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Enhancements of Himalayan and Tibetan Erosion and the Produced Organic Carbon Burial in Distal Tropical Marginal Seas During the Quaternary Glacial Periods: An Integration of Sedimentary Records

Abstract : The Himalayan and Tibetan highlands (mountains), with high rates of physical erosion, are extreme settings for earth surface processes, generating one of the largest recent terrigenous detritus and organic carbon discharges to the ocean. However, their significance with respect to the global carbon and climate cycles during the Quaternary is still unclear, especially in quantitative terms. Here, we present comprehensive records of continental erosion and weathering, terrestrial supply, marine productivity, and organic carbon burial in the distal Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and southern South China Sea since ∼700 ka over orbital timescales. These records exhibit periodicities corresponding to sea level and Indian summer monsoon intensity changes. During glacial periods, the enhanced highland surface erosion and activation of deep sea channels significantly increased inputs of terrigenous detritus, nutrients, and organic carbon into the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, whereas strengthened continental shelf surface weathering and organic matter preservation occurred in the South China Sea. Conclusively, our integrative proxies in the study area demonstrate, for the first time, pronounced glacial burial pulses of organic carbon (∼1.12 × 1012 mol/yr), dominantly originating from the highland surface erosion and marine productivity. Together with the increased silicate weathering on the exposed tropical continental shelves and in the tropical volcanic arcs, the enhanced burial flux of organic carbon in the tropical marginal seas, therefore, highlights the large contributions that tropical regions can make within the glacial interglacial carbon inventory of the ocean and atmosphere and thus cause significant negative feedback on the global climate.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 8:30:43 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, August 6, 2022 - 3:26:36 AM

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Zhaokai Xu, Shiming Wan, Christophe Colin, Peter D. Clift, Fengming Chang, et al.. Enhancements of Himalayan and Tibetan Erosion and the Produced Organic Carbon Burial in Distal Tropical Marginal Seas During the Quaternary Glacial Periods: An Integration of Sedimentary Records. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 2021, 126, ⟨10.1029/2020JF005828⟩. ⟨insu-03745272⟩

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