Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Palaeoceanography of the Japan Sea across the mid-Pleistocene Transition: insights from IODP Exp. 346, Site U1427

Lookup NU author(s): Sonja Felder, Professor Andrew HendersonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns, such as the East Asian monsoon, have been proposed as possible feedbacks of the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT). Marine sediments of the Japan Sea (JS) record variations in the East Asian monsoon over long timescales and may be crucial for understanding of the MPT. To interpret these sediments correctly an understanding of the JS palaeoceanography is necessary. So far, the JS palaeoceanography has been extrapolated across the MPT from studies of the most recent glacialinterglacial cycles. These suggest a good connection and unrestricted water-mass exchange with the open ocean during interglacial sea-level highstands, while during glacial sea-level lowstands the JS is nearly isolated. Glacial isolation often results in poor carbonate preservation and unusually low oxygen isotope (δ18O) ratios from low-saline/low-δ18O waters accumulating in the basin. Using the sediments of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1427, a shallow-water site in the southern JS, we present a continuous foraminiferal δ18O record encompassing the MPT. This record shows the JS-typical low glacial δ18O values in the late phase of the MPT, across Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 24-17, while earlier MPT glacials, across MIS 39-25, are characterized by high δ18O values. We propose that high glacial δ18O values are the result of an improved connection between the shallow, southern JS and adjacent ocean during early MPT glacials. The impact of this palaeoceanographic mode, if continued to deep-water sites, would make the interpretation of dark/light sediment layers as glacial/interglacial deposits uncertain.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Felder S, Sagawa T, Greaves M, Leng MJ, Ikehara K, Kimoto K, Hasegawa S, Wagner T, Henderson ACG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology

Year: 2022

Volume: 37

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 12/01/2022

Online publication date: 07/12/2021

Acceptance date: 09/11/2021

Date deposited: 12/01/2022

ISSN (print): 2572-4517

ISSN (electronic): 2572-4525

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1029/2021PA004236


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
ECORD (European consoritum for ocean research drilling)
SAKIGAKE project 2020