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The sediments in Lake Huguang Maar in coastal South China were previously thought to originate mainly from wind-blown dust transported from North China, such that the lake sediments recorded the varying strength of the Asian winter monsoon. An alternative explanation was that the local pyroclastic rocks supplied the lake sediments, but the actual contributions from the different sources remained unclear. Geochemical analyses including 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd and trace elements support the local pyroclastic rock as the dominant source: <22% of the total Sr in the lake sediments and ∼ 17% of the Nd arises from the distant source. Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf for the lake sediments are identical to those for the local rock but differ from the ratios for the wind-blown dust, and chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns for the lake sediments are similar to those for the local rock and soil, but differ from those for the distant source. The sediments in Lake Huguang Maar are probably input into the lake through runoff and thus controlled by the hydrology of the lake. Wind-blown dust transported by the Asian winter monsoon from arid North China is only a minor contribution to the sediments.
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