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Phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon, and resulting weathering and surface erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains, since late Pliocene time using data from Arabian Sea core

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2020

Huayu Lu*
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Ruixuan Liu
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Linhai Cheng
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Han Feng
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Hanzhi Zhang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Yao Wang
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Rong Hu
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Wancang Zhao
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Coast and Island Development, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Junfeng Ji
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing210023, China
Zhaokai Xu
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao266071, China
Zhaojie Yu
Affiliation:
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao266071, China
Denise K. Kulhanek
Affiliation:
International Ocean Discovery Program, Texas A&M University, 1000 Discovery Drive, College 10 Station, TX77845, USA
Dhananjai K. Pandey
Affiliation:
Department of Marine Geophysics, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Vasco da Gama, Goa403804, India
Peter D. Clift
Affiliation:
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA70803, USA
*
Author for correspondence: Huayu Lu, Email: huayulu@nju.edu.cn

Abstract

We investigate the phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon and resulting weathering intensity and physical erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains since late Pliocene time (c. 3.4 Ma) using a comprehensive approach. Neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions and single-grain zircon U–Pb age spectra reveal the sources of the deposits in the east Arabian Sea, and show a combination of sources from the Himalaya and the Karakoram–Kohistan–Ladakh Mountains, with sediments from the Indian Peninsula such as the Deccan Traps or Craton. We interpret shifts in the sediment sources to have been forced by sea-level changes that correlate with South Asian monsoon rainfall variation since late Pliocene time. We collected 908 samples from the International Ocean Discovery Program Hole U1456A, which was drilled in the east Arabian Sea. Time series of hematite content and grain size of the sediments were examined downcore. We found South Asian monsoon precipitation and weathering intensity experienced three phases from late Pliocene time. Lower monsoon precipitation, with a lower variability and strong weathering intensity, occurred during 3.4–2.4 Ma; an increased and more variable South Asian monsoon rainfall, along with strengthened but fluctuating weathering intensity, occurred at 1.8–1.1 Ma; and a reduced rainfall with lower South Asian monsoon precipitation variability and moderate weathering intensity marked the period 1.1–0.1 Ma. Maximum entropy spectral analysis and wavelet transform show that there were orbital-dominated cycles of periods c. 100 and c. 41 ka in these proxy-based time series. We propose that the monsoon, sea level, global temperature and insolation together forced the weathering and erosion in SW Asia.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon, and resulting weathering and surface erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains, since late Pliocene time using data from Arabian Sea core
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Phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon, and resulting weathering and surface erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains, since late Pliocene time using data from Arabian Sea core
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