Assessment and calibration of TEX86 paleothermometry in the Sea of Okhotsk and sub-polar North Pacific region: Implications for paleoceanography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Osamu Seki
  • Naomi Harada
  • Madoka Kobayashi
  • Ken Sawada
  • Gordon N. Inglis
  • Seiya Nagao
  • Tatsuhiko Sakamoto


We measured TEX86 indices in surface sediments and sediment cores from marginal seas and open ocean sites in the North Pacific to test the accuracy of TEX86 paleothermometry in the region. Application of the global core top View the MathML source and View the MathML source calibrations in the Sea of Okhotsk and northern North Pacific sub-polar region results in over- and under-estimations of TEX86 derived SSTs in surface sediments in deep-ocean and coastal areas, respectively. Further challenges apparent in applying View the MathML source and View the MathML source in late Quaternary sediment cores from the Okhotsk Sea (MR06-04 PC7) and northwestern Pacific (MR00-K03 PC1) are unrealistically warm Holocene mean annual reconstructed temperatures View the MathML source and excessively cold Glacial temperatures View the MathML source, compared with other high-latitude records and climate models. Application of a calibration based on a sub-set of deep (<1000 m) core-top sites appears to improve temperature reconstructions in the Holocene, but still yields underestimation of SSTs (mean annual = −5 °C for View the MathML source) in the Glacial period in the Okhotsk Sea core MR06-04 PC7. However, a regional comparison of Okhotsk Sea and sub-polar surface sediment View the MathML source values with observational sea-water temperatures at different seasons and water depths reveals that an optimized positive correlation is obtained with summer sub-surface temperatures (August, 20 m depth). The unique hydrographic setting of the Okhotsk Sea region likely exerts a strong control on the ecology of GDGT producers (assumed to be primarily be marine Thaumarchaeota), resulting in highly season and depth specific export production and a distinct regional gradient in surface sediment TEX86 values. When our new regional View the MathML source calibration is applied to the sediment cores, View the MathML source and alkenone View the MathML source temperature estimates overlap in the Holocene and View the MathML source produces plausible LGM to Holocene temperature reconstructions. Our study provides a region specific calibration and confirms the importance of acquiring local calibration equations, to optimize TEX86 paleothermometry for specific regions and ocean basins.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-266
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Early online date29 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014