Pliocene stratigraphy and the impact of Panama uplift on changes in Caribbean and tropical east Pacific upper ocean stratification (6 - 2.5 Ma).

This thesis examines the closure history of the Central American Seaway (CAS) and its effect on changes in ocean circulation and climate during the time interval from ~6 – 2.5 Ma. It was accomplished within the DFG Research Unit "Impact of Gateways on Ocean Circulation, Climate and Evolution" at the University of Kiel. Proxy records from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Sites 999 and 1000 (Caribbean), and from ODP Sites 1237, 1239 and 1241 (low-latitude east Pacific) are developed and examined. In addition, previously established proxy data from Atlantic Sites 925/926 (Ceara Rise) and 1006 (western Great Bahama Bank) and from two east Pacific sites (851, 1236) are included for interpretations. The main objectives of this study are (1) to acquire a consistent stratigraphic framework for all sites, (2) to reconstruct Pliocene changes in Caribbean and tropical east Pacific upper ocean water masses (i.e. temperature, salinity, thermocline depth), and (3) to identify potential underlying forcing mechanisms.



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