Provenance, sea-level and monsoon climate controls on silicate weathering of Yellow River sediment in the northern Okinawa Trough during late last glaciation

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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. High resolution multi-proxy records, including geochemical and grain-size data from detrital sediments of IODP Site U1429 in the northern Okinawa Trough, provide reliable evidence for constraining sediment source and transport processes. They also allow silicate weathering and erosion controlled by sea-level change and East Asian summer monsoon evolution since 34 ka to be reconstructed. Provenance proxies indicated that sediments in the northern Okinawa Trough were mainly supplied by the Yellow River middle reach at ~ 34–8 ka. The low sea level and proximity of paleo-Yellow River mouth to the northern Okinawa Trough were the causes of the dominant Yellow River input. After ~ 8 ka, a retreated Yellow River mouth coupled with the blocking effect of the Kuroshio Current and its branches, together with strong East Asian summer monsoon precipitation resulted in relatively strong sediment input from Kyushu to the northern Okinawa Trough. Meanwhile, Yellow River upper reach supplied more sediments to the study site than that during the ~ 34–8 ka. On glacial-interglacial scale, silicate weathering proxies indicate that the core sediment was more weathered during the last glacial and deglacial than that in the modern Yellow River. We attribute this to the increased upper reach sediment input, which supplied more weak weathered sediment to the study site during the Holocene. Besides, composite effect of weathering during glacial and deglacial sediment production and additional weathering upon subaerial exposure of shelf deposits during low sea-level stage, as well as older weathered sediments reworking during sea-level rise could also account for this weathering regime. On multi-millennial scale, from ~ 34 to 18.5 ka, silicate weathering was mainly controlled by the East Asian summer monsoon, with a cooling and drying climate associated with weakened summer monsoon activity. This is consistent with the reduced alteration of sediments eroded from the Yellow River basin. From ~ 18.5 to 8 ka, strong reworking of older weathered sediments overwhelmed the East Asian summer monsoon in controlling silicate weathering, which induced a continuous increase in chemical alteration of the sediments during this period.

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Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

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