Sedimentary Environment and Climate Evolution at the Northern Continental Margin of the South China Sea During the Last Glacial Cycle and Holocene

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Michal Tomczak1, Jerome Kaiser2, Ryszard Krzysztof Borowka1, Hongjun Chen3, Jinpeng Zhang3, Jan Harff1,2, Yan Qiu3 and Andrzej Witkowski1, (1)University of Szczecin, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Szczecin, Poland, (2)Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende, Rostock, Germany, (3)Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey, Guangzhou, China
Climate, oceanographic and sea level history during last glacial cycle (LGC) and Holocene at the NW continental margin of the South China Sea (SCS) are investigated within the SECEB project. For that purpose two sediment cores (HDQ2 & 83PC) and single-channel seismic sections were selected to serve as a proxy data source for paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic reconstructions. The sedimentary facies is interpreted by multi-proxy approaches considering micropaleontological, sedimentological and geochemical analyses. According to 14C and OSL datings, sediments of shallow water drill core HDQ2 (88.3 m) cover a time span of ca. 115 kyr BP. Seismic images of the sampling site show a series of reflectors which can be correlated with coarse layers of core HDQ2. These layers are interpreted as transgression / regression horizons. Due to the age model it is possible to correlate these horizons with the general sea level dynamics within the SCS as it is displayed in relative sea level excursions for the MIS 5 to 2 from the Sunda Shelf (Hanebuth et al. 2011). Core 83PC (8.6 m) retrieved from the continental slope provide constant record and calm environment. Therefore, this core is used as a source for data proxy for environmental reconstructions. According to δ18O and paleomagnetic analysis, a good age model which indicate age of this core to ca. 110 kyr BP was elaborated and help correlate the paleoenvironmental data with core HDQ2. Alkenones, δ18O, the Mg/Ca ratio, and microfossil proxies serve for paleo-SST curves and monsoon variability reconstructions. δ15N and δ13C indicate nutrient supply to the marine environment. Diatomological analysis outlines the environmental evolution and interrelations between their parameters during the LGC. Interpretation of seismic profiling allowed identification of submarine paleo-delta. It’s anticipated that deposited sediments descent from the Hainan Island and allow correlation of the source and sink area.

Hanebuth, T.J.J, Voris, H.K., Yokoyama, Y., Saito, Y., Okuno, J., 2011. Formation and fate of sedimentary depocentres on Southeast Asia's Sunda Shelf over the past sea-level cycle and biogeographic implications. Earth-Science Reviews 104, p. 92–110

The project was funded by the Polish National Science Centre allocated on the basis of the decision no. DEC-2011/01/N/ST10/07708