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Late Holocene (~ 2 ka) East Asian Monsoon variations inferred from river discharge and climate interrelationships in the Pearl River Estuary

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Qingyun Nan*
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Tiegang Li
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Jinxia Chen
First Institute of Oceanology, State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao 266071, China
Rajiv Nigma
National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa 403004, India
Xinke Yu
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Zhaokai Xu
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
Zaibao Yang
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
*Corresponding author at: Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, China. E-mail (Q. Nan).


A sediment core from the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) was analyzed for grain size and organic geochemistry parameters (TOC and δ13Corg). The results showed that high mean grain-size value and increased sand content were correlated with the high TOC and negative δ13Corg. These results indicated high river runoff in the PRE area. Peak river discharge occurred during the periods 1900–1750, 1500–1600, 1400–1200, 1000–900 and 750–600 cal yr BP. The main changes recorded in grain-size distributions, TOC contents, and δ13Corg variations appear to be directly related to monsoon precipitation in the sediment source area. An increased East Asian summer monsoon rainfall (EASM) and/or an enhanced East Asian winter monsoon rainfall could result in the increasing of monsoon rainfall. Typhoon related rainfalls could act as positive influence on precipitation levels. The study of the correlations between the rainfall records and ENSO activities revealed a close relationship between the monsoon rainfall in the PRE and the tropical Pacific variations. The frequent occurrence of ENSO might result in the southern migration of the EASM rain belt and lead to more typhoon-derived rainfall in the PRD during the late Holocene.

Research Article
University of Washington

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