Author Posting. © The Authors, 2006. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 243 (2007): 378-393, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2006.08.016.
Well-dated, high-resolution records of planktonic foraminifera and oxygen isotopes from two sediment cores, A7 and E017, in the middle Okinawa Trough reveal strong and rapid millennial-scale climate changes since ~18 to 17 thousand years before present (kyr B.P.). Sedimentation rate shows a sudden drop at ~11.2 cal. kyr B.P. due to a rapid rise of sea-level after the Younger Dryas (YD) and consequently submergence of the large continental shelf on the East China Sea (ECS) and the retreat of the estuary providing sediment to the basin. During the last deglaciation, the relative abundance of warm and cold species of planktonic foraminifera fluctuates strongly, consistent with the timing of sea surface temperature (SST) variations determined from Mg/Ca measurements of planktonic foraminifera from one of the two cores. These fluctuations are coeval with climate variation recorded in the Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic sediments, namely Heinrich event 1 (H1), Bølling-Allerød (B/A) and YD events. At about 9.4 kyr B.P., a sudden change in the relative abundance of shallow to deep planktonic species probably indicates a sudden strengthening of the Kuroshio Current in the Okinawa Trough, which was synchronous with a rapid sea-level rise at 9.5-9.2 kyr B.P. in the ECS, Yellow Sea (YS) and South China Sea (SCS). The abundance of planktonic foraminiferal species, together with Mg/Ca based SST, exhibits millennial-scale oscillations during the Holocene, with 7 cold events (at about 1.7, 2.3-4.6, 6.2, 7.3, 8.2, 9.6, 10.6 cal. kyr BP) superimposed on a Holocene warming trend. This Holocene trend, together with centennial-scale SST variations superimposed on the last deglacial trend, suggests that both high and low latitude influences affected the climatology of the Okinawa Trough.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 40206007, 40106006, 90211022 and 40506027), the Chinese Academy of Sciences innovation program (KZCX3-SW-220), and the NSF (OCE05-29600 to DWO).
Millennial- scale climate changes
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