Late Quaternary Paleoceanography of the Gulf of Aqaba (Elat), Red Sea

Z. Reiss, B. Luz, A. Almogi-Labin, E. Halicz, A. Winter, M. Wolf, D. A. Ross

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The quantitative distribution of planktonic foraminifera, pteropods, and coccolithophorids, as well as oxygen-isotope variations were analyzed in four deep-sea cores from the Gulf of Aqaba (Elat) and the northernmost Red Sea. The core record covers about 150,000 yr. Detailed stratigraphic subdivision is facilitated by combining all calcareous plankton groups. Time-stratigraphic correlation and dating beyond the radiocarbon range are possible by comparison of the oxygen-isotope curves. During the glacial maximum salinity rose to more than 50‰, while winter temperature of the upper waters fell by at least 4°C compared to the present. The rise in salinity can be accounted for by sea-strait dynamics and lowering of sea level. The Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea were continuously connected through the Straits of Tiran, and there is no indication of desiccation during the glacial maximum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-308
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the master and crew of the RIV Atlantis II and to Y. Erez, MBL, Elat (formerly WHOI) for assistance in planning the expedition. R. Appelman prepared the core samples for micropaleontological study. The project, dubbed CATE (Cores Atlantis Two Elat), is supported by Israel-USA Binational Science Foundation Grant No. 1762/78 to Z. Reiss and by NSF Grant OCE 7681488 to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The contribution to this paper by A. Almogi-Labin (pteropods) and by A. Winter (nannoplankton) is part of Ph.D. dissertations supervised by Z. Reiss; stable-isotope analyses were carried out by M. Wolf as part of her M.Sc. thesis under the direction of B. Luz.


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