Timing of the Indian Summer Monsoon onset during the early Holocene: Evidence from a sediment core at Linggo Co, central Tibetan Plateau

Yue He, Juzhi Hou, Erik T. Brown, Shuyun Xie, Zhengyu Bao

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10 Scopus citations


The spatial and temporal variability, effects, and mechanisms of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) have been investigated intensively during the past few decades. The pattern of a relatively strong ISM during the early to middle Holocene, and a relatively weak ISM in the late Holocene, has been widely demonstrated in both marine and continental records. However, the timing of the ISM onset during the early Holocene remains controversial. Here, we present oxygen isotope record from ostracods and hydrogen isotope record from sedimentary leaf waxes from a sediment core at Linggo Co, a glacier-fed lake on the central Tibetan Plateau, in order to investigate the onset of the ISM. The ostracod δ18O record indicates an early ISM onset at ~11.7 ka, whereas the leaf wax δD record indicates a later ISM onset at ~10 ka. This apparent two-step development of the ISM revealed by aquatic and terrestrial records is confirmed by principal component analysis of nine marine records from the ISM domain. The comparison between isotope records from Linggo Co and the marine records implies that the early ISM onset was likely linked to elevated temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, while the later ISM onset may be related to intensified precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-766
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the ‘Strategic Priority Research Program (B) (grant no. XDB01020300)’ of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Natural Science Foundation of China Key project (41230523) and PhD early development program of Hebei GEO University (BQ2017018, BQ2017050). Financial support to Y.H. for a visit to the University of Minnesota Duluth from China Scholarships Council (no. 201406410006) is also acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • early Holocene
  • hydrogen isotope
  • Indian summer monsoon
  • Linggo Co
  • oxygen isotope
  • Tibetan Plateau


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