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The monsoon imprint during the ‘atypical’ MIS 13 as seen through north and equatorial Indian Ocean records

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Thibaut Caley*
Université de Bordeaux, UB1, CNRS, UMR 5805 EPOC, France
Bruno Malaizé
Université de Bordeaux, UB1, CNRS, UMR 5805 EPOC, France
Franck Bassinot
LSCE/IPSL, Laboratoire CNRS/CEA/UVSQ, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Steven C. Clemens
Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Nicolas Caillon
LSCE/IPSL, Laboratoire CNRS/CEA/UVSQ, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Rossignol Linda
Université de Bordeaux, UB1, CNRS, UMR 5805 EPOC, France
Karine Charlier
Université de Bordeaux, UB1, CNRS, UMR 5805 EPOC, France
Helene Rebaubier
LSCE/IPSL, Laboratoire CNRS/CEA/UVSQ, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Corresponding author. Fax: + 33 5 56 84 08 48. E-mail (T. Caley).


Previous studies have suggested that Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 13, recognized as atypical in many paleoclimate records, is marked by the development of anomalously strong summer monsoons in the northern tropical areas. To test this hypothesis, we performed a multi-proxy study on three marine records from the tropical Indian Ocean in order to reconstruct and analyse changes in the summer Indian monsoon winds and precipitations during MIS 13. Our data confirm the existence of a low-salinity event during MIS 13 in the equatorial Indian Ocean but we argue that this event should not be considered as “atypical”. Taking only into account a smaller precession does not make it possible to explain such precipitation episode. However, when considering also the larger obliquity in a more complete orbitally driven monsoon “model,” one can successfully explain this event. In addition, our data suggest that intense summer monsoon winds, although not atypical in strength, prevailed during MIS 13 in the western Arabian Sea. These strong monsoon winds, transporting important moisture, together with the effect of insolation and Eurasian ice sheet, are likely one of the factors responsible for the intense monsoon precipitation signal recorded in China loess, as suggested by model simulations.

Research Article
University of Washington

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