Abrupt intensification of the SW Indian Ocean monsoon during the last deglaciation: constraints from Th, Pa, and He isotopes

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Earth and Planetary Science Letters
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Jan 15
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Sediments from western Arabian Sea core 74KL representing the last 23 ka were analyzed for helium, thorium, and protactinium isotopes. Assuming global average fluxes of extraterrestrial He-3 and Th-230, th, average He-3-derived sediment mass accumulation rate (MAR) is a factor of 1.8 higher than the average Th-230-derived MAR. He-3- and Th-230- derived MARs converge, however, during the Younger Dryas (YD) and during the peak of the early Holocene humid interval. These features, not seen anywhere else in the world, probably reflect a combination of climate-driven changes in the flux of Th-230 and He-3. Ratios of xs(231)Pa/xs(230)Th, proxies of paleoproductivity, are lowest during the last glacial maximum (LGM), and increase abruptly during the Bolling-Allerod. Later, following a sudden decrease to near-LGM values during the YD, they rise abruptly to maximum values for the entire record in the early Holocene. We hypothesize that low xs(231)Pa/xs(230)Th ratios reflect low productivity due to the decreased intensity of the SW monsoon, whereas the opposite is true for high ratios. The correlation between Arabian Sea productivity and monsoonal upwelling, on the one hand, and North Atlantic climate variability, on the other, suggests a linkage between high- and low-latitude climates caused by changing patterns of atmospheric circulation. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


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