Cite this paper:
ZHENG Xufeng, LI Anchun, WAN Shiming, JIANG Fuqing, YIN Xueming, LU Jian. Formation of the modern current system in the East China Sea since the early Holocene and its relationship with sea level and the monsoon system[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2015, 33(4): 1062-1071

Formation of the modern current system in the East China Sea since the early Holocene and its relationship with sea level and the monsoon system

ZHENG Xufeng1,2,3, LI Anchun2, WAN Shiming2, JIANG Fuqing2, YIN Xueming2, LU Jian2
1 Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
The Okinawa Trough is a natural laboratory for the study of air-sea interaction and paleoenvironmental change. It has been demonstrated that present offshore export of particles in the bottom nepheloid layer occur primarily with downwelling from the northeast winter monsoon, which is inhibited by a transverse circulation pattern in summer. This current system was very different during the Last Glacial Maximum owing to low sea level (-120 m) and exposure of a large shelf area. We collected sediment core Oki01 from the middle Okinawa Trough during 2012 using R/V Kexue No. 1 to elucidate the timing and cause of the current system transition in the East China Sea. Clay mineral, dry density, and elemental (Ti, Ca) composition of core Oki01 was analyzed. The results indicate that clay minerals derived mainly from the Huanghe (Yellow) and the Changjiang (Yangtze) Rivers during 16.0-11.6 ka, and the modern current system in the East China Sea formed beginning in the early Holocene. Therefore, mixing of East China Sea continental shelf, Changjiang River and partially Taiwan Island sediment are the major contributors. The decrease of log(Ti/Ca) and alternating provenance since the early Holocene indicate less sediment from the East China in summer because of resistance of the modern current system, i.e., a “water barrier” and upwelling. Conversely, sediment delivery persists in winter and log(Ti/Ca) indicates the winter monsoon signal since the early Holocene. Our evidence also suggests that sediment from Taiwan Island could be transported by the Kuroshio Current to the middle Okinawa Trough, where it mingles with winter monsooninduced export of sediment from the Changjiang River and East China Sea continental shelf. Although the present research advances understanding of the evolutionary history of paleoenvironmental change in the Okinawa Trough, more sediment cores should be retrieved over wide areas to construct a larger scenario.
Key words:    monsoon|modern current system|Okinawa Trough|Kuroshio Current   
Received: 2014-04-20   Revised: 2014-11-11
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