The Late Quaternary Record of Atmospheric Transport to the Northwest Pacific from Asia

  • Margaret Leinen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 282)


Late Quaternary Asian dust composition and transport to the Pacific was studied in sediments from a north-south transect of piston cores which extends from 25° to 46°N between 140° and 157°E. Principal component factor analysis was used to identify end-member clay mineral assemblages. Three clay mineral assemblages explain 84% of the variance in clay-size fraction sedimentation along the transect. The first end-member is most abundant in sediments from the northern end of the transect and from east Japan. It probably represents clays which have a contribution from andesitic soil dust. The second end-member is most abundant in illite, smectite and quartz and probably represents loess. The final end-member is dominated by illite and is most abundant in sediments from the northern and southern ends of the transect, but it accumulates most rapidly at the latitude of present-day maximum dust accumulation.

Time slices along the transect demonstrate that the spatial distribution and flux of individual mineral groups and of the end-member assemblages has changed with time, however the flux is always greatest between 35 and 42°N, the latitude which now has the greatest probability of receiving dust transported from the desert regions of central Asia. The greatest fluxes occurred between 4 and 7 KY BP and between 23 and 27 KY BP. Factors 1 and 3 were especially important in the sediments deposited between 4 and 7 KY BP. Factor 2 is most abundant in sediments deposited 10–25 Ka. Mineral fluxes during the last glacial maximum were similar to those of today. Longer records of eolian quartz deposition in the region suggest that the composition of dust is dominated by variance at the precession frequency, 23 KY. These data, together with the data presented here, suggest that dust flux and composition may be more strongly influenced by the seasonality of climate in Asia than by the more dramatic effects of glacial stages.


Accumulation Rate Glacial Maximum Mineral Group Mineral Dust Biogenic Silica 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Leinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandNarragansettUSA

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