Over large areas of the tropical Pacific, calcareous sediments show one or more dark-coloured manganese-rich layers within the uppermost 40 cm of the record1,2. In the east-equatorial Pacific two layers are strongly developed, with the upper one appearing as a double layer in places. We report here that the lower layer is centred on the glacial–Holocene boundary, and we present evidence that its origin is tied to a pronounced drop in fertility of the ocean. Such a fertility decrease is implicit in a weakening of east-equatorial upwelling systems3,4. If real, it has important ramifications for the history of oceanic (and atmospheric) chemistry.
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Berger, W., Finkel, R., Killingley, J. et al. Glacial–Holocene transition in deep-sea sediments: manganese-spike in the east-eqautorial Pacific. Nature 303, 231–233 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1038/303231a0
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