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Long-term history of sediment inputs to the eastern Arabian Sea and its implications for the evolution of the Indian summer monsoon since 3.7 Ma

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 December 2018

Mingjiang Cai
CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Zhaokai Xu*
CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China
Peter D. Clift
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Boo-Keun Khim
Department of Oceanography, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea
Dhongil Lim
South Sea Research Institute, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, Geoje 53201, Republic of Korea
Zhaojie Yu
CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Denise K. Kulhanek
International Ocean Discovery Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Tiegang Li
Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China Key Laboratory of Marine Sedimentology and Environmental Geology, First Institute of Oceanography, SOA, Qingdao 266061, China


We present a new set of clay mineral and grain-size data for the siliciclastic sediment fraction from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site U1456 located in the eastern Arabian Sea to reconstruct the variabilities in the continental erosion and weathering intensity in the western Himalaya, elucidate the sediment source-to-sink processes and discuss the potential controls underlying these changes since 3.7 Ma. The clay minerals mainly consist of smectite (0–90%, average 44%) and illite (3–90%, average 44%), with chlorite (1–26%, average 7%) and kaolinite (0–19%, average 5%) as minor components. The compositional variations in the clay minerals at IODP Site U1456 suggest four phases of sediment provenance: the Indus River (phase 1, 3.7–3.2 Ma), the Indus River and Deccan Traps (phase 2, 3.2–2.6 Ma), the Indus River (phase 3, 2.6–1.2 Ma) and the Indus River and Deccan Traps (phase 4, 1.2–0 Ma). These provenance changes since 3.7 Ma can be correlated with variations in the Indian summer monsoon intensity. The siliciclastic sediments in the eastern Arabian Sea were mainly derived from the Indus River when the Indian summer monsoon was generally weak. In contrast, when the Indian summer monsoon intensified, the siliciclastic sediment supply from the Deccan Traps increased. In particular, this study shows that the smectite/(illite+chlorite) ratio is a sensitive tool for reconstructing the history of the variation in the Indian summer monsoon intensity over the continents surrounding the Arabian Sea since 3.7 Ma.

Original Article
© Cambridge University Press 2018

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