Ocean mixing and ice-sheet control of seawater 234U/238U during the last deglaciation

Tianyu Chen*, Laura Robinson, Matthew Beasley, Louis Claxton, Morten Anderson, Lauren Gregoire, Jemma Wadham, Daniel Fornari, Karen Harpp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
473 Downloads (Pure)


Seawater 234U/238U provides global-scale information about continental weathering and is vital for marine uranium-series geochronology. Existing evidence supports an increase in 234U/238U since the last glacial period, but the timing and amplitude of its variability has been poorly constrained. Here we report two seawater 234U/238U records based on well-preserved deep-sea corals from the low-latitude Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Atlantic 234U/238U started to increase before major sea-level rise and overshot the modern value by 3 per mil during the early deglaciation. Deglacial 234U/238U in the Pacific converged with that in the Atlantic after the abrupt resumption of Atlantic meridional overturning.We suggest that ocean mixing and early deglacial release of excess 234U from enhanced subglacial melting of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets have driven the observed 234U/238U evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-629
Number of pages4
Issue number6312
Early online date6 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2016


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