Temporal variations in 87Sr/86Sr and ɛNd in sediments of the southeastern Arabian Sea: Impact of monsoon and surface water circulation

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Abstract

[1] Sr and Nd isotopic composition of silicate fractions of sediments have been measured in two well dated gravity cores from the eastern Arabian Sea archiving a depositional history of ∼29 and ∼40 ka. The 87Sr/86Sr and ɛNd in the northern core (SS-3104G; 12.8°N, 71.7°E) ranges from 0.71416 to 0.71840 and −8.8 to −12.8; these variations are limited compared to those in the southeastern core (SS-3101G; 6.0°N, 74.0°E), in which they vary from 0.71412 to 0.72069 and −9.0 to −15.2 respectively. This suggests that the variation in the relative proportions of sediments supplied from different sources to the core SS-3104G are limited compared to core SS-3101G. The 87Sr/86Sr and ɛNd profiles of SS-3101G exhibit two major excursions, ca. 9 ka and 20 ka, coinciding with periods of Holocene Intensified Monsoon Phase (IMP) and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) respectively with more radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr and lower ɛNd during these periods. These excursions have been explained in terms of changes in the erosion patterns in the source regions and surface circulation of the Northern Indian Ocean resulting from monsoon intensity variations. The intensification of North-East (NE) monsoon and associated strengthening of the East Indian Coastal Current in southwest direction during LGM transported sediments with higher 87Sr/86Sr and lower ɛNd from the western Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea. In contrast, enhanced South-West (SW) monsoon at ∼9 ka facilitated the transport of sediments from the northern Arabian Sea, particularly Indus derived, to the southeastern Arabian Sea. This study thus highlights the impact of monsoon variability on erosion patterns and ocean surface currents on the dispersal of sediments in determining the Sr and Nd isotopic composition of sediments deposited in the eastern Arabian Sea during the last ∼40 ka.

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