Dr. Delia Oppo

Associate Dean of WHOI Academic Programs

Senior Scientist
Geology & Geophysics Department

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Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-2681
Building: Clark 117

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #23
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

I study past variability of ocean circulation and the climatic impacts of those changes. My projects include reconstructing ocean circulation during the last Ice Age, during abrupt climate events that occurred as the large Ice Age continental ice sheets collapsed, and during the last 10,000 years in the absence of large ice sheets. With my many collaborators, I also research how these ocean circulation changes and other factors influence tropical rainfall and vegetation.

New publications:

  • Oppo, D. W., Gebbie, G. , Huang, K.-F. , Curry, W. B., Marchitto, T. M. and Pietro, K. R. (2018), Data Constraints on Glacial Atlantic Water Mass Geometry and Properties. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 33, doi:10.1029/2018PA003408
  • Thornalley, D.J.R., D.W. Oppo, P. Ortega, J.I. Robson, C.M. Brierley, R. Davis, I.R. Hall, P. Moffa-Sanchez, N.L. Rose, P.T. Spooner, I. Yashayaev & L.D. Keigwin (2018). Anomalously weak Labrador Sea convection and Atlantic overturning during the past 150 years. Nature 556, 227–230.
  • Howe, J. N. W., K. F Huang, D. W. Oppo, C. M. Chiessi, S. Mulitza, J. Blusztajn, A. M. Piotrowski (2018) No major change in Atlantic water mass distributions between the Last Glacial Maximum and Heinrich Stadial 1. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 490, 51-61.

Recent papers led by my colleagues' students:

  • Holstein, M., M. Mohtadi, Y. Rosenthal, M. Prange, D. W. Oppo, G. Martínez Méndez, K.Tachikawa, P.Moffa Sanchez, S. Steinke, D. Hebbeln (2018) Variations in Western Pacific Warm Pool surface and thermocline conditions over the past 110,000 years: Forcing mechanisms and implications for the glacial Walker circulation, Quaternary Science Reviews, 201, 429-445, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.10.030.
  • Hollstein, M., M. Mohtadi, Y. Rosenthal, P. Moffa Sanchez, D. Oppo, G. Martínez Méndez, S Steinke, D. Hebbeln (2017) Stable oxygen isotopes and Mg/Ca in planktic foraminifera from modern surface sediments of the Western Pacific Warm Pool: Implications for thermocline reconstructions,  Paleoceangraphy, 32, doi:10.1002/​2017PA003122.
  • Gu, S., Liu, Z., Zhang, J., Rempfer, J., Joos, F. & Oppo, D. W. (2017). Coherent response of Antarctic Intermediate Water and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during the last deglaciation: reconciling contrasting neodymium isotope reconstructions from the tropical Atlantic. Paleoceanography, 32, doi:10.1002/2017PA003092.
  • Zhang, J., Liu, Z., Brady, E. C., Oppo, D. W., Clark, P. U., Jahn, A., Marcott, S. A., & Lindsay, K. (2017) Asynchronous warming and δ18O evolution of deep Atlantic water masses during the last deglaciation. PNAS,

Recent publications lead by former post-docs and students

  • Alpert, A. E., Cohen, A. L., Oppo, D. W., DeCarlo, T. M., Gaetani, G. A., Hernandez-Delgado, E. A., . . . Gonneea, M. E. (2017). Twentieth century warming of the tropical Atlantic captured by Sr-U paleothermometry. PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, 32(2), 146-160. doi:10.1002/2016PA002976
  • Dubois, N., Oppo, D. W., Galy, V. V., Mohtadi, M., van der Kaars, S., Tierney, J. E., . . . Linsley, B. K. (2014). Indonesian vegetation response to changes in rainfall seasonality over the past 25,000 years. NATURE GEOSCIENCE, 7(7), 513-517. doi:10.1038/NGEO2182
  • Gibbons, F. T., Oppo, D. W., Mohtadi, M., Rosenthal, Y., Cheng, J., Liu, Z., & Linsley, B. K. (2014). Deglacial delta O-18 and hydrologic variability in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 387, 240-251. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.11.032
  • Huang, K. -F., Oppo, D. W., & Curry, W. B. (2014). Decreased influence of Antarctic intermediate water in the tropical Atlantic during North Atlantic cold events. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 389, 200-208. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.12.037

Other Recent Publications

  • Howe, J. N. W., Piotrowski, A. M., Oppo, D. W., Huang, K. -F., Mulitza, S., Chiessi, C. M., & Blusztajn, J. (2016). Antarctic intermediate water circulation in the South Atlantic over the past 25,000years. PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, 31(10), 1302-1314. doi:10.1002/2016PA002975
  • Oppo, D. W., Curry, W. B., & McManus, J. F. (2015). What do benthic delta C-13 and delta O-18 data tell us about Atlantic circulation during Heinrich Stadial 1?. PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, 30(4), 353-368. doi:10.1002/2014PA002667
  • Mohtadi, M., Prange, M., Oppo, D. W., De Pol-Holz, R., Merkel, U., Zhang, X., . . . Lueckge, A. (2014). North Atlantic forcing of tropical Indian Ocean climate. NATURE, 509(7498), 76-+. doi:10.1038/nature13196


Ph.D.: Geology. 1989. Columbia University, New York, NY.

B.S.: Mathematics. 1981. State University of New York at Albany