Millennial-scale Asian monsoon variability during MIS 9 revealed by a high-resolution stalagmite δ18O record in Luoshui Cave, central China

Shaohua Yang, Shitao Chen, Yongjin Wang, Qingfeng Shao, Tsai Luen Yu, Chuan Chou Shen, Xiumin Zhai, R. Lawrence Edwards, Dianbing Liu, Yijia Liang, Quan Wang, Zhenqiu Zhang, Chunhua Li

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A 67-yr-resolution δ18O profile of a230Th-dated stalagmite from Luoshui Cave, central China, is presented to refine the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) history from 336 to 290 kyr BP. The sub-stages of Marine Isotope Stage 9 (MIS 9) are clearly reflected in the Luoshui δ18O record, in line with changes in the Northern Hemisphere summer insolation (NHSI). The concurrency of eight weak monsoon intervals (WMIs) between 320 and 290 kyr BP and shifts in the Atlantic oceanic circulation suggest that monsoon weakening was forced by northern high-latitude climate oscillations with north-south shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Spectrum analyses show a cyclic change of 1–4 kyr between 320 and 290 kyr BP, similar to the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles during the last glacial period. This suggests a relatively unstable monsoon state when the northern ice volume reached intermediate levels. The detrended δ18O agrees well with the δ13C record on the millennial to sub-millennial scales, suggesting a coupling of monsoon climate and cave environment. After removal of the summer insolation signal at 65°N, the residual Luoshui δ18O record is highly similar to orbital- and millennial-scale temperature changes in Antarctica in an anti-phased fashion, revealing the significant influence of Southern Hemispheric climates on ASM intensity. The absence of counterparts of the two WMIs between 315 and 310 kyr BP in Antarctica, however, indicates a complicated teleconnection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106218
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

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  • Asian summer monsoon
  • Marine isotope stage 9
  • Millennial-scale variation
  • Oxygen isotope
  • Stalagmite


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