In order to obtain a better knowledge of past oceanographic variability offshore southern Chile, this study reappraises the changes in the sources of nutrients over the last 25 ka based on a detailed comparison of previously published nitrogen isotope and microfossil records (dinoflagellate cysts, coccoliths and diatoms) from ODP Site 1233 (41°S). Our findings support the main conclusions of Martinez et al. (2006) in the sense that both the Subantarctic Surface Water and the Gunther Undercurrent are potential sources for the recorded late Quaternary sedimentary δ15N signatures at Site 1233, with variable contributions of both sources during different time periods. This study indicates that Subantarctic Surface Water forms the main source for nutrients during the last glacial maximum (25–18.6 cal ka BP), the first part of the deglaciation (18.6–15.7 cal ka BP) and the Holocene (9.8 cal ka BP until present). An increased contribution of Equatorial Subsurface Water as a source of nutrients to the photic zone offshore southern Chile is observed between 14.4 and 9.8 cal ka BP, which is indicative for upwelling conditions at least after 13.2 cal ka BP as indicated by the microfossil data.