Marine records of East Asian monsoon variability over the past 5 Ma
Min-Te Chen, Yuan-Pin Chang, Pai-Sen Yu, Liang-Jian Shiau, 2010. "Marine records of East Asian monsoon variability over the past 5 Ma", Monsoon Evolution and Tectonic–Climate Linkage in Asia, P. D. Clift, R. Tada, H. Zheng
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Marine sedimentary cores retrieved from the western Pacific provide important clues for deciphering how the East Asian Monsoon (EAM) system has evolved during the past 5 Ma. Here we briefly review some recent progress on the reconstructions of the EAM based on marine SST (sea surface temperature), SSS (sea surface salinity), and productivity records from the SCS (South China Sea) and ECS (East China Sea) and their implications for EAM evolution and variability on tectonic, orbital and millennial timescales. This review highlights the importance of high resolution sampling on giant marine cores (such as cores collected with the International Marine Past Global Change, IMAGES program) that provide opportunities for better defining the timing and amplitude of the EAM variability expressed in marine records. We also discuss possible future directions of EAM palaeoclimatic and palaeoceanographic studies that require development of multiple new marine EAM proxies and a comparison of the marine records with the stalagmite records on land.
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The Earth’s climate varies through geological time as a result of external, orbital processes, as well as the positions of continents, growth of mountains and the opening and closure of oceanic gateways. Climate modelling suggests that the intensity of the Asian monsoon should correlate, at least in part, with the uplift history of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya, as well as the evolution of gateways and the retreat of shallow seas in Central Asia. Long-term reconstructions of both mountain building and monsoon activity are key to testing the proposed links. This collection of papers presents a series of new studies documenting the variations of the Asian monsoon on orbital and tectonic timescales, together with the impact this has had on environmental conditions. The issue of which proxies are best suited to measuring monsoons is addressed, as is the effect that the monsoon has had on erosion and the formation of the stratigraphic record both on and offshore.