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The application of Neodymium isotope as a chronostratigraphic tool in North Pacific sediments

  • Wenfang Zhang (a1) (a2), Gaojun Li (a2) and Jun Chen (a2)


It has been suggested that dust generation was closely linked to the development of global ice sheets and/or cooling. This feature has allowed Asian dust to be a potential chronostratigraphic tool in North Pacific Ocean (NPO) sediments. The orbital-scale age control in NPO sediments is usually established by adjusting the benthic-foraminiferal δ18O to the global δ18O stack (LR04). However, it would become difficult if the sediments did not contain enough foraminifera. This study investigates Sr and Nd isotopes, trace elements, mineralogy and grain size of the ‘operationally defined aeolian dust’ (ODED) extracted from the sediments recovered at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) site 1209B on the Shatsky Rise in the NPO covering the past five glacial–interglacial cycles. The geochemical results show that the ODED at site 1209B is actually a mixture of Asian dust and volcanic ash. The variation of Nd isotope mimics the cycles of glacial–interglacial ice sheets as revealed by the global benthic foraminifera’s oxygen isotope stack (LR04) over the past 500 ka. The low (high) ϵNd values corresponded with the cool (warm) periods. We propose that ϵNd variation reflects the evolving aeolian dust in site 1209 sediments. The excellent agreement between ϵNd values at site 1209B and LR04 stack over the past 500 ka allows establishing the orbital-timescale age control by tuning ϵNd to the LR04 curve. We thus propose that Nd isotope provides a chronostratigraphic technique in NPO sediments, especially for sediments with a limited amount of foraminifera.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Wenfang Zhang, Email:


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