Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Rosemarie E Came

Second Advisor

Joel E Johnson

Third Advisor

Liviu Giosan


Millennial-scale variability in the Indian monsoon was temporally linked to changes in global ocean circulation during the last glacial period, as evidenced by planktic-benthic foraminiferal stable isotope and trace element results from an intermediate depth sediment core from the northwestern Bay of Bengal (Core NGHP-01-19B; 18°58'N, 85°39'E; 1,422 m). Paired planktic foraminiferal Mg/Ca and d18Oc of G. ruber constrain sea surface temperatures and isolate millennial-scale variations in the d18O of surface waters (d18Osw) which resulted from changes in river runoff in the northwestern Bay. Concurrently with low d18Osw events, benthic foraminiferal d13C of Cibicidoides spp. decreased, suggesting an increased influence of an aged water mass at this intermediate depth site during the low salinity events. Benthic foraminiferal Cd/Ca of H. elegans supports the identification of this water mass as aged Glacial Antarctic Intermediate Water (GAAIW). Lagged correlation analysis (r= 0.41) indicates that changes in subsurface properties led changes in surface properties by an average of 380 years. The implication is that Southern Hemisphere climate exerted a controlling influence on the Indian monsoon during the last glacial period.