene Nd values show similar sharp gradients along the transect between 5.29N and 2.77N, suggesting little movement of the glacial ITCZ in the EEP. However, during the deglacial, this gradient is stronger and shifted further north between 5.29N and 7.21N, suggesting a more northerly, possibly stronger, deglacial ITCZ. 2011 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Xie, R. C., & Marcantonio, F.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Xie, Ruifang C||Marcantonio, Franco

publication date

  • February 2012