Enhanced terrigenous organic matter input and productivity on the western margin of the Western Pacific Warm Pool during the Quaternary sea-level lowstands: Forcing mechanisms and implications for the global carbon cycle

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Changes in terrigenous organic matter (OM) input, productivity and the associated bottom-water redox conditions, together with forcing mechanisms and global carbon cycle implications of such variations, on the western margin of the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) during the Quaternary remain controversial. In this study, we reconstructed the hydrological dynamics, terrigenous OM input, productivity, and deep-sea redox conditions using one core from the continental slope of the Philippine Sea. The new data were integrated with published proxies from the same core and two additional cores from the abyssal Philippine Sea. The results exhibited noticeable variations in the abovementioned indicators, in correspondence to changes in the supply of terrigenous material. The continental slope deposition featured signals of strong physical erosion and chemical weathering of unconsolidated sediments on the exposed continental shelf during the Quaternary sea-level lowstands, which significantly contributed to increased terrigenous OM input and productivity and, in turn, decreased bottom-water oxygenation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. In the abyssal Philippine Sea, increased Asian dust-driven OM input and productivity also acted as a sink of atmospheric CO2 during sea-level lowstands. Analysis of the data suggested that the enhanced terrigenous OM input and biological pump and thus the decreased dissolved oxygen level of the bottom water on the western margin of the WPWP played important roles in modifying the global carbon cycle during sea-level lowstands. In contrast, the influence of hydrological dynamics on terrigenous OM input, productivity, and redox conditions therein during the Quaternary was limited.

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Quaternary Science Reviews

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