Sedimentary mercury and antimony revealed orbital-scale dynamics of the Kuroshio Current

hu.yang [ at ]


As an integral part of the Earth's climate system, the Kuroshio Current (KC) plays a crucial role in shaping the regional oceanography and climate in the Northern Hemisphere. However, how the KC dynamics have varied over glacial-interglacial cycles is still under debate. The dynamic transfer and accumulation of submarine hydrothermal source materials by deep-reaching KC offer us a unique opportunity to examine the variations in dynamics of the KC. Here, we used novel proxies of sedimentary mercury (Hg) and antimony (Sb) in core MD01-2404 retrieved from the middle Okinawa Trough (OT) to reconstruct the evolution of the KC hydrodynamics over the last 92,000 years. We infer the enrichments of sedimentary Hg and Sb to signify hydrothermal input, which is delivered laterally to the study site by deep circulation in association with the KC, thus indicating the dynamics of KC. Overall, both the sedimentary Hg and Sb in core MD01-2404 indicate a persistent influence on the KC dynamics within the OT over the last glacial-interglacial cycles. Furthermore, our Hg and Sb proxies suggest a significantly weakened influence during the last deglaciation and last glacial period while a strengthened influence during the Holocene and late Marine Isotope Stage 5. Our studies imply that the orbital-scale dynamics of KC are controlled by tropical atmosphere-ocean interactions induced by sea surface temperature changes and regulated by the extratropical climate conditions.

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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107051

Cite as
Zou, J. , Chang, Y. P. , Zhu, A. , Chen, M. T. , Kandasamy, S. , Yang, H. , Cui, J. , Yu, P. S. and Shi, X. (2021): Sedimentary mercury and antimony revealed orbital-scale dynamics of the Kuroshio Current , Quaternary Science Reviews, 265 , p. 107051 . doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107051

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