Deep-dwelling foraminifera as thermocline temperature recorders

Caroline Cléroux, Elsa Cortijo, Jean Claude Duplessy, Rainer Zahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


We measured the oxygen isotopic composition of the deep-dwelling foraminiferal species G. inflata, G. truncatulinoides dextral and sinistral, and P. obliquiloculata in 29 modern core tops raised from the North Atlantic Ocean. We compared calculated isotopic temperatures with atlas temperatures and defined ecological models for each species. G. inflata and G. truncatulinoides live preferentially at the base of the seasonal thermocline. Under temperature stress, i.e., when the base of the seasonal thermocline is warmer than 16°C, G. inflata and G. truncatulinoides live deeper in the main thermocline. P. obliquiloculata inhabits the seasonal thermocline in warm regions. We tested our model using 10 cores along the Mauritanian upwelling and show that the comparison of δ18O variations registered by the surficial species G. ruber and G. bulloides and the deep-dwelling species G. inflata evidences significant glacialinterglacial shifts of the Mauritanian upwelling cells. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberQ04N11
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Deep-dwelling foraminifera
  • Depth habitat
  • Isotopic temperature
  • Mauritanian upwelling
  • North Atlantic
  • Thermocline


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