Precession Control on Precipitation in the Western Pacific Warm Pool Inferred from Environmental Magnetism

Monday, 15 December 2014
Toshitsugu Yamazaki, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan
The Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) has highest water temperature in the global ocean, and its spatiotemporal variations have significant impacts on large-scale atmospheric circulation and global hydrology. An environmental magnetic study was conducted on sediment cores of late Pleistocene age taken from the West Caroline Basin (WCB) offshore northern New Guinea in order to constrain hydrological variability over the WPWP on orbital timescales.

Magnetite dominates magnetic mineral assemblages of the sediments. This is evidenced by that IRM acquisition curves are mostly explained by a low-coercivity component, and that the Verwey transition was obvious in low-temperature measurements. Existence of the sharp central ridges on FORC diagrams and TEM images indicate the occurrence of biogenic magnetite. Compared with pelagic sediments from other regions, however, FORC diagrams show a larger contribution of an interacting PSD and MD component, and the ratios of ARM susceptibility to SIRM (kARM/SIRM) are lower, which suggests a larger proportion of the terrigenous component. This is probably due to a large terrigenous sediment input from nearby land, New Guinea, induced by high precipitation in the intertropical convergence zone.

Magnetic susceptibility (k) and kARM/SIRM well correlate with northern-hemisphere summer insolation. Maxima in k and minima in kARM/SIRM correspond to insolation minima, which suggests a larger terrigenous input caused by higher precipitation at these times. Interestingly, in the western part of WCB, k variations are dominated by the eccentricity periodicity and mimic δ18O curves, but the precession periodicity prevails in kARM/SIRM. These cores were taken at depths close to the CCD, and thus the k variations cannot be explained by dilution with carbonates. Sedimentation influenced by global sea-level changes may control the k variations; this part of the basin is adjacent to a wider continental shelf compared with the eastern part of WCB.