Timing and structure of Termination II in north China constrained by a precisely dated stalagmite record

Wuhui Duan, Hai Cheng, Ming Tan, Xianglei Li, R. Lawrence Edwards

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Abstract

The timing and structure of Termination II (T-II) is still debatable as the number of high-quality records is insufficient. This study presents precisely dated stalagmite δ 18 O data between 133.4±0.3 to 126.6±0.3 ka BP (covering most of T-II) from north China, near the northern limit of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), an area sensitive to climate change. The onset of the last interglacial is constrained at 129.4±0.3 ka BP, consistent with south Chinese speleothem records, further supporting the idea that Northern Hemisphere summer insolation plays an important role in initiating glacial terminations. An extended interval of heavy δ 18 O is observed immediately prior to this abrupt transition, named as the “Weak Monsoon Interval” (WMI) in south Chinese cave records, which was associated with the Heinrich Stadial 11 (H11) in the North Atlantic. A significant millennial-scale interstadial peaking at 132.7±0.3 ka BP is identified preceding the weakest phase of the WMI. A synchronous counterpart is also found in some south Chinese speleothem and North Atlantic alkenone Mg/Ca SST records. It is inferred that the main H11 freshwater penetration possibly occurred after 131.5 ka BP, leaving some aspects of ocean and atmospheric circulation still in interstadial mode from 134 to 131.5 ka BP. Following the onset of the last interglacial, there was a millennial-scale “pause” in our δ 18 O record, synchronized with a “slowdown” in the rate of decrease in δ 18 O in south Chinese cave records. This is possibly a large regional climate oscillation, as it is also identified in some North Atlantic records, but one which is too weak to be a Younger Dryas (YD)-type event. In summary, compared to south Chinese cave records, significant millennial-scale climate oscillations before and after the synchronous onset of the last interglacial is the main feature of our record. Nevertheless, the sequence of these climate events remains very different from Termination I (T-I), which is possibly ascribed to the stronger insolation, higher atmosphere CO 2 , and the resultant faster and greater meltwater pulse to the North Atlantic during T-II than during T-I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume512
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Professor Andy Baker for his helpful comments and Dr. Youfeng Ning and Lijuan Sha for assistances with 230 Th dating and stable isotope measurements. We thank Jiuhua Geng, Yufen Li and Linan Ruan, the managers of Xinglong Cave, for their help in the field. Finally, we highly appreciate the constructive comments and suggestions of the journal editor Prof. Jess Adkins and the reviewer Prof. Christoph Spötl as well as the anonymous reviewers. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41472150 , 41772184 , 41402164 , 41731174 and 41888101 ), U.S. NSF Grant 1702816 , and the International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program (Grant No. 20160093 ).

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Professor Andy Baker for his helpful comments and Dr. Youfeng Ning and Lijuan Sha for assistances with 230Th dating and stable isotope measurements. We thank Jiuhua Geng, Yufen Li and Linan Ruan, the managers of Xinglong Cave, for their help in the field. Finally, we highly appreciate the constructive comments and suggestions of the journal editor Prof. Jess Adkins and the reviewer Prof. Christoph Spötl as well as the anonymous reviewers. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41472150, 41772184, 41402164, 41731174 and 41888101), U.S. NSF Grant 1702816, and the International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program (Grant No. 20160093).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Termination II
  • north China
  • speleothem record
  • timing and structure

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