Impact of the Kuroshio Current on the South China Sea based on a 115 000 year diatom record

H Jiang, Svante Björck, LH Ran, Y Huang, JY Li

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23 Citations (SciVal)


We used the tropical oceanic planktonic diatom species Nitzschia marina, Rhizosolenia bergonii and Azpeitia africana/Azpeitia neocrenulata, most commonly found in the surface sediments of the northeastern most South China Sea (SCS) where the Kuroshio Current enters the SCS through the Bashi Strait north of Luzon, to analyse the influence of the the Kuroshio Current on the SCS. The impact of the Kuroshio Current seems to be relatively strong during major warm periods and, to a lesser degree, in minor warm periods during the last 115 000 years. The strongest influence took place during the main part of the Holocene and during the very late phase of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e. It is possible to distinguish two magnitudes of change in the impact of the Kuroshio Current on the SCS: large changes occurred at shifts between glacial and interglacial conditions, while smaller changes seem to have recurred in both glacial and interglacial episodes as well as during the Holocene. Climatic/oceanographic changes and sea-level variations were possibly the two most important mechanisms for the varying influences of the Kuroshio Current on the SCS. The interaction between the Kuroshio Current and monsoon-related processes may also have played a role. However, because of restricted knowledge of the present-day Kuroshio Current and the absence of a modern analogue to the ancient SCS due to the marked changes in palaeogeography, this relationship is difficult to establish. Copyright (C) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geology


  • Kuroshio Current
  • South China Sea
  • palaeoceanography
  • diatoms
  • last glacial cycle


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