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Variations in monsoonal rainfall over the last 21 kyr inferred from sedimentary organic matter in Tung-Yuan Pond, southern Taiwan
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2011 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, Vol. 30, no 23-24, 3413-3422 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Changes in paleorainfall intensity linked to the strength of the East Asian (EA) summer monsoon since 21 cal kyr BP are inferred from the organic matter contents of a 15-m sediment core from Tung-Yuan Pond in southern Taiwan. High total organic carbon/total nitrogen (TOC/TN) values in association with increased TOC content suggest that more soil-derived material containing terrestrial organic matter (OM) was delivered to the lake during periods of increased runoff associated with extensive precipitation that resulted from intensified summer monsoons, whereas low values indicate OM possessing a dominant algal origin during weakened summer monsoons. Rainfall intensity in terms of the proportion of terrestrial OM was high in four periods: the last deglaciation (similar to 17.2 to similar to 12.2 ka), the early Holocene (similar to 10.6 to similar to 8.6 ka), the middle Holocene Thermal Optimum (similar to 7.7 to similar to 5 ka) and the late Holocene (similar to 4.2 to similar to 2 ka), whereas it was low in the intervening time periods. High TOC/TN values coincide with peak values of summer insolation, and thus the strongest EA summer monsoon during the early and middle Holocene: small drops in these ratios correspond to increasing and decreasing solar radiation in the deglacial period and the late Holocene, respectively. The four intervals with low TOC/TN ratios, as well as episodic drops of the ratios during the deglaciation and the early and late Holocene are concordant with the late last glacial (similar to 21 to similar to 17.2 ka), the Oldest (similar to 14.8 ka), the Older (similar to 13.3 ka) and the Younger Dryas (similar to 13 to similar to 11.5 ka), the 8.2 cold event (similar to 8.6-7.7 ka) and a late Holocene cold event (similar to 5-4.2 ka), and suggest a weakened EA summer monsoon during these times. Moreover, high frequency hydrological variability occurred during the early Holocene, heavy rainfall persisted during the middle Holocene, and precipitation intensity generally diminished after similar to 5 ka. The Tung-Yuan Pond sediment record indicates that the TOC/TN ratio can be used as a paleorainfall intensity proxy to trace variations in the EA summer monsoon strength in other small lakes. Crown Copyright

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 30, no 23-24, 3413-3422 p.
Keyword [en]
Atomic TOC/TN ratio, East Asian summer monsoon, Holocene Thermal Optimum, Paleorainfall intensity, Taiwan, Younger Dryas
National Category
Physical Geography Geology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70906DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.08.017ISI: 000297187900015OAI: diva2:483292
authorCount :14Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-24 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Löwemark, Ludvig
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Department of Geological Sciences
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