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    Australian summer monsoon variability in the past 14,000 years revealed by IODP Expedition 356 sediments

    Ishiwa T, Yokoyama Y, Reuning L, McHugh C M, De Vleeschouwer D, Gallagher S J

    International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 356, Australian Summer Monsoon, Radiocarbon dating, Holocene climate variability, Northwestern Australia

    Comparison of paleoclimatic records related to ASM variability in the past 15,000 years. (a) Ball Gown Cave stalagmite records (Denniston et al., 2013). (b) Fe/Ca records of core MD00-2361 recovered from the continental slope of western Australian (Stuut et al., 2014). (c) K/Ca records obtained from Site U1461. (d) %K at Site U1461 measured by shipboard NGR measurement. (e) Sedimentation rate of Site U1461 established by the Bchron model. (f) Global sea-level curve from Lambeck et al. (2014).

    The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 356 Site U1461 cored a Miocene to Holocene sedimentary sequence in the upper bathyal carbonate offshore northwestern Australia (NWA). The siliciclastic component of these strata is primarily derived from the Australian continent. Radiocarbon dating on macrofossils and planktonic foraminifera shows that the upper 14 m section at Site U1461 preserves Holocene sediments, recording regional climate variability. K/Ca ratios determined by X-ray fluorescence elemental analyses and %K determined by shipboard natural gamma ray analysis are interpreted as indicators of riverine run-off from the Australian continent. We document the consequences of the variability of the Australian Summer Monsoon (ASM) on the continental shelf of NWA. We report an increase in terrigenous input due to a riverine run-off after 11.5 ka, which reaches a maximum at ~ 8.5 ka. This maximum is the result of the enhanced ASM-derived precipitation in response to the southern migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). A decrease in riverine run-off due to a weakening of precipitation in the NWA region after 8.5 ka was caused by the northern migration of the ITCZ. We conclude that the ITCZ reached its southernmost position at 8.5 ka and enhanced precipitation in the NWA region. This Holocene record shows that even during interglacial periods, monsoonal variability was primarily controlled by the position of the ITCZ.