Tracking Monsoon Related Provenance Changes in Continental Margin Sediments of the East China Sea: Preliminary Results from IODP Expedition 346.

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Chloe H Anderson1, Ann G Dunlea1, Richard W Murray1, Christopher William Kinsley2, David McGee2, Liviu Giosan3, Hongbo Zheng4, Ryuji Tada5 and Carlos A Alvarez Zarikian6, (1)Boston University, Boston, MA, United States, (2)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, (3)Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (4)Nanjing Normal University, College of Geographic Science, Nanjing, China, (5)University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan, (6)Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
Sedimentation in the East China Sea (ECS) is driven largely by fluvial and eolian fluxes that are likely influenced by the East Asian Monsoon (EAM). Terrigenous matter from the Yangtze River is transported into the ECS and is also carried by winds of the Westerly Jet. Seasonal and long term shifts in the atmospheric and precipitation regimes over Asia are recorded in the inorganic chemistry of the sediment of the ECS and other Asian coastal seas. For example, changes in intensity and timing of the EAM over short and long term time scales likely impact the relative proportion of fluvial and eolian inputs to the region, and perhaps their individual sources.

Bulk sediment was recovered from IODP Sites U1428 and U1429 in the ECS during Expedition 346. T these sites are separated by 7.4 km, located in the northernmost portion of the ECS in the Danjo Basin, and are generally characterized by two sedimentary units. Unit A is largely nannofossil-rich calcareous ooze and calcareous-rich clays, punctuated with smaller tephra layers throughout. Unit B is composed of fine- to medium-grained, rounded sands.

Here we present major, trace and rare earth element (REE) data for 54 bulk sediment samples analyzed via ICP-ES and ICP-MS. We trace downhole fluctuations in the geochemical data in order to investigate the provenance of terrigenous material during the Pleistocene. Preliminary major element concentration data indicate the presence of distinct continental sediment and carbonates at both sites. Average downhole major element ratios exhibit limited variation at both sites. For example, Ti/Al (g/g) is tightly constrained with values of 0.05 /- 0.003, Fe/Al 0.5 /- 0.05, and Si/Al 3.3 /- 0.3.

In addition to standard geochemical techniques to assess provenance, we are using multivariate statistics (e.g., Q-Mode Factor Analyses, Multiple Linear Regressions) to examine this large dataset. We focus on a smaller suite of elements that are exclusively associated with the terrigenous component (e.g., Al, Si, Ti, Ni, Sc, Cr, Zr), which are expected to closely reflect changes in provenance. Our preliminary results suggest that 3 end-members can explain 98 % of the dataset’s variability. Additional results from trace and REE analyses, combined with further statistical analysis, will also be presented.