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Published January 4, 2023 | Version 1.1
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A global synthesis of high-resolution stable isotope data from benthic foraminifera of the last deglaciation

  • 1. Centro para el Estudio de los Sistemas Marinos, CONICET, 2915 Boulevard Brown, U9120ACD, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
  • 2. MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 3. Department of Climate Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Hahn-Meitner Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 4. College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
  • 5. Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 6. Micropaleontology Laboratory, Geological Oceanography Division, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India
  • 7. Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
  • 8. LOCEAN/IPSL, Sorbonne Universite-CNRS-IRD-MNHN, UMR7159, Paris, France
  • 9. Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University, Germany
  • 10. Institute of Earth Sciences, Heidelberg University, Germany
  • 11. Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut - Avery Point, Groton, CT 06340, USA
  • 12. Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Ammerl\ander Heerstrasse 231, D-26129 Oldenburg, Germany
  • 13. LSCE-IPSL (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Paris-Saclay University, 91190, Gif-sur Yvette, France
  • 14. Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK
  • 15. CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa, India
  • 16. Graduate School of Science, Kyushu University, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
  • 17. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 18. Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera, Divisao de Geologia e Georecursos Marinhos, Av. Doutor Alfredo Magalhaes Ramalho 6, 1495-165 Alges, Portugal
  • 19. State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research & School of Marine Science, East China Normal University, Dongchuan Rd 500, 200241, Shanghai, China


In paleoceanography, carbon and oxygen stable isotope ratios from benthic foraminifera are used as tracers of physical and biogeochemical properties of the deep ocean. We present the first version of the Ocean Carbon Cycling working group database,  of stable isotope ratios of oxygen and carbon from benthic foraminifera from deep ocean sediment cores from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 23-20 ky before present (BP)) to the Holocene (<10 ky BP) with a particular focus on the early last deglaciation (20-15 ky BP). It includes 287 globally distributed coring sites, with metadata, isotopic and chronostratigraphic information, and age models. A quality check was performed for all data and age models. Sites with at least millennial resolution were preferred, because the main goal is to resolve ocean changes associated with the last deglaciation on at least millennial timescales. Software tools were produced to access and analyze the data, and are included with this publication. Deep water mass structure as well as differences between the early deglaciation and LGM are captured by the data in the compilation, even though its coverage is still sparse in many ocean regions. We find high correlations among time series calculated with different age models at sites that allow such analysis. The database provides a useful dynamical approach to map physical and biogeochemical changes of the ocean throughout the last deglaciation.


Custom python scripts to read and analyze the data base may be found in and in in this repository. plots_d13c.pdf and plots_d18o.pdf contain time series for all sites and available age models.


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