Abstract

We investigated the microscopic mineral characteristics of modern eolian dust particulates and the trace-element compositions of the siliciclastic fractions of these samples, collected from the Philippine Sea in 2014 and 2015, and conducted an air mass backwards trajectory analysis of dust particulates in the spring and winter of 2015, to better constrain the provenances and transport dynamics of dust delivered to this region. The microscopic minerals show obvious signatures of dust deposition and physical abrasion, indicating long-distance wind transport from the Asian deserts. The trace-element compositions (Zr–Th–Sc) display a binary mixture of eolian materials derived from the eastern Asian deserts and the central Asian deserts, which is similar to the result of the Sr–Nd isotopic compositions of modern sediment trap sediments collected on the Benham Rise in 2015. We demonstrate that modern dust sediments in the Philippine Sea primarily originate from the Ordos Desert (generally > 80%), while the contributions of the Taklimakan Desert and the Badain Jaran Desert are small. Eolian dust particulates raised from source regions are predominantly transported to the Philippine Sea by the East Asian winter monsoon, but not by the westerlies. In addition, our results indicate that increased precipitation in the source regions can result in relatively low dust fluxes in the Philippine Sea, and there is a period of 6–7 days for eolian dust originating from source areas to be delivered to the Philippine Sea.

You do not currently have access to this article.