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Sea surface temperature estimates for the mid-Piacenzian Indian Ocean—Ocean Drilling Program sites 709, 716, 722, 754, 757, 758, and 763

January 30, 2018

Despite the wealth of global paleoclimate data available for the warm period in the middle of the Piacenzian Stage of the Pliocene Epoch (about 3.3 to 3.0 million years ago [Ma]; Dowsett and others, 2013, and references therein), the Indian Ocean has remained a region of sparse geographic coverage in terms of microfossil analysis. In an effort to characterize the surface Indian Ocean during this interval, we examined the planktic foraminifera from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites 709, 716, 722, 754, 757, 758, and 763, encompassing a wide range of oceanographic conditions. We quantitatively analyzed the data for sea surface temperature (SST) estimation using both the modern analog technique (MAT) and a factor analytic transfer function. The data will contribute to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Pliocene Research, Interpretation and Synoptic Mapping (PRISM) Project’s global SST reconstruction and climate model SST boundary condition for the mid-Piacenzian and will become part of the PRISM verification dataset designed to ground-truth Pliocene climate model simulations (Dowsett and others, 2013).