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Middle Holocene environmental change in central Korea and its linkage to summer and winter monsoon changes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Jaesoo Lim
Affiliation:
Geological Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea
Dong-Yoon Yang
Affiliation:
Geological Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea
Jin-Young Lee
Affiliation:
Geological Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea
Sei-Sun Hong
Affiliation:
Geological Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea
In Kwon Um
Affiliation:
Petroleum & Marine Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea
Corresponding

Abstract

To trace the surficial responses of lowlands to past climate change, we investigated δ13C in total organic carbon (TOC), C/N ratios, magnetic susceptibility (MS), and silicon (Si) intensity (directly proportional to concentration) in wetland sediments collected from the Gimpo area of central Korea, covering 6600–4600 cal yr BP. Two organic layers with high TOC%, negatively depleted δ13CTOC values (− 27 to − 29‰), low MS values, and low Si intensities were found at 6200–5900 and 5200–4800 cal yr BP, respectively. These middle Holocene wet periods corresponded to relatively intensified summer monsoon and solar activity periods. The intervening dry period (5900–5200 cal yr BP) with high MS, high Si, and low TOC% corresponded to an intensified dust-activity interval and stronger winter monsoon. This multi-centennial climatic fluctuation of wet periods (6200–5900 cal yr BP and 5200–4800 cal yr BP) and an intervening dry period (5900–5200 cal yr BP) in central Korea was more synchronous with climate change in the arid inner part of China than with that in South China, suggesting possible strong high-latitude-driven climatic influences (e.g., North Atlantic cooling events) during the middle Holocene.

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University of Washington

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