Here we propose a Norwegian contribution to an international campaign to recover a number of long, large-volume, sediment cores between 45-55°S along the Chilean continental margin. We request support to survey and core five sites spanning the westerly wi nd belt and intersecting the flow path of southeast Pacific intermediate and mode waters. The extremely high sedimentation rates along the southern Chilean shelf and slope provide the rare opportunity to recover sediments containing paleoenvironmental hi stories with (sub) decadal resolution spanning the Holocene and late glacial periods. Such records are necessary to provide sorely needed southern hemisphere constraints on the magnitude, modes, and origins of natural climate variability in the past on mu lti-decadal to millennial timescales. In particular, we propose to target sediment sequences capable of portraying 1) changes in continental climate (rainfall) and the latitudinal position of the westerly winds, 2) variability in newly ventilated pacific thermocline to intermediate water properties and their coupling to surface ocean-atmospheric conditions, and 3) Southern Hemisphere natural climate variability on decadal to millennial timescales through the Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum.
The timing of this initiative is designed to capitalize on the window of opportunity presented by the current international investments toward an International Marine Global change Study (IMAGES) coring expedition on the RV Marion Dufresne. The unique capabilities of this vessel, to recover wide diameter cores over 60 meters in length, are ideally suited to these high depositional rate environments where conventional coring techniques cannot penetrate beyond the last few thousand years. This cruise marks the culm ination of over 4 years of planning by the Southern Ocean IMAGES working group and is highlighted as a priority plan within the IMAGES Consortium for CALYPSO coring (IC3). In addition, the cruise provides site char