Biogeosciences, 6, 835-848, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
15 May 2009
Rapid reorganization in ocean biogeochemistry off Peru towards the end of the Little Ice Age
D. Gutiérrez1, A. Sifeddine2,11, D. B. Field3,*, L. Ortlieb2, G. Vargas4, F. P. Chávez3, F. Velazco1, V. Ferreira5, P. Tapia6, R. Salvatteci1,5, H. Boucher2, M. C. Morales7, J. Valdés8, J.-L. Reyss9, A. Campusano1, M. Boussafir10, M. Mandeng-Yogo2, M. García2, and T. Baumgartner5 1Instituto del Mar del Perú (IMARPE), Dirección de Investigaciones Oceanográficas, Av. Gamarra y Gral. Valle, s/n, Chucuito, Callao, Peru
2Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR Paléotropique (presently: LOCEAN, UMR 7159 CNRS-IRD-Univ. P. & M. Curie-MNHN), 32 Avenue Henri Varagnat, 93143 Bondy cedex, France
3Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
4Departamento de Geología, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Chile, Plaza Ercilla 803, Santiago, Chile
5Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Km. 107 Carretera Tijuana – Ensenada, Ensenada, 22860, Mexico
6Biological Sciences Department, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Av. Honorio Delgado 430, Lima 31, Peru
7Laboratorio de Paleontología, Instituto Geológico Minero Metalúrgico, Av. Canadá 1470, Lima 41, Peru
8Facultad de Recursos del Mar, Universidad de Antofagasta, Casilla 170, Antofagasta, Chile
9Laboratoire des Sciences de Climat et de l'Environnement, UMR CEA – CNRS-Univ. Versailles-Saint Quentin en Yveline, 91 198 Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
10Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTO), Université d'Orléans, 45067 Orléans, France
11Departamento de Geoquimica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi-RJ, Brasil
*now at: Hawaii Pacific University, College of Natural Sciences, 45-045 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI, 96744-5297, USA
Abstract. Climate and ocean ecosystem variability has been well recognized during the twentieth century but it is unclear if modern ocean biogeochemistry is susceptible to the large, abrupt shifts that characterized the Late Quaternary. Time series from marine sediments off Peru show an abrupt centennial-scale biogeochemical regime shift in the early nineteenth century, of much greater magnitude and duration than present day multi-decadal variability. A rapid expansion of the subsurface nutrient-rich, oxygen-depleted waters resulted in the present-day higher biological productivity, including pelagic fish. The shift was likely driven by a northward migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the South Pacific Subtropical High to their present day locations, coupled with a strengthening of Walker circulation, towards the end of the Little Ice Age. These findings reveal the potential for large reorganizations in tropical Pacific climate with immediate effects on ocean biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem structure.

Citation: Gutiérrez, D., Sifeddine, A., Field, D. B., Ortlieb, L., Vargas, G., Chávez, F. P., Velazco, F., Ferreira, V., Tapia, P., Salvatteci, R., Boucher, H., Morales, M. C., Valdés, J., Reyss, J.-L., Campusano, A., Boussafir, M., Mandeng-Yogo, M., García, M., and Baumgartner, T.: Rapid reorganization in ocean biogeochemistry off Peru towards the end of the Little Ice Age, Biogeosciences, 6, 835-848,, 2009.
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