El Niño ~ The Paleoecological Record

The same type of record is seen off the western coast of the United States, where in the deep basin of the Gulf of California there is a climate record found in the varved sediments laid down throughout the year onto the ocean floor. These sediments which change in content and thickness, depending on the seasons, can tell us in the same fashion as the coral does about the temperatures of our climates throughout time. During the warm stage of El Niño, there is a decrease in upwhelling of the cool waters along the American coast. This effect is recorded by small floating plants and animals, or plankton, which feed on the nutrients brought up by the cold, bottom water upwhellings. Since sedimentation is a fundamental occurrence within a marine environment, we can be assured that as long as there have been no episodes of erosion, the record is there.

Laminated sediments simmilar to those found in the Gulf of California
(Both taken from www.carleton.ca)

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